Today’s Mass was celebrated at 7:15 a.m. at the Sanctuary of Merciful Love in Collevalenza, Italy. The presider was the new Vicar General, Friar Jan MACIEJOWSKI.
During his homily, Friar Jude asked the Capitulars to make an examination of conscience. A friar should always evaluate his motives before defending his opinions, before placing his own idea in opposition to that of his brother. Only the Holy Spirit is the whole truth.
Best wishes went to Friar Gabriel SINGARIMBUN for having turned forty today, to Friar Robert LEŻOHUPSKI for his fifteen years of priesthood and Friar Jarosław ZACHARIASZ for his twenty years of priesthood.
The work of the Chapter started with each Coetus having a meeting. Then the Capitulars met in the Aula to discuss proposals for making changes to the Directory for the Celebration of the Ordinary General Chapter. These proposals were presented by the Foederatio Europae Mediae et Orientalis (FEMO) and the Conventual Franciscan Federation (CFF). On behalf of the Canonical Commission, the General Procurator of the Order, Friar Maurizio DI PAOLO, presented the proposed changes, grouped according to the numbers in the Directory.
In short, the proposals were substantially approved by the Capitulars. The changes that were made ensured that all lawfully-received iuxta modum would always be presented and discussed in the classroom.
In the afternoon, the Capitulars began to discuss and vote on the General Statutes. The first chapter of the General Statutes concerns the “Name and Structure of the Order”. The discussion became particularly lively at No. 3 where it was decided that Provinces which have less than forty solemnly professed friars, or less than five friaries, over two consecutive four-year periods, shall automatically enter into a transitional phase. Moreover, the Minister General with his Definitory shall proceed to the revitalization of these Jurisdictions or to their legal redefinition.
Another vote concerned some articles in the second chapter, entitled “The Life of Union with God”. Then, the Capitulars moved on to the third chapter, “Fraternal Life in Communion”. Attention was focused on the norms concerning the life of our friaries; in particular, the approved regulations on the friars’ duties concerning the administration of spiritual and material goods.
After resolving some technical difficulties with the voting apparatus, the voting proceeded easily, so much so, that more than fifty instances of voting were accomplished.
Friar Aurelio ERCOLI, Chronicler
In the Gospel today, another passage taken from the Last Supper Discourse in the Gospel of John, Jesus promises his disciples that the Spirit would guide them in all the truth. How can we know what is true? How can we know that what we are saying is truly in the Spirit?
This requires a purification of motivations. We have to honest with ourselves to clarify why we are holding a certain position and fighting for it. Is it because it is important, or is it a manifestation of my personal or cultural background? Is it something St. Francis would have said and lived? Am I expressing it in a way that is respectful or am I being aggressive? Am I willing to listen to the friar who holds a different opinion on the same matter and learn from him?
These are all questions that we should be asking as we begin to examine the General Statutes. We have to remember that this work is not a question of winning or losing, but of discerning what the Spirit of Truth is trying to speak within our hearts.