Beads of Joy 04-07-10
Wed. - The Call Is Demanding
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Series I - The Call
In answering the call to be a Secular Franciscan we must know that doing so can be very demanding. This isn't a light hearted decision, but rather one that is life changing. In reviewing some criteria to move forward with answering the call there is so much to consider. We must pray for guidance and answers as to whether we will pursue such a challenge. This is no different than if we really wish to be a catholic in some ways; yes we can be one that just goes through the motions. But I ask why? Choices like this change lives, we must be serious about the commitments we make. If you really wish to be a Secular Franciscan there a couple of things we must consider:
-We really need to be good Catholics, at least a practicing one.
-We must be bold enough to take up our cross and follow Jesus.
-Our relationship with Jesus must be real, sincere and intimate.
-We must love and protect all life in all forms and all stages.
-Our faith must be so real, and so open that we really trust in God.
And there is so much more, but as you see this can be very demanding. But know that all of these expectations can also be applied to just being a Catholic. I believe in taking my faith very seriously.
I know that only some may consider becoming a Secular Franciscan. But what others might do while exploring such a commitment; is develop there own personal prayer life, from this exploration of our faith. Living the gospel boldly and pretty much out on our sleeve isn't for everyone. See once you make the choice to make a profession into the Secular Franciscan Order; it's a lifetime commitment. This is not a club, it's not a limited time membership, this is real, this is for life. Everyday in our lives as a Secular Franciscan we must live it as real as St. Francis did in his life. We must love our faith devoutly, that's why I always say Boldly, I am a very proud Roman Catholic. We must really look at this for what it is: Our eternal direction. There I said it. We have to make a choice for what road we want to be on and then pursue it. Wide is the way and easy is the road. This is a narrow road, and it's not for everyone, but all are welcome. Jesus paid the price, now we get to reap the harvest of JOY.
Now you see why this call can be demanding; and I am only touching the surface, there is so much more. Jesus didn't come into the world to offer the world a choice between Him and any other religion you want. Rather, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:17. and look at this, "Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the Antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully." 2 John 1:7-8. Jesus Christ died for you and for me; who does that for anyone in the world today? Ok I stand corrected, parents do that for their kids, husbands for their wives and visa versa, but not as commonly heard about. The reality is that Jesus did this for all of us, even before we were born. He knew us before we were born, to save us.
In our lives why would we consider really being devoted to our faith, to our church? Devotion is commitment, it's sacrifice. We can consider this, "God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." Romans 3:25-26. In order for us to live such a life fully devoted to Him, we must surrender all that we cling to that is in this world. The things in this world become chains to us when we are freed by His blood. The call is demanding, can you do it, are you up for it.
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO