View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

First Secular Franciscan Order meeting

I attended my first meeting of one of the Secular Franciscan Order groups last night.

This group - the Glory of Yahweh - meets twice a month at Mt. Carmel House, a hospice. One meeting is a prayer meeting, the other is devoted to ongoing formation. Last night's meeting was the monthly prayer meeting.

It began with music and singing, with each song followed by spontaneous prayer that reminded me of Charismatic Renewal services I used to attend years ago. After the meeting I asked some of the members, and sure enough a number of the people had been Charismatics, and the group had grown out of that movement.

The meeting continued with some readings from the Bible or Franciscan documents, and shared reflections.

It concluded with prayers.

There was much that was familiar. The Charismatic style of prayer, for example. And most of the people seemed to be in my age range or older, so there's a shared Church history and experience.

And it's ironic that the group meets at Mt. Carmel, a place I have supported financially for years. I learned that they used to meet at St. Theodore's, but left during a time of change at the parish - a time when the Good-Looking-One and I also left the parish for a while because we were not happy with some of the things going on (we have returned).

Interesting. I have much to think about. I may attend a few more meetings as a visitor before deciding whether to commit. If I do commit, the formation process would take about two years - 2010. And it would involve a real commitment of time. But then, it is a vocation.

Is it a vocation for me? With the priesthood and the diaconate closed to me it is certainly a possible one for me as a layman. And I've always had a devotion to St. Francis, whom I consider my patron saint (I am Lee Francis, after all). I do need spiritual growth, and this is one path to help with that.

I have some praying to do.



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