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Stella Matutina » 2005 » December, the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis blog
The Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis
Stella Matutina

December 9, 2005

We have to change and now!

Filed under: Morning Star — Bruce @ 1:46 pm

The need is real there is no doubt,
we have to change and now,
as Francis chose so we choose,
look only forward from the plow.

As we look around us is there any doubt we need to convert, and now? The world is in turmoil. Sin and evil abounds. Millions of babies are killed in the womb each year through abortion. Worldwide – murder prevails everywhere like killing someone is one option to solve a problem. Wars upon wars. Impurity and sensuality everywhere. Commercialism, and the life of power and wealth, and neglect of the poor. The world is very dark and sinister right now, and Satan rages against the children of Adam to destroy, were it possible, all of them and their earth. Soon, we must hope, the Lord will intervene.

Until then, the Lord calls us all to change our lives to head off the evil of the world and its sinfulness. He says to us all, repent, or perish, when he says: “…I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” (Lk 13:5) He is not kidding around, and his patience is getting thin if one but listens to the messages of Our Lady throughout our world in her modern appearances. Our time is short and we have no idea what is coming or how terrible it could be. Neither did people in the times of Noah. So, the time to repent is now. The Lord and His Mother call us to repentance and helping others to find God. The lifestyle of the First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis, now the Rule of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis, is a lifestyle of repentance for our own sins and the sins of the world. A real call to holiness that is neglected in our day.

Francis knew he had to do penance once he began on the way of his conversion. He fasted more than 200 days per year. He prayed constantly. He worked with the poor and lepers. By his own behavior, he modeled a powerful life of penance, repentance, for us all, even though he never called others to do as much as he did himself. It is most important that we start, not how much we get done. The Lord reads the motion of our hearts. We need only choose as St. Francis chose, and having so chosen, make it a reality in our lives. This is the ‘plow’ the Lord speaks of when he says: “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” (LK 9:62) Making straight the way of the Lord and living for Christ. Fasting, praying, and doing good all around because we belong to Christ. Living both the Corporal and Spiritual works of mercy in our lives, and never stopping to do otherwise. Never as it were, looking back from the plow. That is how we must all live.

December 5, 2005

Lifestyle led, oft sanguine red…

Filed under: Morning Star — Bruce @ 10:30 am

Why can’t it be seen in the modern lights,
the walkways all paved and new,
lifestyles led oft sanquine red,
everything so very askew.

The simple fact is that the cities of today’s world are always being built as if the earth is paradise and we are going to stay alive on earth forever. Our beautiful, shining, cities, so well lighted, so beautiful, so new, do nothing to help us focus on eternity with God, or judgement, justice, or moderation. Despite their beauty, in our cities we see blood flowing in our streets, savagery, drugs, rampant sexuality, abuse, and all forms of disorder and evil. The underlying current of our modern societies is not peace, joy, and brotherhood. We need to reflect on this reality and realize, with St. Augustine, that our hearts will not rest until they rest in God.

The real question this raises for Christian people is how we need to act to do God’s will in this modern age. Do we blend into the world. Do we enjoy the opulence of the times? Do we buy into it, and promote worldliness? Or do we oppose it, live and promote the Gospel message and simplicity, and try to lead lives of penance which draws us out of this world and focuses us on the things of heaven that are to come. Of course, we must do the later, and the Rule of 1221 is the perfect way to walk through these modern times and not get caught up in them.