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“How Should an Order like the OFS be managed at all levels?"

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

SOME REFLECTIONS FROM OFS LEGISLATION

Fr John Cooper OFM Cap –National Spiritual Assistant OFS-Australia

When Saint Francis recognised that, among the friars there was a problem in exercising authority in the Order, he turned towards the model of a family rather than to the power of hierarchy. Yes, the Order would have to abide by Canon Law and would have to use Canon Law structures as an Order within the Catholic Church, but Saint Francis had a new vision based on the Gospel life, and he refused to accept the Rule of Saint Benedict or Saint Augustine. [1] He did not wish his Order to follow the community structures of the monks, but rather the evangelical, itinerant life of Jesus and the Apostles. He said he was called to live in “simplicity and humility” that the Lord wanted him to be a fool in this world.[2] His Order ultimately became a new family in the Church. The word “family” here is not just a description. It is a spirituality of relationship.

TO READ THE REST OF THE DOCUMENT, PLEASE DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE



[1] Legend of Perugia 114 “I do not wish you to quote any other Rule to me, whether that of Saint Benedict, or Saint Augustine or Saint Bernard, or to recommend any other form of life except this way which God in His mercy has revealed and given to me. The Lord has told me that he wanted to make a new fool of me in the world, and God does not want to lead us by any other knowledge than that.” See also the Mirror of Perfection 68. “My Brothers! my Brothers! God has called me by the way of simplicity and humility, and has revealed this way for me and for all who are willing to trust and follow me.”

[2] 1Corinthians 4:10 “Here we are fools for the sake of Christ…”



 

    

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