CFP and BSP are private associations of Catholics. And to answer the BIG question that popped into your mind, but which you were reluctant to ask…no, we do NOT use the cilice or discipline.
Next big difference: our penance is private. Whilst family and close friends may know about it: casual fruiends, co-workers, and other people in non-Catholic situations should not. Thus we avoid spiritual pride. Penance done to impress others is its own reward.
Likewise, our spiritual and corporal works of mercy are done individually. Whatever you and your spiritual director agree upon as suitable for your situation in life. In my case, it is “ransoming the prisoners”…my AA work to ransom those held in captivity by alcohol and drugs.
Essentially, CFP and BSP are for those who need help in living a more spiritual life. Who need guidelines and rules to follow. St. Francis created the original third order and its rule of 1221 precisely for those who wanted conversion, but were unsure how to go about it. Me, for example:thumbsup: