.. we do not “do” acts of peace and justice as much as our lifestyle itself is peace and justice.
.. By “living on the edge of the inside” I mean building on the solid Tradition (“from the inside”) but doing it from a new and creative stance where you cannot be co-opted (“on the edge”) for purposes of security, possessions, or the illusions of power.
.. Evil tends to hide even more in systems and institutions than in individuals.
.. This approach guards against the most common criticism of religion in general and social-justice work in particular, which, frankly, has tended to produce many negative, oppositional, and judgmental people—from reactionary conservatives to limousine liberals.
Both Francis and Clare let go of all fear of suffering, all need for power, prestige, and possessions, and the need for their small self to be important. They came to know something essential—who they really were in God and thus who they really were.
.. Francis did not wish for himself or his followers to be priests, to take higher places on the Church’s hierarchical ladder of education, prestige, and power.
These hallmarks of the Secular Franciscan Order (from the formation manual For Up To Now) can be claimed and practiced by anyone:
- Simplicity (A spirituality that is genuine; without pretense)
- Poverty (Love of Gospel poverty develops confidence in the Father and creates internal freedom)
- Humility (The truth of what and who we really are in the eyes of God; freedom from pride and arrogance)
- A genuine sense of minority (The recognition that we are servants, not superior to anyone)
- A complete and active abandonment to God (Trusting in God’s unconditional love)
- Conversion (Daily we begin again the process of changing to be more like Jesus)
- Transformation (What God does for us, when we are open and willing)
- Peacemaking (We are messengers of peace as Francis was)