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Stella Matutina » Poverty and fasting ravaged, the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis blog
The Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis
Stella Matutina

October 13, 2005

Poverty and fasting ravaged

Filed under: Morning Star — Bruce @ 9:20 am

Poverty and fasting ravaged,
from simplicity we are free,
most abstain from what Francis said,
ban humility.

It takes humility, real humility, to do the will of another, yet it is fundamental to spiritual growth. The best example of how this is true is to consider the Gospels of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. He came to us as Savior and Guide, and to do His Will we must do as he taught, not as we wish. He Himself said: “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.(JN 15:10) Isn’t that what living the Christian life is all about? Remaining in the love of Jesus? St. Francis knew this well, and when he was asked to create a lifestyle for lay people he did it in the Lord and he gave it to the people as his will for them. They followed it in joy then, yet today we have abandoned it. What is wrong with us?

We have freed ourselves from the simplicity of obedience, and about every other form of simplicity too. We are not simple in the way most of us lead our lives. We lead complicated and busy lives, and we seek more and better ways to keep our lives busy. Now busy is not bad if we were only concerned about being busy about obeying and serving the Lord. That is not what we do. We are busy about working at making our life here on earth our paradise, as best we all can, even if we fail at it miserably. But in doing that we free ourselves from the simplicity that the Lord had in mind for us in the Gospels. All we need to do is simply put Jesus and his message first, and work at it, to free ourselves from the “simplicity” of this world! Then we can become love, peace, joy and virtue in motion, in other words, Jesus, to those around us. True simplicity, and if we were to do this all else we need, including the Spirit of His Son, will be given us by our Provident Father.

So we abstain from what St. Francis said, in the rules he gave us, and to our detriment. We avoid poverty, especially of spirit. This is the poverty that instructs us to take the Gospels literally and apply them generously especially as relates to prayer and mortification. Especially as relates to the word of Our Lord when he said: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.(LK 9:23) If you want to come to know the Lord learn to live this Scripture daily. Deny yourself, as we do by living the Rule of 1221, which is at the core of the Stella Matutina movement and is the Rule of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis. Take up your cross, and that is offer the Lord your whole life and all of its demands, joys, and sacrifices in a spirit of total surrender, and follow Jesus in making God the center of your life and decisions. Live the Gospel of the Lord as literally as you can!

Blessed be the Lord!

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