As part of our celebration on the 40th anniversary of our current Rule, members of our fraternity participated in “Speed Reflection”. On a large sheet of paper was posted an article from the Rule. We were all only given a few minutes to silently reflect on this article. Then each of us wrote our thoughts on small squares of colored paper and stuck them to the large sheet. The outcome was a thoughtful and colorful response to this article done in a manner that hopefully enabled us to open our minds to new ways of responding to our vocation. We repeated this exercise for several of the articles.
Here are some of the thoughts we came up with in response to Article 4 of the Rule:
The rule and life of the Secular Franciscans is this: to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of Saint Francis of Assisi, who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people.
Christ, the gift of the Father’s love, is the way to him, the truth into which the Holy Spirit leads us, and the life which he has come to give abundantly.
Secular Franciscans should devote themselves especially to careful reading of the gospel, going from gospel to life and life to the gospel.
How I apply it is to be loving, kind and forgiving, to be an evangelist, to try to see Christ in people.
Challenge is to live out the Franciscan life in the workplace, this article gives me a reminder of my permanent commitment.
Radical love, radical rejection of sin, missionizing. Actions: reaching out, confession, reevaluating decisions in light of gospel and doing something different
It is difficult to pray with the gospels and to really focus on it. The rosary helps me with this though.
It means gospel is central in my day. Challenge is to keep mindful – wear Tau out to help remember Gospel love and brotherhood to all I meet.
I think that we must follow the example of St. Francis who was the impetus for the salvation of many souls and who brought many people to Christ
Christ inspiration and center of my life is my way to Abba in which the Holy Spirit leads me in prayer, reflection and action through His love. Challenge is opening my heart to the Gospel’s radical image of humanity.
To me it means especially focusing on the teachings and ministry of Jesus. Br. Short’s “pre-pentecostal” tradition – it is Jesus before the interpreters and theologians built up layers of complexity and diversity of paths.
To observe the Gospel means you must readthe gospel every day. I need to do that more regularly.
Observe the Gospel… Love God, Love neighbor, Challenges: to live this out daily
Certainly the gospels are a model for the imitation of Christ. I attend daily Mass when I can and otherwise read the daily mass readings from the Magnificat as a morning reflection.