The Fall brings with it a season of change. In many parts of the country, the leaves turn color before they fall to the ground, providing all sorts of crunchy sensations as we shuffle through them on the sidewalk. The natural world is resplendent with cycles of becoming quiet and in some ways ‘dying to self’ in the Fall and bursting out with new life in the Spring.
As Secular Franciscans, we are called to be brothers and sisters of Penance. What kind of Penance? What does this even mean? Penance and be several different things: it can be related to self-control, perhaps giving something desirable up for Lent (self-discipline), it can be repairing damage that we ourselves have caused (Christian atonement), it can be the total turning to God out of faith, sorrow, or love, that becomes a way of life (Conversion). All of these sorts of Penance can be experienced in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Let’s talk about Conversion. In the book ‘To Live as Francis Lived, A Guide for Secular Franciscans’ by Leonard Foley OFM, et al:
Let us embrace this Season of Change and turn our lives to God. Let us look at the spiritual life with ‘new eyes’ and willingness to see situations from new perspectives – and to learn from that. In this time of such great cultural consternation, let us be open to Conversion. As Fall comes with shorter days and longer nights, I ask that we each be a channel of God’s Light in the figurative darkness. And I pray that we each receive the gift of ‘Illumination’ – to see the world and each other not through our eyes – but through the eyes of God.
Pace e Bene +
Laura OFS, Minister
Secular Franciscan Order
Old Mission San Luis Rey
4050 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92057
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