Inspirations

I, N.N., by the grace of God, renew my baptismal promises and consecrate myself to the service of his kingdom. Therefore, in my secular state I promise to live all the days of my life the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Secular Franciscan Order by observing its rule of life.

~ Rite of Commitment to the Gospel Life or Profession in the Secular Franciscan Order
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Dearest brothers and sisters, just think of the decisive influence we could have for changing the world if all the 500,000 Secular Franciscans, scattered around the world in some 111 countries, lived their vocation to the full.

~ Fr. Benedetto Lino, A Specific Vocation for a Particular Mission, OFS General Chapter 2011
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And now, at the dawn of the new millennium, does the Franciscan adventure still have meaning? Does it still have any chance of success? Never has true fraternity been so longed for and at the same time so little lived. Never has the Franciscan charism been more needed than today in order to offer the total Christ to a disintegrating world which fears a brotherhood of solidarity among all human beings without exclusion.

~ Cardinal Roger Etchegary, Homily of April 9, 2000, on the occasion of the Great Franciscan Jubilee
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What does the rule ask of us? To be in the forefront in promoting justice by the testimony of their human lives and their courageous initiatives. We are not bystanders any more. Franciscans get involved. ... Doing nothing is no longer a choice for us.

~ Lester Bach, OFM Cap, The Franciscan Journey: Embracing the Franciscan Vision
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For those who are “called to follow Christ in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi” (Article #1), particularly through the Secular Franciscan Order, the rule of life becomes the central focus and basic font for setting forth the evangelical goals of life, for unraveling the meaning of the gospel commitment, and for detailing the means to be evangelized and to evangelize others with the supportive context of life in fraternity.

For this reason, the rule needs to be read, understood, digested, and absorbed into the personal and communal existence of every Secular Franciscan.

~ Benet A. Fonck, OFM, Called to Follow Christ

A stepping stone to the Gospel and its ideals

It is well to remember as we study this new version of the rule that it is a Way of Life and not merely a series of legal prescriptions. We know that St. Francis designated the Gospel as the supreme norm of life. He meant to put the Gospel before and above all conventionalism and every human law. Consequently, St. Francis resisted binding the lives of his followers with too specific prescriptions, for fear that the gospel principles be given secondary importance or that they be restrained by the limits of the letter of the law. So the rule is to be a guide that opens to the vastness of the gospel challenge. If we observe all the regulations of the rule, we are not truly following Francis. We must merely use the rule as a stepping stone to the Gospel and its ideals. It is then that we will really attain a true union with Christ.

~ Philip Marquard O.F.M., Called to Live the Dynamic Power of the Gospel: Commentary on the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order (SFO Resource Library)

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