Franciscan Focus

Just a simple blog of a Secular Franciscan trying to live with a Franciscan focus.
(And one of these days I'll fix the template and add a Search feature. :-P)

16 November 2011

Messengers of perfect joy 

Joy and hope
"As the Father sees in every person the features of his Son, the firstborn of many brothers and sisters, so the Secular Franciscans with a gentle and courteous spirit accept all people as a gift of the Lord and an image of Christ." (Article 13, SFO Rule)

"Messengers of perfect joy in every circumstance,* [Secular Franciscans] should strive to bring joy and hope to others." (Article 19, SFO Rule)

In relation to my earlier social networking rules of conduct (which, btw, I also follow offline), I've been thinking a lot about these two articles of the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order.

Have you noticed how downright argumentative, cranky, pissy, sanctimonious, and snarky folks can be -- this includes Catholics -- online (and off)? And over the dumbest, slightest things as well as the big stuff? Doesn't seem to me that behaving that way will foster "a more fraternal and evangelical world so that the kingdom of God may be brought about more effectively." (Art. 14) Before you start wavin' and hollerin', I'm totally including myself in in this indictment -- as an Über-Emotional Mushball,** I am way too easily prone to that kind of crapulence. So, I've got to work extra-hard to overcome it.

Enter Articles 13 & 19.

I figure if I can consistently treat others gently and courteously, and bring folks joy and hope, I can 1) however smallishly, offset the above snarky milieu, and 2) fight it in myself, which -- bonus! -- leads to 3) more effectively living out the other 24 articles of the Rule.***

I figure that's a win all 'round.

So, what about you? How do you bring joy and hope to others?

- - - - -
* Every circumstance? Every? O_o No wiggle room there. But then, there's no wiggle room in the Gospel, so I really shouldn't expect any in our Rule.

** Just ask Husband Mike. Poor, poor Husband Mike. (He does have the presence of mind to offer it up, so at least the Holy Souls in Purgatory get a win out of my Emotional Mushballitude.)

*** It's also part of the "love your neighbor as yourself" thing.

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Blogger Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

Good words to live by. I can be way too snarky...I need to keep this around as a reminder!

17 November, 2011 17:30  
Blogger Angela Pea said...

Sadly, I too, am incredibly snarky. I seriously need to work harder on suppressing it!

21 November, 2011 13:53  
Blogger Lisa, ofs said...

Barb & Angela: Glad to know I'm not alone in my struggle to beat down the snarkitude! I think I'm making some progress, but it's like a continual game of whack-a-mole!

21 November, 2011 18:38  

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