Monday, January 28, 2013

Secular Franciscans

Lectio Divina

He entered into heaven itself.

Hebrews 9:24 (New Living Translation)


Continuing Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, and the other theological readings from my reading buddies.


At the evening meal on Sunday I met a man named Bill Wicks, a member of the Secular Franciscan Order, also known as the Third Order in the Franciscan family. Francis of Assisi is known most of all for establishing radically new communities of men and women religious (First Order and Second Order, respectively) whose way of life was grounded in the Gospel. But he also established an order for men and women who strove also to live according to the Gospel yet would not be taking the vows of consecrated life -- an order for people who chose to remain in the world in their state of life as spouses, parents, and working people. It is this family of sisters and brothers in Christ, sons and daughters of Francis, that Bill Wicks has come to speak to us about this week during class sessions and a day of recollection on Wednesday.

There are an estimated 13,000 members of the Secular Franciscans in the United States today -- there are many more Third Order Franciscans than Franciscan women and men religious -- but strangely enough, I never met any of them until I shared the evening meal with Bill last night. We religious Franciscans need to reconnect with our numerous secular cousins. And I think we need to do much more to share Franciscan spirituality and practices of discipleship on an ecumenical basis, and with young people, with a sensitivity to their existential realities, which preclude for them the more traditional forms of commitment that participation in the Secular Franciscans requires.

This afternoon, spiritual direction at Old Mission Santa Barbara, and schola rehearsal this evening.


Continuing to be temperate even as the rest of the world freezes over.

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