I’ve been discerning the Franciscans for quite a while, and even though it will be a few years before I can join any Order, I already consider myself Franciscan. I’ve always loved Franciscans, and they have always been my favorite Order. Their great, humorous, and sarcastic attitudes, along with their way of life and the Rule of Saint Francis are things that I love most about them (And don’t forget that awesome Habit!). Even though I’m not sure yet, I still consider myself a Franciscan at heart, and I even refer to Saint Francis as “Father Francis”. Is this weird?
No I don’t think it weird; following the rules of the Franiciscan order should be a good way to live your life. However, wearing the habit before you join could be considered a bit strange; I would consider it akin to wearing a military uniform when you were not in the service. Not weird, just wrong.
The only way I would think this is weird is if you think of yourself as Franciscan without having any contact or truly knowing how Franciscans live.
You may be drawn to the spirituality of the Franciscans but are you also drawn to the life?
I now you are discerning, so this should be taken up with your spiritual director (everyone discerning a vocation to the priesthood/religious life need a spiritual director) and should have contact with those groups they find an interest in.
So my question would be, are you in contact with any Franciscan group?
note: I know you have reasons why you are not under the direct care of a spiritual director but keep in my my responses in this thread are not just for the original poster that I am replying to but are also for everyone who may read this thread.
It depends. How many heretics have you denounced when playing Medieval Total War? ;)
As long as you don’t cross the line from considering yourself a Franciscan at heart to considering yourself an actual Franciscan, you should be fine.
That’s a great way to make the distinction.
A Franciscan at heart, or any such spirituality (like what I follow, Carmeltie) at heart.
This would be someone who follows the spirituality and tries to live it out in their state in life.
actual Franciscan (or for me actual Carmelite).
This would be someone who is formally attached (to a secular order or to the actual Order in question) to the Order.
So in my case I am a Carmelite at heart because I am following and attempting to live Carmelite spirituality in my state in life (a religious brother under vows) and I am an actual Carmelite as I am attached to the Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a consecrated religious.
If you’re weird then so am I.
I watched the 14 part EWTN series on Ignatian spiritually titled “Discernment of Spirits” and really absorbed it. Wish I’d been taught the techniques 30 years ago in Catechism.
I have a Franciscan friend that I am in contact with. His name is Brother Conrad of the Franciscan Brothers of Peace (brothersofpeace.org/). I am also in contact with a handful of some other Franciscan communities.
I feel drawn to the life, yes. Especially the life of the Franciscan Brothers of Peace. Their life is difficult, but since they are Franciscan Friars their life isn’t as extreme as Monastic lifestyles, in which I’m almost certain I could never form myself to. You can see the Brothers’ Horarium here: brothersofpeace.org/our-life/our-horarium.html
I am under the direct care of a spiritual director technically speaking, but he’s a very busy Priest so we can’t meet up too often. I’m thinking of getting another one, if it is permissible to have two.
At least fifty, but you have to include witches as well. It always ticks me off when they convert one of my Priests, or, even worst, one of my Bishops or Cardinals.
It’s not all that weird. I’m too young to join any order, too, but I kind of already consider the Lord the Spouse of my soul. If you seriously feel drawn to the Franciscan way of life, there’s no problem in considering yourself a part of it! Just so long as you don’t start hearing people’s confessions ^^. I agree with others that as long as you don’t see yourself as a full-fledge Franciscan its okay.
P.S. I know some Franciscan sisters and they are AWESOME so if that is what God calls you to, then that is really awesome!
That’s not weird, that’s awesome. I just looked at your age and I’m not too older than you and I think’s that great And even if it was weird, being normal is boring.
God bless :byzsoc:
If you actually call yourself a Franciscan and tell others that you are, that is wierd. Like if I told people that I was Catholic even though I’m not, that’s lying and called sinning.
However, you could say that you are Franciscan at heart, kind of like I am Catholic at heart.
Though if we follow this route, I could say I’m Jesuit at heart since I like their understanding of free will and grace (Congruism).
Well, you are Catholic in a way, because as Saint Josemaria Escriva said, you are baptized by will, and when you get baptized you will be officially baptized.
Well, I’m baptised (Lutheran), but because I’m Lutheran, I’m in an imperfect communion with the Church.
Joe, Swiss Guy, and Brother David all raise great points. I find myself in a similar position; the priest I am supposed to meet with to discuss beginning my formation hasn’t got back to me yet (he runs a school so he’s very busy). Until the ball gets rolling then, I’m a “Dominican at heart”, and Dominic is my patron. I call him my father (or Holy Father, because the man is quite holy) currently not because I’m an official Dominican, but because I haven’t talked to my biological father in over twenty years, and I have had Dominic take over that role in my life. To me, he’s an actual father figure so I refer to him as my father or as holy father in a specific paternal sense.
I’m not even sure if that’s permitted, so really it’s up in the air.
As in a lot of things, it’s all about the heart and the context.
I don’t believe that’s wrong. This Priest is a Father figure for you, and he has taken that role for you, so you consider him to be your Father. As long as you love and respect your real father and don’t disown him, than this is completely fine, as far as I know. It’s very cool that you know a Dominican Priest, though. I’m discerning the Dominicans right now, as I am very drawn towards their way of life and of preaching. I’ll be honest, though, what first caught my attention was the really cool capes.
I acknowledge my father as being my biological father, and I have forgiven him. But unless God gives me clear direction, I am not going to reconcile with my father. We are all called to forgive, but we are only called to reconcile to God. There are some people in life whom you’ll just have to cut ties with, forgive them, and move on without ever talking to them again. This is one such time…
A word of caution; I spent five years thinking I was on the path to the Secular Franciscans. After doing some reading about Dominican spirituality and giving it some discernment, I began to struggle with knowing which one I was called to. Brother JR of these boards played a big role in helping me find the differences between the two orders. Meeting with the head of the local Dominican run school (and the priory) sealed the deal (I just need to meet with him again to get things started).
I posted my journey here; forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=579445
As you can guess from a future Lay Dominican, it’s very lengthy
It’s certainly not weird, especially at a young age. Same as identifying with a profession before you’ve earned your degree. Similar to how I think of myself as a priest, although I only refer to that share in the priesthood that all baptized believers share. Go ahead and enjoy your identification with St. Francis and his followers.
I’ll give you a tip: Build a theologians guild in your city with the biggest Church, and churn out an army of fanatically pious Bishops. Heretics stand no chance. :D:p
The heretics shall burn to the stake by my mighty army of pious Bishops, Cardinals, and Priests!