May the Lord give you peace. Prayer and reflecting on the Scriptures ought to be a big part of any serious vocational discernment. Here is a short reflection on Brother Bernard and Brother Peter, two gentlemen of Assisi, who were the first followers of St. Francis.
“They came to him and said quite simply, “From now on we want to stay with you and do what you do. Show us then what we should do with our belongings. “Francis, overjoyed that they’d come and expressed their desire, answered lovingly, “Let’s go and ask the Lord’s advice.”
So they headed for one of the churches of the city and, entering it, fell on their knees and prayed, “Lord God, Father of Glory, we beg you in your mercy to reveal to us what we should do.” Then when they’d finished praying, they said to the priest of the church who’d been standing nearby, “Father, would you open the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ for us?”
The priest then opened the missal for them, since they still couldn’t read too well, and these were the first words they came upon, “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mt 19: 21). Then turning to another page they read, “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mt 16: 24). And turning the pages yet another time, they read, “Take nothing for the journey; neither staff, nor haversack, nor bread, nor money; and do not have a spare tunic” (Lk 9: 3).
On hearing these words they were filled with living joy and said. “This is what we have been longing for, this is what we’ve been looking for!” And the Blessed Francis said, “this will be our Rule.” Then, turning to the two men, he added, “Go then, and put into practice the advice you’ve heard from the Lord.”
Anonymous of Perugia,2
The Rule of the Franciscans, the Rule of the Order of Friars Minor is a Gospel Rule, a Gospel way of life. If you want to know more about it why not get in contact with me at [email protected]
This week-end I’m at our novitiate house in Ennis, Co Clare, with a man who is experiencing our way of life. He’s one of a number presently discerning with me. Keep him and indeed all those discerning in your prayers.
God bless you.