Franciscan Focus

Just a simple blog of a Secular Franciscan trying to live life with a Franciscan focus.

12 November 2007

A brief reflection on "fraternity" 

As part of my fraternity's monthly gathering, the professed brothers and sisters participate in Ongoing Formation. The way each fraternity handles Ongoing Formation varies; ours involves reading a chapter in a formation textbook, then discussing one of the associated questions for reflection.

This month's question was, "What does 'fraternity' mean to you?"

For me, it means being part of a bonus "Domestic Church" -- just as the family is the basic unit of society, the fraternity "becomes the basic unit of the whole Order and a visible sign of the Church, the community of love. This should be the privileged place for developing a sense of Church and the Franciscan vocation and for enlivening the apostolic life of its members." (Rule, Article 22) In other words, it's family, second only to my blood/marriage one.

And since we're family, that's how I refer to my fellow seculars. For example, when speaking about my Franciscan brothers or sisters, I don't say, "I'm going to Mass tomorrow with a friend." "Friend" doesn't do the relationship justice -- it just doesn't quite fit. Something's lacking and imprecise. When I first entered the Order, I tried that and the word always felt wrong, somehow.

Instead, I'll say, "I'm going to Mass tomorrow with one of my Franciscan sisters." Because that's the truth of it. And the beauty.

Hey, I said this was brief.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Bego said...

very nicely done, Lisa.

now, if you would just play your move.

13 November, 2007 08:24  

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