By virtue of this profession, the Rule and the General Constitutions must represent for each of you the point of reference for daily living, based on your explicit vocation and special identity (cf. Promulgation of the General Constitutions of the SFO). If you are truly driven by the Spirit to reach the perfection of charity in your secular state, “it would be a contradiction to settle for a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and a shallow religiosity” (Novo Millennio ineunte, n. 31).
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
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.
At this point, Cangelosi
Profession in the Secular Franciscan Order, as a promise to live the gospel in the manner of St Francis, aims to put before us the radical, light-filled and joyful style in which Francis listens to the gospel and commits himself to live it.
If I pause to think about it, such a declaration is enough to take my breath away. In consecrating ourselves “to service in His Kingdom,” we change our relationship to God’s infinite and eternal creation, which in itself is something that is always changing, always new, always becoming. We are no longer simply along for the ride, as it were. We can no longer live our lives as we have, focused solely on ourselves and our families and our careers and the countless irritations that make up modern life. In making our formal and public professions, we declare that Christ is the center of our lives, the balance point, the focus, the prime mover–our “All.” In consecrating our lives, we make Christ, as He is revealed in the gospels, the measure of all that we do.
Day in and day out, both when convenient and inconvenient, in good times and in bad – the Professed Secular Franciscan is to place him/herself at God’s disposal.
Those to be professed in the SFO should realize that from now on they will belong to a special family within the Church, which will entail not only rights but also obligations and responsibilities. Once again, directors of formation and members of local councils, all agents of formation, should make sure that candidates for the Professed life understand what those obligations and responsibilities are.
Right from the beginning, we are to convince ourselves of the truth of the fact that this entire idea about vocation to and profession in the SFO is something driven by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we approach these realities as if everything depended on us… our knowledge, our input, our time and talent. We miss the point if we do not allow the Spirit to breathe throughout our deliberations and reflections. God gives the call and through the Spirit will see it through if it is meant to be.
Profession in the Secular Franciscan Order commits a person to study in the school of Christ, who is “the book of Wisdom, written from within the heart of the Father, since He is the art of almighty God; it was written externally, when it became flesh” (St. Bonaventure).