I follow a daily blog written by Richard Rohr, O.F.M., a Franciscan friar ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church in 1970. Currently he directs The Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. www.cac.org
On May 22 of this year he highlighted the following hallmarks of the Secular Franciscan Order, based on the rule of St. Francis, which to me, if one lives by them, would experience true freedom in Christ. This is what I aspire to—and I find I must make a daily recommitment to put the Gospel first in everything I think, say, and do.
During the month of July, when our country focuses on the freedom we enjoy because of those who put their lives on the line to ensure it, perhaps it is a good time to consider practicing the following spiritual principles to ensure our spiritual and emotional freedom, as well.
- Simplicity: “There is no pretense in the Franciscan Spirituality. We who live by the Rule of St. Francis strive to be the genuine article, that is, people who do not care much for fame or wealth–people who live in simplicity.”
- Poverty: “Love of Gospel poverty develops confidence in the Father and creates internal freedom.”
- Humility: “The truth of what and who we really are in the eyes of God; freedom from pride and arrogance.”
- A genuine sense of minority: “The recognition that we are servants, not superior to anyone.”
- A complete and active abandonment to God: “Trusting in God’s unconditional love.”
- Conversion: “Daily we begin again the process of changing to be more like Jesus.”
- Transformation: “What God does for us, when we are open and willing.”
- Peacemaking: “We are messengers of peace as Francis was.”
Oh to live such a life-style on a consistent basis. I’m going to make it a priority. Would you like to do so, as well?