The Rule, Article 4

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

To the Brothers and Sisters of Penance - Chapter 1

Those Who Do Penance

All those who love the Lord with their whole heart, with their whole soul and mind, with their whole strength and love their neighbors as themselves, who hate their bodies with their vices and sins, who receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and who produce worthy fruits of penance. O how happy and blessed are these men and women while they do such things and persevere in doing them, because the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon them and make Its home and dwelling place among them, and they are children of the heavenly Father Whose works they do, and they are spouses, brothers, and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are spouses when the faithful soul is joined by the Holy Spirit to our Lord Jesus Christ. We are brothers to Him when we do the will of the Father who is in heaven. We are mothers when we carry Him in our heart and body through a divine love and a pure and sincere conscience and gave birth to Him through a holy activity which must shine as an example before others.

O how glorious it is to have a holy and great Father in heaven! O how holy, consoling to have such a beautiful and wonderful Spouse! O how holy and how loving, gratifying, humbling, peace-giving, sweet, worthy of love, and, above all things desirable to have such a Brother and such a Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who laid down His Life for His sheep and prayed to His Father, saying:
Holy Father in your name, save those whom you have given me in the world; they were yours and you gave them to me. The words that you gave to me, I have given to them, and they have accepted them and have believed in the truth that I have come from you and they have known that you sent me.
I pray for them and not for the world. Bless and sanctify them. I sanctify myself for them. I pray not only for them, but for those who will believe in me through their word that they might be sanctified in being one as we are .
I wish , Father, that where I am, they also may be with me that they may see my glory in your kingdom. Amen.
This writing is used as the prologue to the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order.

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