I was looking into the Secular Franciscan Order. I was pretty happy about it and was reading all about Saint Francis. His life and his writings. I still am. But then I read this in this thread post forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=7507301&postcount=16 by Br JR:
The problem is not the rule nor the absence of a habit. The problem are the constitutions of the SFO. Those were not dictated by the pope. Those were written by the delegates to the General Chatper of 2000 and voted on by the membership of the order. In my opinion, those constitutions fail to apply the rule correctly. They confuse secularity with secularism and include an excessive enphasis on secular life of the brothers and sisters and fail to say enough about fidelity to Franciscan tradition and spirituality.
In my ignorance, I had not read the Constitution because I thought it would all be about how to organize and run things and I am not ever going to be running anything, and besides, I was reading Francis. But I went from BrJR's post to the Constitutions and my heart sank. Wait. Where was Francis?
BrJR also said this:
If you read the consitutions of any of the branches of friars, they are very spiritual and very theological. They have very few references to what to do when to do it and why do it. They speak about the spirit of St. Francis and provide an explanation for each point. For example, it speaks about fraternity and then explains what constitutes fraternity and why it was important to our Holy Father.
But...that's what I want...
That post was in the thread about Lay orders having habits. (My thought was, we have Francis as our guide if we want a habit, we just go to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen or poke around under a few bridges until we find a homeless person about our size and gender. Trade with them for one of our good outfits, appropriate to the weather during whatever time of year, maybe with a few bucks we might have accidentally left in a pocket. Take whatever they are wearing, wash and wear that. Every day. I think Francis let people have two outfits.)
Anyway, the SFO seemed, it made me feel sad. Then I found out there are other ways for pursuing the spirit of Saint Francis. Like Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist (up the road from the Franciscan Brothers who came later.) They a have "affiliates." Maybe someday they'll have Franciscan Third Order of the Eucharist.
So I'm feeling a bit lost. Like I was invited to a pot luck and got there and it was a catered dinner with white tie and tails. I just wanted to figure out how to do more of this
· Indeed, I counsel, warn and exhort my friars in the Lord Jesus Christ, that when they go about through the world, they not quarrel nor contend in words (cf. 2 Tim 2:14), nor judge others, · but be mild, peaceable and modest, meek and humble, speaking uprightly to all, as is fitting. ·
and less of everything else. I wanted a more structured prayer practice and some spiritual guidance. I really don't under any circumstances want a habit.
What do we really think as lay people, if our Seraphic Father was posting here, would he want for/of us?