Today’s Mass was presided over by Friar Michael ZIELKE, the Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Bonaventure in the USA.
Friar Jude focused his homily on the words of St. Paul the Apostle in the Second Letter to the Corinthians: “The letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life.” The law of Israel was abandoned because the demographics of the Christians changed, first from Judaism and then from paganism. At the same time, our Order is also changing its demographics; from our older presences in the West to other continents where new Jurisdictions are developing. Therefore, we must pass on our charism so that it may be incarnated in different ways and not pretend that what we do here, can be repeated over there.
Congratulations went to Friar Antoni PAZHETSKI, the Provincial Delegate in Belarus, on his 42nd birthday.
Today the Ratio Studiorum was presented by Friars Louis PANTHIRUVELIL and Franklin Antonio DURÁN ZAMBRANO; The Ratio Studiorum aims at providing guidelines for a renewed way of Franciscan thinking and living. The first chapter deals with the intellectual formation of the friars. The second chapter covers the areas of study in various formation stages. The third chapter is about the protagonists of intellectual formation. Finally, the fourth chapter examines the structures and means used for studies.
The morning ended with a meeting with representatives from the other Franciscan families. Those attending included Friar Julio César BUNADER, OFM, Vicar General of the Friars Minor; Friar Roberto GENUIN, OFM Cap., Minister General of the Capuchins; and Mr. Tibor KAUSER, General Minister of the Secular Franciscans. The Minister General of the Third Order Regular (TOR) was absent because of an audience with Pope Francis. The participants enjoyed getting to know each other, discussing their ongoing collaborative initiatives and proposing ideas for the future.
Resuming their work in the afternoon, the Capitulars discussed and voted on an alternative text for Motion No. 12. Motion No. 12 concerns the “taxatio ordinis” which must take into account friars in irregular situations. After some necessary clarifications by the Canonical Commission, the Capitulars approved the Motion.
Then a iuxta modum was presented on second part of Motion No. 12, which establishes the “Fraternal Solidarity Fund”. The approved text clarified the procedures for setting up the new fund and its purposes.
The Capitulars moved on to some juxta modi for Motion No. 15 which relates to the charism of the Order. A subtitle was added to the Motion: “New Wineskins for New Wine” and the aims which should characterize new communities and experiences in the Order were clarified.
Finally, Motion No. 16 was presented. It concerns the financing of missionary projects. This text will be reviewed by the Steering Committee and be voted on in the coming days.
Friar Aurelio ERCOLI, Chronicler
In our first reading, St. Paul talks about the difference between the word of God written on stone, the old covenant, and the word written on hearts, the new covenant. Even the old covenant had a certain glory for Moses’ face glowed when he encounted God. But the new covenant is so much more glorious.
As at this chapter, we can say that we have written fine documents, established good laws, made wise plans for the future. Every institution must do this to survive. But have we written on stone or our hearts?
As we prepared to leave Nemi last year, I spoke of how important it was as to how we communicate our decisions to the friars. If we make it clear that there are external rules that someone else passed, then they will clearly hear that they don’t have to take these things too seriously. But if we speak of them as decisions that can make a difference, that can help us to be better friars, they will hear that as well. Will they sense that we have written them on our hearts?