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.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

St. Francis - Admonition 11

At our Secular Franciscan meeting Friday, we talked about the Admonitions of St. Francis.

We are reading the versions in Francis and Clare: The Complete Works. Someone brought in the The Omnibus of Sources, and that has a slightly different translation, and I went online and found still more.

The points remain the same, but some of the translations make them clearer.

Part of our discussion was which of the Admonitions struck us individually. I could have cited several, but Number 11 hit home. (Below is an online version.)

11. That one must not be seduced by Bad Example.

To the servant of God nothing should be displeasing save sin. And no matter in what way any one may sin, if the servant of God is troubled or angered—except this be through charity—he treasures up guilt to himself. The servant of God who does not trouble himself or get angry about anything lives uprightly and without sin. And blessed is he who keeps nothing for himself, rendering "to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's and to God the things that are God's."

The point that struck me was about being troubled and angered over the sin of another except through charity. Such noncharitable anger "treasures up guilt" ("drawing blame" according to the Omnibus, and "stores up guilt" according to Francis and Clare.)

I am prone to that failing. (I am prone to failure in connection with many of the Admonitions!) I grow too easily angry at perceived faults in others, sometimes missing the even greater faults in me.

Marty (group leader) recommended that instead of reading further in the book, we use the Admonitions for meditations during Lent. I have much to meditate over.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Brother Charles said...

The Admonitions are a real treasure, and not read or proclaimed enough.

In this one I love the sense that anger and annoyance are a sin against holy poverty; they make us focus on ourselves. It reminds of the line in St. Bonaventure's life of Francis where he says that nobody is poor if he holds on to the "money bag of his own opinions."

Pax et bonum and happy Lent!

4:11 PM  
Blogger Barb, sfo said...

I need to get my hands on this.

8:59 PM  

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