Reverence and respect for nature is a Franciscan perspective that is part of our lives, As good stewards, we choose to find ways to protect nature’s resources so they are available to all people – and to the children of future generations. Wherever we work and live we promote healthy responsibility and concern for earth’s resources. To do otherwise would make us poor stewards. This perspective may not always be popular, but it is part of our identity as Franciscans. Once again we look to things that concern the common good and not exploitation for personal gain.
Detachment from things presumes that there are things to detach from. One way to learn detachment is to recognize how fragile things are. One fire, or flood, or tornado, or hurricane, or lightening strike and “things” are gone. The greater our attachment, the greater our grief. To be free of attachment to material things (even while we use them) means we are free to move on without being owned by them. Detachment is a gift that frees us from dominance by “things” in our lives. Detachment brings the gift of freedom. We are stewards, responsible for our use of material things but not possessed by them.
~ Lester Bach, OFM Cap, The Franciscan Journey: Embracing the Franciscan Vision
Secular Franciscans should pledge themselves to reduce their own personal needs so as to be better able to share spiritual and material goods with their brothers and sisters, especially those most in need. They should give thanks to God for the goods they have received, using them as good stewards and not as owners.
They should take a firm position against consumerism and against ideologies and practices which prefer riches over human and religious values and which permit the exploitation of the human person.
~ General Constitutions of the Secular Franciscan Order (Article 15)
The identity of the Secular Franciscan is rooted in our secularity. St. Francis brought the practice of gospel life out of the monasteries into the world of the family and society. This was, indeed, very good. Deeply spiritual and generous men and women, who could not abandon family responsibilities, now had a way to follow the Lord in the manner of St. Francis.
The Rule identifies the world as the place where the brothers and the sisters, led by the Spirit, strive for perfect charity, in [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”][our] own secular state. The world is our home and our mission field, and we are stewards of its resources and responsible for its care.
~ Anne Mulqueen, SFO, “Our Identity as a Secular Franciscan” (Chapter 8 of the FUN Manual)[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]