Message from our Regional Minister: Bob Longo, OFS
August 15, 2018
Be solicitous to make your call and election permanent, surely those who do so will never be lost. – 2 Peter 1:10
Sisters and Brothers in Francis and Clare, may the Lord give you His peace!
On June 29th to July 1st our region held its Chapter of Mats at Priest Field, West Virginia. The chapter was devoted to the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of our Rule along with a weekend of fun with a scavenger hunt and an evening of Franciscan Jeopardy. According to the evaluation forms filled out by those who attended, the weekend Chapter was a time of learning, laughter and Franciscan fellowship.
During the Chapter weekend, several topics on our Rule were presented, my presentation topic “Praying the Rule”. You must be asking yourself, how do I “Pray the Rule”? First, we must define what prayer is:
- a devout petition to God
- a spiritual communion with God
- a personal, intimate relationship with God
- a line of communication between God and man
- a thought and an action
- the act or practice of praying
Through much prayer and meditation, I came up with some definitions in what “Praying the Rule” means to me. Please see below:
- “Praying the Rule” is an act of humility before God
- “Praying the Rule” supports the very foundation on which our Rule is built
- “Praying the Rule” holds us accountable to the Rule, our Franciscan way of life
- “Praying the Rule”, we become the Rule
- “Praying the Rule” creates our Franciscan identity in a confused and depraved world
- “Praying the Rule” produces food for the journey
- “Praying the Rule” allows us to stand out as being different and helps us to be better caretakers of God’s daily new creations
- “Praying the Rule” unites us in communion with our sisters and brothers and all of God’s creation
- “Praying the Rule” sets us free from a stressful world and takes us beyond the mundane
- “Praying the Rule” gives us the freedom to be Christ to others
- “Praying the Rule” gives us inner peace and a restful heart
I like to think of “Praying” and “Rule” as two people dancing the waltz in the moonlight, moving together in concert with each other. “Praying the Rule” leads us in concert with all of God’s creation.
Our Rule calls us to become a living Gospel for each other, “going from gospel to life and life to gospel”. Now let us live our Rule with prayer as our guide.
I would like to leave you with a few thoughts for meditation:
- Rule 8 – “As Jesus was the true worshipper of the Father, so let prayer and contemplation be the soul of all they are and do.” Are we actively “Praying the Rule”?
- Prayer for our Spiritual Journey requires action. How do I respond?
- By living our Rule, we spiritually strengthen our sisters and brothers. How do I participate?
- Do I believe “Praying the Rule” helps me better understand the Rule and its purpose?
- Is the Rule easier to live when I have a good prayer life?
- Am I living the Rule or am I just reading the words of the Rule?
- How do “I” pray the Rule?
Your Franciscan brother in Christ,
Bob Longo, OFS
Regional Minister of St. Margaret of Cortona Region