This moment changes everything

The moment of Profession is a specific moment. It doesn’t just happen. It is prepared for and is joyfully anticipated. It is specific, so that we know exactly what is happening and why. It is a moment not to be forgotten, whose impact is transformational and dictates all we do and say from the moment of profession on. Fr. Felice [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Fr. Felice Cangelosi OFM Cap in Profession in the SFO: Gift and Commitment] says that it is the “foundational moment in the identity of the Professed.” This moment changes everything.

~ Fr. Richard Trezza, O.F.M., “Profession and the Secular Franciscan: Theological and Liturgical Foundations” (FUN Manual)

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The people who are supremely free

The world seeks freedom in the accumulation of possessions and power. It forgets that the only people who are truly free are those who have nothing left to lose. Despoiled of everything, detached from everything, they are “free from all men” (1 Corinthians 9:19) and all things. It can be truly said that their death is already behind them, because all their “treasure” is now in God and in him alone. The people who are supremely free desire nothing and are afraid of nothing. All the good that matters to them is already guaranteed them by God. They have nothing to lose and nothing to defend. These are the “poor in spirit” of the Beatitudes, detached, humble, merciful, meek, peacemakers.

~ Fr. Jacques Philippe, Interior Freedom

Living out the promise

You ask how you can live a life of poverty while in the world? Well, if you can let go enough of self so that the life of God may live in you — so that you can truly belong to Him, you will be exercising the highest poverty. You will also be living out the promise of obedience by quieting your own voice enough to be able to hear what the Lord has in store for you.

~ Fr. Richard Trezza, O.F.M., “Profession and the Secular Franciscan: Theological and Liturgical Foundations” (FUN Manual)

Love, and only love

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_dropcap color=”” boxed=”no” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]N[/fusion_dropcap]o circumstance in the world can ever prevent us from believing in God, from placing all our trust in him, from loving him with our whole heart, or from loving our neighbor. Faith, hope, and charity are absolutely free, because if they are rooted in us deeply enough, they are able to draw strength from whatever opposes them! If someone tried to silence our faith by killing us, our deaths would be the best possible proclamation of our faith! Love, and only love, can overcome evil by good and draw good out of evil.

~ Fr. Jacques Philippe, Interior Freedom

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You have two choices

There is no doubt here that Profession will be a sacrifice if it is taken seriously. This means that you willingly allow yourself to be “set aside” — all is now ready for the infusion of God’s grace in order for you to be able to fulfill your Profession promises. You have two choices. Seek and cooperate with those graces, or continue living your life for yourself and squander those graces.

~ Fr. Richard Trezza, O.F.M., “Profession and the Secular Franciscan: Theological and Liturgical Foundations” (FUN Manual)

There is no circumstance

At this point, Cangelosi [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][in Profession in the SFO: Gift and Commitment] makes an astounding statement, “The Brothers and Sisters of Penance are asked to offer, constantly and in all the circumstances of life, the supreme proof of their fidelity to God.” There is no place where the Secular Franciscan is excused from living out the Rule. There is no circumstance where the Secular Franciscan cannot find a way to preach the Gospel by word and deed.

~ Fr. Richard Trezza, O.F.M., “Profession and the Secular Franciscan: Theological and Liturgical Foundations” (FUN Manual)

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Free to more perfectly follow Christ

Contemplation is understood in varied ways, but every perspective views contemplation as an ongoing process. To experience contemplation, Merton tells us that continual divesting of our ego, self-centeredness, and sinfulness is necessary to recognize that in our true poverty we are free to more perfectly follow Christ. This experience of humility beckons an awareness of the poverty and need of those around us. In turn, such a process of ongoing conversion, or contemplation, leads one upward to God and outward toward the rest of humanity.

An essential element

Prayer was so keenly important because it was for Francis the most basic experience and expression of faith. In like manner, prayer as an essential element of our Franciscan way of life puts us in intimate communication with God, puts us in touch with our own identity, and gives us the energy, strength, and determination to live the gospel life more effectively.

~ Benet A. Fonck, OFM, Editor, Called to Follow Christ

The primacy of worship

Article Eight of the rule directs all Secular Franciscans to stress the primacy of worship in their lives – the interior prayer of contemplation as well as the exterior liturgical prayer of the Church. The article also urges Secular Franciscans to have an active participation in the sacramental life of the Church, above all the Eucharist, and in the Liturgy of the Hours. When this article is lived fully, each Secular Franciscan will be a true worshipper, always involved with Christ and conscious of his presence in oneself and in others.

~ Benet A. Fonck, OFM, Editor, Called to Follow Christ