The Secular Franciscan Way of the Cross

June 2, 2021

Just a quick note to let you all know that ” The Secular Franciscan Way of the Cross” is now available through Amazon here :

Secular Franciscan Way of the Cross – Conclusion

April 2, 2021

By Praying the Secular Franciscan Way of the Cross, it is an extension of a simple examination of conscience to really look at where we are in our vocation and resolve to not only appreciate our vocation but to fall back in love with our vocation, to take ownership of our vocation, and use our vocation to both work out our own sanctification, and to help and love others through it.

Conclusion :We are an Order of the Church. Equal in stature, meaning and dignity of every other Order within her realm. It is about time we began to act like it. If we do not claim the dignity of our vocation, and begin to act like other Orders, we will never “take our place at the table” with the others. This ownership begins by standing on our two “feet”. The first “foot” is the work we do on fixing the state of our vocation, (study, meetings, formation) and the work we do to improve at being good Franciscans. The second “foot” is how we take our vocation and apply it to loving for and caring for others both inside and outside of our communities.

To live our vocation to its fullest, is the greatest gift we have been given, and the greatest gift we can offer.

Pax et Bonum!

Secular Franciscan Way of the Cross – Station 14 – Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

April 2, 2021
Church of Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Avranches, Manche, Normandie, France. Fourteen enamel paintings, technique from Limoges, representing the Stations of the Cross Tango7174, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

M: We love you, O Lord

A: Because by your Holy Cross, and resurrection You have redeemed the world.

M: The Fourteenth Station – Jesus is laid in the tomb.

“When it was evening, there came a rich man of Arimathea, called Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate thereupon ordered it to be handed over. So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean shroud and put it in his own new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock. He then tolled a large stone across the entrance of the tomb and went away. “ ( Matthew 27:57-60)

A: Help us Lord, to fully live our vocation.

Reflection :

Have I taken my vocation, seemingly lifeless, from lack of care, from lack of attention, from lack of feeding and love, and laid it in a tomb ?

Did I take it wrap it in a burial shroud and no longer to be part of the living of my faith ?

Have I ignored the weeping of my brothers and sisters, longing to be with me and hear my testimony ?

Do I not share my life with my brothers and sisters, while choosing to do other things instead, robbing them of my time, talents, and treasure ?

Have I rolled my stone heart over the front of it, and walked away ?

Am I like the reason my vocation has not flourished and grown and been set ablaze for love of God, and my Franciscan family ?

Secular Franciscan Way of the Cross – Station13 – Jesus’ Body is Removed from the Cross

March 27, 2021
”The Deposition of Christ”, painting by Benedetto Caliari, c. 1577 via WikiCommons

13th Station – Jesus’ body is removed from the cross

M: We love you, O Lord

A: Because by your Holy Cross, and resurrection You have redeemed the world.

M: The Thirtieenth Station – Jesus’ body is removed from the cross.

“After this, Joseph of Arimathaea , who was a disciple of Jesus – Though a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews – asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave his permission , so they came and took it away. “ (John 19: 38-40 )

“ I am like water draining away,

My bones are all disjointed,

My heart is like wax,

Melting inside me;

My palate is drier than a potsherd,

And my tongue is stuck to my jaw” ( Psalms 22:14-15)

A: Help us Lord, to fully live our vocation.

Reflection:

Am I afraid of living my vocation fully, standing in fear of the opinion of others within my world ?

Have I taken down the lifeless vocation, from the cross I have put it on, and carried it away to be buried ?

Is my vocation dry, like the desert, has it become weak from lack of life giving spirit ?

Am I waiting for someone’s permission to take it down, and give it the care and attention it has been without ?

Do I hold myself to the higher standard of Franciscan life, not in pride, but in humility and poverty ?

Do I love my vocation and weep at its loss of life ? Can I change ? Will I change ?

Secular Franciscan Way of the Cross – 12th Station – Jesus Dies on the Cross

March 25, 2021
Tango7174, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

12th Station – Jesus dies on the cross

M: We love you, O Lord

A: Because by your Holy Cross, and resurrection You have redeemed the world.

M: The Twelfth Station – Jesus is nailed to the Cross.

“ It was now about the sixth hour and, with the sun eclipsed , a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the Temple was torn right down the middle ; and when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice he said “ Father , into your hands I commend my spirit” With these words be breathed his last. “ ( Luke 23:44-46 )

A: Help us Lord, to fully live our vocation.

Reflection:

Have I nailed my vocation to the cross, and left it there for others to watch it die ?

Have I given up on my vocation having allowed it to be sourced , mocked and pierced by the thorns of this world ?

Do view my own community as preparing to breathe its last ?

Do I commend my vocation to God as something worthy to be offered ?

Do I allow my vocation to call out to the Father in a loud voice through my Franciscan life ?

Secular Franciscan Way of the Cross – Station 11 – Jesus is Nailed to the Tree.

March 24, 2021
Calvary of Karl I of Austria and Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross, Stations of the Cross. Made by Lőrinc Siklódy, Zsolt Hernádi (bronze casting), Zoltán Varga (conservator) in 2013 (originally 1927). Listed ID 16465. – Visszhang street, Tihany, Veszprém County, Hungary

M: We love you, O Lord

A: Because by your Holy Cross, and resurrection You have redeemed the world.

M: The Eleventh Station – Jesus is nailed to the Cross.

“When they reached the place called “The Skull”, they crucified him there and the two criminals also, one on the right, the other on the left. Jesus said “ Father, forgive them, the do not know what they are doing “. (Luke 23:33-34)

A: Help us Lord, to fully live our vocation.

Reflection :

Have I , in my journey, taken my gift of vocation, pronounced it proudly, and dragged it through the street ?

Have I taken the place of Barabbas, proclaimed my own innocence, and fallen in my work to follow the Rule ?

Am I the soldier, nailing my vocation to the cross like a sign of all to see, and then walking away ?

Do I put my vocation on the cross, like a trophy, something to be viewed as an accomplishment and looked back on with fondness ?

Do I break the legs of my vocation to insure it does not follow me back out into the world ?

Do I pierce its side, so as to not stand in the storms of life ?

Can I pray to the Father, to forgive our brothers and sisters and bless them, when they don’t really know what they are doing ?

Secular Franciscan Way of the Cross – Station 10 Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

March 23, 2021

10th Station – Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

This Photo by Wolfgang Moroder.

M: We love you, O Lord

A: Because by your Holy Cross, and resurrection You have redeemed the world.

M: The Tenth Station – Jesus is stripped of His Garments.

“ … they took His clothing and divided it into 4 shares, one for each soldier. His garment was seamless woven into one piece from neck to hem, so they said to one another “ Instead of tearing it, lets throw dice to decide who is to have it “. In this way the words of the scripture were fulfilled”.

(John 19:23-24)

A: Help us Lord, to fully live our vocation.

Reflection:

On the day of my Profession into the order, I was given the spiritual garment, vested with my Tau, and entered fully into my life as a Franciscan. This garment was seamless, as new as my Profession, and as old as Francis himself. This garment infused in my body, and wraps my soul. I am responsible for carrying my Franciscan vocation until Sister Death, introduces me to Our Lord.

Am I in my Franciscan life like the soldiers, tearing at the garment of my brothers and sisters? Am I trying to pick apart the garment of my community? My Region? My Order?

Do I look at gaining status, or to hold on to status or perceived power? Can I easily let my positions go and find joy in helping others to do the work they are given?

Have I in my Franciscan vocation, worn my garment in humility instead of pride? Do I readily accept the poverty of self, so that my brothers and sisters may grow in their vocation? Do I truly own and take charge of my vocation and spiritual growth and understanding, in order to be better than I was in serving others? Do I push onward towards and through the crosses I am given in my vocation?

Secular Franciscan Way of the Cross – Station 9 – Jesus Falls the Third Time

March 22, 2021

The 9th Station – Jesus falls the third time

M: We love you, O Lord

A: Because by your Holy Cross, and resurrection You have redeemed the world.

M: The Nineth Station – Jesus falls the third time.

“Yahweh guides a man’s steps,

they are sure, and he takes pleasure in his progress,

he may fall, but never fatally,

since Yahweh supports him by the hand. “ ( Psalm 37: 23-24)

A: Help us Lord, to fully live our vocation.

Reflection :

In the first fall, I look at myself in order to know in my heart and be ready to confess where I have fallen in my vocation, where I have not lived , not loved and not cared, and not loved as I should.

In the second fall I look at my brothers and sisters, and their fall, their pain, their woundedness and my response to it.

In this third fall Lord, I look at my own failure to forgive, or to love.

Have I in my vocation failed to love beyond my own pain, beyond my own judgment.

Am I the reason, that one of my brothers or sisters carry the wounds of their sin, or mine ?

Have I not shown the care and concern for my brother or sister, or sought out the opportunity to allow them to feel their own worth as a child of God ?

Did I fail in my vocation to be the Christ-bearer, and allow them to see Jesus and not see me?

Have I allowed them to feel loved and forgiven, even when I did not agree ? In my journey, knowing that I am human, and that I fall and fail, have I not only forgiven my brothers and sisters, but have I forgiven myself ? Knowing that I am imperfect, and that I have flaws that I know, can I love myself, while I strive to love my brothers and sisters as well ?

I must acknowledge that I am weak, carrying my own cross, but Jesus carried His cross, and gave me the example that in my vocation I too can pick up my own cross, and carry it through into God’s glory !In the first fall, I look at myself in order to know in my heart and be ready to confess where I have fallen in my vocation, where I have not lived , not loved and not cared, and not loved as I should.

In the second fall I look at my brothers and sisters, and their fall, their pain, their woundedness and my response to it.

In this third fall Lord, I look at my own failure to forgive, or to love.

Have I in my vocation failed to love beyond my own pain, beyond my own judgment.

Am I the reason, that one of my brothers or sisters carry the wounds of their sin, or mine ?

Have I not shown the care and concern for my brother or sister, or sought out the opportunity to allow them to feel their own worth as a child of God ?

Did I fail in my vocation to be the Christ-bearer, and allow them to see Jesus and not see me?

Have I allowed them to feel loved and forgiven, even when I did not agree ? In my journey, knowing that I am human, and that I fall and fail, have I not only forgiven my brothers and sisters, but have I forgiven myself ? Knowing that I am imperfect, and that I have flaws that I know, can I love myself, while I strive to love my brothers and sisters as well ?

I must acknowledge that I am weak, carrying my own cross, but Jesus carried His cross, and gave me the example that in my vocation I too can pick up my own cross, and carry it through into God’s glory !

Secular Franciscan Way of the Cross – Station 8 – Jesus Meets the Daughters of Jerusalem

March 20, 2021
By Fr. Pfettishem, Pethrus

8th Station – Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem

M: We love you, O Lord

A: Because by your Holy Cross, and resurrection You have redeemed the world.

M: The Eighth Station – Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem

“Large numbers of people followed Him, and of women too who mourned and lamented for Him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘ Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, weep rather for yourselves and for your children. For the days will surely come when people will say. Happy are those who are barren, the wombs that have never borne, the breasts that have never suckled ! Then they will begin to say to the mountain, Fall on us ! , to the hill Cover us ! , for if men use the green wood like this , what will happen when it is dry ?”. Luke 23:27-31)

A: Help us Lord, to fully live our vocation.

Reflection:

In the course of my vocation as a Franciscan, do I lament things that are, and do nothing to change what it ? Will I look back at things that no longer are and cry over the loss wishing not to have had the experience or having been given the opportunity and done nothing ? Do I shrink from the responsibility my vocation gives me finding it easier to pass it on to others ? Have I complained, and not brought solutions to offer ways to solve the challenge ? Am I failing in my vocation to be peacekeeper and bridge builder in either my community or in other areas of my life ? Am I the user of the green wood or of the seasoned wood of Peace ?

Secular Franciscan Way of the Cross – Station 7 – Jesus Falls a Second Time

March 19, 2021
Art from Church of Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Avranches, Manche, Normandie, France. Fourteen enamel paintings, technique from Limoges, representing the Stations of the Cross (from WIkiMedia Commons.)
Art from Church of Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Avranches, Manche, Normandie, France. Fourteen enamel paintings, technique from Limoges, representing the Stations of the Cross (from WIkiMedia Commons.)

M: We love you, O Lord

A: Because by your Holy Cross, and resurrection You have redeemed the world.

M: Jesus falls the second time.

“ It was neither messenger not angel

But His presence that saved them.

In His love and piety

He redeemed them Himself,

He lifted them up, carried them,

Throughout the days of old”    (Psalm 63:9)

A: Help us Lord, to fully live our vocation.

Reflection:

In my vocation, have I loved our brothers and sisters who bear the imprint of the Most High ?

Have we loved our brothers and sisters who are carry the dignity of the children of God ?

Have we seen their brokenness and lifted them up.   Have we given witness to them, and assured them of the love of God ?

Have I in humility recognized my own failing, in the failings of others ?

In bringing Christ to them, did I help them to see that they are more than the sin that wounds them ?

Have I in charity shown them how it is by my example of love to others ?


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