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May 30-June 1 2014

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Food for Thought

“Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you."

Job 22:21 

   

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Welcome...please linger awhile with St. Francis and St. Clare...fall in love with... 

The Secular Franciscan Order

The Secular Franciscan Order, or SFO, gives the religious life to Catholic men and women who cannot leave home and family for monastery, seminary or convent.  It offers to people of all occupation and conditions a Rule that makes their life rich and peaceful by centering it on God.  Secular Franciscans profess the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order, to “follow Christ in the footsteps of Francis of Assisi” (Rule, Article 1),  preaching the Gospel…using words when necessary.   It fills them with the charity of St. Francis, engaging them in apostolic work, which flows out into the community, offering help and comfort to those in need.

Individual Secular Franciscans gather in local fraternities to share fellowship, pray, witness to one another and grow in the knowledge of the Lord increasing their Faith.  The local fraternities in the United States are organized into Regions.  Queen of Peace Region under the patronage of our Blessed Mother Mary, whose feast we celebrate on December 8th, includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and the western section of Wisconsin.

From the days of its founding, the Secular Franciscan Order of St. Francis of Assisi has been the inspiration not only of the poor and the humble, but also of some of history’s towering geniuses.  It has developed the spirit of St. Francis in outstanding men like the artists Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Murillo; musicians such as Palestrina, Liszt and Gounod; explorers like Christopher Columbus; the writers Dante, Cervantes, Johannes, Jorgensen and Francis Thompson; such scientists as Galileo, Galvani, and Volta.

"Oh, what a joy to walk with the Lord as St. Francis did.  May you hear the call and experience the peace of Franciscan life".

Mary Queen of Peace Fraternity, St. Paul Mn. is proud to announce and welcome 93 year old, Frank Junghans, as he makes his Profession to the Secular Franciscan Order...

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St. Anthony Spirituality Center

   A Resident Franciscan Community

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Interested in becoming a Secular Franciscan?

USA, call 1-800-FRANCIS for information, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Find out more about the process of becoming a Secular Franciscan HERE

 

“Each day is a new discernment to make the decision to live our Franciscan covenant with God. "
Ilia Delio, OSF

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Reflections

History of Lent

What are the origins of Lent? Did the Church always have this time before Easter?

Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. In the desire to renew the liturgical practices of the Church, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of Vatican Council II stated, "The two elements which are especially characteristic of Lent -- the recalling of baptism or the preparation for it, and penance -- should be given greater emphasis in the liturgy and in liturgical catechesis. It is by means of them that the Church prepares the faithful for the celebration of Easter, while they hear God's word more frequently and devote more time to prayer" (no. 109). The word Lent itself is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words lencten, meaning "Spring," and lenctentid, which literally means not only "Springtide" but also was the word for "March," the month in which the majority of Lent falls.

Since the earliest times of the Church, there is evidence of some kind of Lenten preparation for Easter. For instance, St. Irenaeus (d. 203) wrote to Pope St. Victor I, commenting on the celebration of Easter and the differences between practices in the East and the West: "The dispute is not only about the day, but also about the actual character of the fast. Some think that they ought to fast for one day, some for two, others for still more; some make their 'day' last 40 hours on end. Such variation in the observance did not originate in our own day, but very much earlier, in the time of our forefathers" (Eusebius, History of the Church, V, 24). When Rufinus translated this passage from Greek into Latin, the punctuation made between "40" and "hours" made the meaning to appear to be "40 days, twenty-four hours a day." The importance of the passage, nevertheless, remains that since the time of "our forefathers" -- always an expression for the apostles -- a 40-day period of Lenten preparation existed. However, the actual practices and duration of Lent were still not homogenous throughout the Church.

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Lent Reflections ~ Father Robert Barron

        Good Friday - Why Focus on the Cross?

It's somewhat Pollyannish to say, "Christianity is just about the Resurrection, and not the Cross." To say that is to deny the gritty evil in the world. But once you get past childhood and start reading serious books and watching more sophisticated films, you find people desperately wrestling with evil. That's what any serious novel, film, or play is about. Just look at any of Shakespeare's plays--there's always someone engaging profound evil. Therefore, it doesn't make sense to say, "Let's not focus on the Cross; it's too sad, too dark, too evil." 

Pressing the issue theologically, what is the Cross? It's God journey into God-forsakenness. God enters into human dysfunction in all of its forms. In the Passion narratives you have cruelty, violence, hatred, injustice, stupidity--all of human dysfunction is on display. And Jesus enters into that, thereby redeeming it. 

The Church fathers liked to say, "What has not been assumed has not been saved." Jesus assumes the human condition in all of its dysfunction, going all the way down, so to say. And it's only for that reason he can bring us all the way up. 

The Resurrection without the Cross is superficial, just as the Cross without the Resurrection is despair. It's the play between the two that matters.  
Holy Thursday - The Initiation
Christianity is a revolutionary religion. It turns everything upside down, reversing the values and expectations of a sinful world. Throughout his life and ministry, Jesus tried to inaugurate people into this new world that he called the Kingdom of God. 

The nature of this Kingdom became especially apparent as Jesus gathered with his disciples in the upper room, a place of heightened awareness. There he did something extraordinary. 

Jesus took off his outer garments, tied a towel around his waist, poured water in a basin, and washed the feet of his disciples. He performed an act that was so humble, so lowly, that it was considered beneath the dignity even of a slave. 

We catch the novelty and shock of it in Peter's response: "Master, are you going to wash my feet?" This is just too much for him; it is such a violation of the world that he had come to accept, a world in which masters were masters, slaves were slaves, where the dignified and important were waited upon while the lowly did the serving. In that world there was a clear demarcation between up and down, worthy and unworthy, clean and unclean. 

Jesus is putting his followers through a sort of initiation rite. Unless they pass this test, unless they begin to see the world in a new way, they will not get into the Kingdom. And this is why Jesus says to Peter, "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me." 

In the vision of the old world, one's life comes to its high point at a moment of honor, praise, glory, or recognition, at a moment when one's distinction and superiority over others is most evident. The old world is predicated on the great divisions between master and slave, superior and subordinate, rich and poor, powerful and powerless, included and excluded. Most of our energy goes into maintaining these distinctions, or trying to get from one side to the other, or keeping certain people on the far side of the divide. 

But in the vision of the Kingdom of God, the climactic moment comes when one is the lowliest servant of the other: yes, even despised, reviled, spat upon, and handed over to death. It is only when we have passed through this startling initiation that we are ready for the full manifestation of the Kingdom. 

"You call me 'teacher' and 'master' and rightly so," Jesus says, "for indeed I am. If I therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet." 

 

 

 

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