Above: San Damiano Crucifix

Above: The Portiuncola

Confraternity of Penitents Newsletter

August 2017

VISITOR’S VISION: INDULGENCE – SHARING IN THE CHURCH’S SPIRITUAL TREASURY 

On the 2nd of August this year, the Confraternity of Penitents, Third Order of Franciscans, will host the first Portziuncola plenary indulgence in the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese. When the parish bulletin carried the information about the event, a couple of my parishioners asked me what it meant, for they have never heard about the Portziuncola Indulgence before now. Well, I must admit that I did not know about this Indulgence until the Minister General of the Confraternity brought up the event for discussion with me, as the CFP Visitor. In any case, because the event is coming up in the month of August, I felt that it will be worthwhile to reflect in this month’s article, on the doctrine and practice of indulgences in general, according to the understanding to of the Church, and to share some information about the Portziuncola Plenary Indulgence, as I have come to understand it. The logic here is that keeping silent about some of the doctrines and traditional practices of our faith may actually constitute a disservice to souls seriously searching for meaning and healing, in their relationship with God and the Church. Now, let us first look at the doctrine of indulgence as generally understood and practiced in the Church. 

Immediately, we recall that the Catechism of the Catholic Church, taking from the 1st Norm of the Apostolic Constitution, Indulgentiarum doctrina of Pope Paul VI (January 1, 1967), answers that “indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.” (see CCC, n.1471). As it is, this teaching is placed under the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, which with the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, belong to the Church’s sacraments of healing.

Thus, since the Church’s sacraments of healing are about the Church members’ spiritual sickness more than their physical sickness, we can then see that the discipline of indulgence deals with the question of sin and its consequences. Meanwhile, we recall that sin has a double consequence – the eternal punishment of sin and the temporal punishment of sin. As the Catechism explains: “Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the ‘eternal punishment’ of sin. On the other hand, every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the ‘temporal punishment’ of sin.” (CCC, n.1472).

In other words, there is a purification for the ‘temporal punishment’ of sin that follows our venial sins as well as the ‘temporal punishment’ of sin that follows an already remitted grave sin, since “the forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains.” (CCC, n.1473). These temporal punishments of sins can be purified here on earth or at purgatory by one’s penance, but they can also be purified through the merits of Christ’s suffering and death, as well as the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints, as administered by the mystical body of Christ (the Church).

This is where the doctrine and practice of indulgence has its basis; for gaining indulgence means being purified through the ‘spiritual deposit’ of the merits of the works of mercy and charity, and from the prayers and the various practices of penance, the Christian undertakes and accepts in life. It also means being purified through the ‘spiritual deposit of merits’ that also comes from the merits of the holy lives of the saints. In other words, because "the life of each of God's children is joined in Christ and through Christ in a wonderful way to the life of all the other Christian brethren in the supernatural unity of the Mystical Body of Christ, as in a single mystical person” (Indulgentiarum doctrina, norm 5; see also Eph 4:16), the merits of one’s holiness benefits the others, just as the evil of one’s sins affects the others.

Thus, through the mystical body of Christ (the Church), the merits deposited in the spiritual treasury of the Church are granted to Christians after they have fulfilled the set down stipulations, to effect or bring about the purification of the temporal effects of sin. In other words, the practice of indulgence is the sharing by all Christ’s faithful, since indulgence is applied on behalf of both the living and the dead in purgatory (Indulgentiarum Doctrina, Norm 3), of the content of the Church’s spiritual treasury, which contains the merits of Christ's death, and those of the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints. 

And as it is, the Apostolic Constitution Indulgentiarum doctrina, which has five chapters, has a section on norms governing the discipline of indulgence and another section on transitional norms concerning the same discipline, equally noted that the practice of indulgence originated in revelation and scripture and had been a practice of the Church for many centuries. Thus, we read: “The doctrine and practice of indulgences, which have been in force for many centuries in the Catholic Church, have a solid foundation in divine revelation, which comes from the Apostles and ‘develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit,’ while ‘as the centuries succeed one another the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her.’” (Indulgentiarum Doctrina, n.1). 

Now, this leads us to the Portziuncola Plenary Indulgence. So specifically, on the Portziuncola Indulgence, we begin by noting that it took its name from the chapel where St Francis lived, which today is found within the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels, built in Assisi between 1569 -1679. For much of his life, St. Francis lived near the little Portziuncola chapel, which originally belonged to the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Mount Subasio. It remained for a long time in abandonment, and it was one of the churches restored by St. Francis about 1207 – 1209, when he returned to Assisi after a failed military career. Here at the Portziuncola, St. Francis gathered his monks yearly for the Chapters (general assemblies), to discuss the Order and the Rule.

This little chapel/sanctuary was above all known for its world renowned celebrated Indulgence, called the Forgiveness of Assisi (del Perdono di Assisi). According to tradition, in 1216 the Blessed Virgin Mary, surrounded by an angelic chorus (hence the name of the Shrine), appeared to St. Francis, assuring him that by fulfilling God’s precepts, he would receive the plenary indulgence applied to all his people who would have gone to the Portziuncola chapel for visit and prayers. At that time also, Pope Honorius III, then recently elected and residing at the time in neighboring Perugia, confirmed that the same Indulgence could be applied to all the believers (not just those who followed Francis) who would visit the Portziuncola. This was a great privilege, since in those days such an Indulgence could be gained only by the Crusaders who went to the Holy Land or by the Romans who visited the Tombs of the Apostles in Rome. For seven centuries, millions and millions of pilgrims were able to obtain, through the charity of St. Francis, the total penalty for sins by obtaining the Portiuncola Indulgence.  

At first, the Portiuncula (Portziuncola) Indulgence could be gained only in the Portiuncula chapel between the afternoon of 1 August and sunset on 2 August. But on 5 August 1481, Pope Sixtus IV, who was a Franciscan and a one-time Minister General of the Franciscan order (1464-1469), extended it to all Churches of the first and second Orders of St. Francis for the Franciscans. Then, on 4 July 1622, this privilege was further extended by Pope Gregory XV to all the faithful, who, after confession and the reception of Holy Communion, visited such Churches of the first and second Orders of St. Francis on the appointed day. On 12 October 1622, Pope Gregory granted the same privilege to all the Churches of the Capuchins, while Pope Urban VIII granted it for all Churches of the regular Third Order on 13 January 1643, and Pope Clement X granted it for all Churches of the Conventuals on 3 October 1670. There were other extensions of this privilege by other Popes with regards to the Churches associated with the Franciscan Orders, but on 9 July 1910, though for only that year, Pope Pius X granted the privilege to bishops to appoint any public Churches whatsoever for the gaining of the Portiuncula Indulgence, whether on 2 August or on the Sunday following (AAS, II, 1910, 443-4). Eventually, this privilege was renewed for an indefinite time by a decree of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith on 26 March 1911 (AAS, III, 1911, 233-4), (see New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia).

Now, the Portziuncola indulgence is referred to as plenary indulgence even in the Indulgentiarum doctrina, where we read after the reference to the November 2 indulgence thus: “…In addition, a plenary indulgence can be acquired twice a year in parish churches: on the feast of the church's titular saint and on August 2, when the "Portiuncula" occurs, or on some other more opportune day determined by the Ordinary” (Norm 15). This is because there are two forms of indulgence – plenary and partial, as confirmed in Norm 2 thus: “An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due sin” (Norm 2). 

The distinction between the two lies in the fact that in the case of partial indulgence, “the faithful who at least with a contrite heart perform an action to which a partial indulgence is attached, obtain, in addition to the remission of temporal punishment acquired by the action itself, an equal remission of punishment through the intervention of the Church” (Norm 5). An example here will be the Stations of the Cross we attend during Lent. However, “to acquire a plenary indulgence it is necessary to perform the work to which the indulgence is attached and to fulfill three conditions: sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. It is further required that all attachment to sin, even to venial sin, be absent” (Norm 7). Here, the prayer for the intention of the Holy Father can be the recitation of one ‘Our Father’ and one ‘Hail Mary, or any other prayer one can say according to one’s own piety and devotion toward the Holy Father. 

In the end, we cannot but marvel at this great tradition and practice that we have, which unfortunately, is not very much known any more. Nevertheless, it offers all Christ's faithful a wonderful way to share as brothers and sisters, of the marvelous spiritual treasures of the Church, left to her from the merits of her head and founder as well as the prayers, good works and holy lives of the numerous sons and daughters of the Church. In a tremendous way, this sharing helps Christians, both living and dead, in their spiritual purification and healing from the wounds of sin, and it makes alive and active for us, the reality of communion of the saints, as taught by the Church. I sincerely think that we must now make a conscious decision to always avail of the opportunity to have indulgence applied to ourselves and to the departed souls in Purgatory. 

 

-- Fr Francis Chukwuma, CFP Visitor

NO GREATER LOVE: THE ROLE OF GOD THE FATHER IN PRAYER 

When we pray to God, we pray to the Trinity -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yet the Trinity consists of three Divine Persons, each of whom is fully God. Theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar looks at the role of God the Father in our prayer in his book Prayer. It is possible for us to hear the word of God because God’s world is open to us. Most Christians do not realize that this is by no means a matter of course but a miracle of the Father’s utterly free love. Every day it should astonish us anew, just as a lover is transported in bliss through the answering love of the woman he loves. Only more so: for however exalted the beloved woman may be, she is still only human; the love between them is human, rooted in the lover’s nature. Whereas here it is God, the Eternal, the Wholly Other, he who has no need whatsoever of creaturely love, who owes this intimacy to none of his creatures, who opens himself and gives himself to us. He gives himself to us by inviting us, lifting us up and ennobling us so that we may participate in his own divine nature. It is easily said; we are used to the words; but through hearing and contemplating the words we should unaccustom ourselves to them so that we can once more become aware of the gigantic implications of God addressing us. 

It is true that we often hear the words that God loves us and cares for us. We hear them so often that we take them for granted. Yet they are words which we should often contemplate. Imagine that, out of the blue, the President of the United States, or some other world leader with whom we were not personally acquainted, called us on the telephone, asked us how we are doing and asked us to do something for him or her. We should be shocked and amazed by that. Yet God addressing us and loving us is much more amazing. St. Paul summarizes for us what God has done for us. “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born of many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Rom 8:28-30) 

We should be amazed at what God has done for us and what He has in store for us (glorification). Of course, God has given us as human beings the gift of a free will which is capable of loving Him or rejecting Him. Thus, we need to cooperate with his gifts (graces) given to us. Even our ability to cooperate is His gift to us. Yet His gifts (graces) are not passive things which we can take out of a gift wrapped box and use as we please. Von Balthasar puts it in the following manner: If this divine plan to lift the creature beyond himself and ennoble him represents the very crown of the Creator’s providential design, it stands to reason that the creature’s mere “nature”, in relation to God’s ultimate design, is as clay in the hand of the potter (Is 45:9; Jer 18:6; Sir 33:13; Rom 9:21 f). Thus, our vocation in life at any particular time is ultimately not our own choosing. It is God’s free choice for us. This is totally contrary to the modern mentality which teaches that we can make and remake ourselves to be whatever we want to be. Do we trust ourselves to have the wisdom to determine what our vocation is or do we trust the Creator of the Universe? 

If we are to believe Divine Revelation, we need to see how much of our lives depend on God. Hans Urs Von Balthasar summarizes it in this way: This is something we must be vividly aware of as we pray, contemplating the word of God: that the whole compact solidity of our creaturely being and essence, and of the everyday world in which we find ourselves and find our bearings, is afloat like a ship above the immense depths of an entirely different element (which alone is absolute and decisive), namely, the unfathomable love of the Father. If this is true, then we must certainly seek out Divine Revelation through prayer to see how we can cooperate with God’s loving plan for us. 

This tells us what God does for us, but how does this affect us personally? As, Hans Urs Von Balthasar defines it: According to another of revelation’s key words, we have received a parrhesia from God. Originally this word refers to the privilege of the full citizen’s freedom of speech; it indicates the right to “say everything” and the corresponding interior attitude, i.e., frankness of speech, including “openness to the truth”..........This parrhesia on our part is the open, unconstrained and childlike approach to the Father, neither ashamed nor fearing shame. We come to him with heads held high, as those who have an innate right to be there and to speak. We may look into the Father’s face without fear; we do not have to approach him as if he were an aloof monarch, with downcast eyes and obsequious gestures, within the confines of strict ceremonial and a prescribed form of address. The door stands open, and wherever the child of God may be, there too is that open door. Man is not the door; it is Christ, the Son and Word of the Father. Moses was not permitted to see the face of God. (Ex 33:20). Yet, now we can see the Father. “Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, “Show us the Father”?’” (Jn 14:8-9)

Thus, because of Jesus Christ, we have the amazing gift of a “good conscience” before the Father. Anyone who is in the “state of grace”, in other words, has fulfilled the requirements of a good confession, is justified or, in Protestant terminology is “right with God”. We cannot take this for granted. If we examine ourselves thoroughly, we can see that we are not Godlike. Yet if there is true repentance in us, we have the assurance of Jesus Christ himself that we are forgiven. “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’” (Jn 20:21-23) This is an amazing gift which many believers do not have because they reject the Catholic Church or reject Jesus Christ.

This relationship with God is certainly different from a relationship between humans since faith is necessary. We cannot look at and communicate with God in the same way that we can with other humans. This is simply the nature of reality. God is at a higher level, and actually the highest level, of being. We can “see” the Father only because the Son became incarnate in human flesh. We know only those things about God that He has revealed to us and nothing more. We cannot get more knowledge about God by study, analysis, and experimentation like scientists can do with the physical world. We can see only with the eyes of faith. Yet there is much to see. Hans Urs Von Balthasar sums up the role of the Father in our prayer. On the other hand, the word of God speaks of the Father’s world of eternity being open and accessible to the believer., and we must not water this down, as if this world were merely in the future, merely promised, merely spiritual, and not also present, realized and of the body. It must not be presented merely as something for which we strive (aspiring from nature to supernature, from the earth to heaven), for it is no less true that it is the basis of all our living and loving. Grace, the foundation of everything, is also the foundation of our living at the natural level, at the level of the world. The believer loves the earth because it is bathed in the radiance which comes from a heaven which has already been laid open. He is able to do this because he must.

This amazement at what God has done for us should always be a part of our prayer life. – Jim Nugent, CFP

REFLECTION ON THE RULE

CONSTITUTIONS:

VIII. ELIGIBILITY FOR MEMBERSHIP

Members are those persons considered to be part of the Confraternity of Penitents. All baptized Catholics who are fourteen years of age[1] or older, who are in complete harmony with all the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and the Magisterium, are eligible to enter formation as Members.

Members include those who have pledged to live the CFP Rule and Constitutions as well as those who are pursuing formation in the CFP at the Postulancy level or above and who have no impediments to pledging if their formation were complete.

ASSOCIATES

Those who wish to live the CFP Rule, but who have impediments to full Membership, may become Associates of the Confraternity. Associates are nonmembers who are in formation, or have completed formation, with the CFP.

AFFILIATES

Affiliates are nonmembers who support and pray for the CFP but who do not participate in formation.

REFLECTION:

The Confraternity of Penitents is not a club. There are certain requirements for eligibility, and there are certain formation lessons that members must complete. Those who meet the requirements are eligible to become members of the Confraternity of Penitents. Those who have impediments, but who wish to do formation, are Associates of the Confraternity and others who are willing to pray for the Confraternity but do not wish to do formation are affiliates. Associates and affiliates are welcome at CFP events where they join with the members for prayer and other activities. Members, associates, and affiliates all form a bond of brotherly and sisterly support and love. You experience this at a Confraternity of Penitents retreat. We urge you all to make a CFP retreat as often as possible.

 

[1] Applicants under the age of 18 need parental permission in order to become Members of the Confraternity.

MONTHLY LETTER TO ALL PENITENTS: ASK OR WAIT?

I came across two concepts that I am pondering (not solving, but pondering).

One is from the Lenten sermons of St. Francis de Sales, and the other is a Franciscan (St. Francis of Assisi) prayer disposition I was given in the CFP.

The first from St. Francis de Sales says (I'll provide context below) "Ask God for nothing; and refuse God nothing."

Saint Francis of Assisi, however, seems to contradict this with his thought that God, like a mother or father who knows their child, may know that the child is thirsty, but is pleased to give the child a glass of water when she asks for it (even though the parent planned on giving the child a drink anyway at some point).

At first the two dispositions appear to be in tension. St. Francis de Sales seems to be saying, “Don’t ask God for anything” and St. Francis of Assisi seems to saying, “Do ask God for whatever you need.”

St. Francis of Assisi’s disposition is proper, it seems to me, as we turn to God more properly as a child does to a parent and in total trust like St. Therese of Lisieux' illustration of the child who can't climb the stairs, but reaches out her arms for her Father. Her father, who is at the top of stairs, is happy to come down to her level, lift her up, and carry her up the stairs.

On the other hand, I feel that St. Francis de Sales’ advice seems proper in the context in which he shared it. Saint Francis de Sales wrote this when he was discussing spiritual and physical trials. He was emphasizing that we have difficulty patiently enduring through this or that struggle and awaiting God's revealing his own mysterious plan for our live. Instead, we are quick to take pity on ourselves and seek our own consolations, instead of waiting for His. If we truly did not ask God for anything, we would not be complaining about our trials. If we refused God nothing, we would then already be participating in an answer that He has providentially guided us to in our own day-to-day, hour-by-hour existence. What is happening now is His answer for us, for now.

I think it takes a spirit of subtlety to understand that these two dispositions are not actually in tension, but rather are teaching two aspects of disposition toward God, that at first seem to be confusing. It is important to ask our Father, with childlike trust, for what we need and equally important to accept what God sends us without complaining, in other words, to refuse God nothing for which He asks.

In Jesus and Mary, Eric Welch (Novice 2, Alessandro Prison Ministry)

CFP Summer Retreat Attendees, 2016 with Fr. Jerome Wolbert, OFM, Retreat Master.

CFP RETREAT, REUNION, CONFERENCE 2017—MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND PLAN TO ATTEND!

October 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 2017 -- St. Felix Catholic Retreat Center, 1280 Hitzfield Street, Huntington Indiana USA.

Retreat Master: Father Warren Tanghe. As an Episcopal priest, Fr. Warren Tanghe served in academic and parish ministries over a period of 38 years. He was received into the Catholic Church in 2009 along with the community he then served as chaplain, the All Saints’ Sisters of the Poor in Catonsville, MD. He was ordained a Catholic priest by Cardinal O’Brien in 2011 for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. After serving as associate pastor of the Church of the Resurrection in Ellicott City and at St. Mark’s Church in Catonsville, he returned to Ellicott City in December, 2015 as administrator of St. Paul’s parish, and was named its pastor on July 1st, 2016.

Four Conferences with Fr. Tanghe plus a visit and conference from CFP Visitor Fr. Francis Chukwuma. Full Divine Office prayed daily -- Daily Mass -- -- One Night of All Night Adoration-- 6 Hour Silent Hermitage Experience ​– Fatima Mass and Breakfast – Visit to CFP Administrative Headquarters


$195 plus $15 worth of food to share (we will be cooking our own meals) or $15 toward food costs

Commuters (Thursday Night, Friday, Saturday, Sunday--includes lunch, supper, no overnights)--$60 plus $15 of food or paper goods or $15 toward costs of food and paper goods​

Arrival time: 4 - 5 p.m. Thursday, October 7. Mass 7:30 p.m. -- Departure 7 a.m. Monday, October 9, following 6 a.m. Mass​

We will pick up airport, train, or bus attendees free of charge and transport them to the retreat and, after the retreat, back to the appropriate location to return home. If you are coming by mass transportation, please contact us regarding the best ports of arrival.​

THOUGHTS FROM CFP’ERS — THE FRANCISCAN VIRTUE OF EXAMPLE

      

     The Virtue of Example is the moral excellence of our nature.  We build our character on being honest, respectful, courageous, forgiving, and kind to our neighbor.

     St. Francis showed all of these virtues. He respected all God’s children and creatures, no matter if they seemed to be in the lowest dregs of society and life. He reached out to the leper; therefore, he saw Christ in him. 

     We can be gentle in being respectful and courageous with our neighbor. Even if they rebel, we treat them with the spirit of love. For what good are all the virtues without the true spirit of Love?  Love in the way God first loved us. Let us show a good example in our daily journey to Our Lord in the footsteps of St. Francis.

 

-- Donna Kaye Rock, CFP Associate Postulant

CONFRATERNITY OF PENITENTS PHOTO ALBUM: LIFE PLEDGE AND PRIVATE VOW OF BOB SHUTT

On July 15, 2017, Robert (Bob) Shutt took a life pledge and made a private vow to live the Rule and Constitutions of the Confraternity of Penitents for life. For many years, the Poor Sisters of Saint Clare had lovingly called Bob “br. Joseph”, after Saint Joseph the carpenter and foster father of Jesus. Bob had earned this name because of his gentle, quiet nature, deep faith, and superior skills with carpentry and art work. On July 15, Bob officially became “brother Joseph” in the CFP, taking that as his privately vowed name.

This photo shows CFP Visitor Fr. Francis Chukwuma questioning Bob before his pledge. At the grate to the right is Sr. Rose Caritas, a Poor Clare nun who had been in the Confraternity of Penitents before entering the Poor Clares and who is Bob’s spiritual director. Sr. Rose Caritas was one of the witnesses to Bob’s life pledge and vow. At the podium is Madeline Pecora Nugent, CFP, Minister General, and seated behind her Br. Solanus Maria of the Franciscan Friars Minor who served the Mass and, along with the Poor Clares, provided the music. The church is St. Andrew’s Church, Fort Wayne IN where CFP members at the CFP administrative headquarters attend daily Mass. It is the mother church for both the Poor Sisters of Saint Clare and the Franciscan Friars Minor.

 

CFP Visitor, Fr. Francis Chukwuma, with Bob Shutt (br. Joseph), following the Mass of Life Pledge and Vow, on July 15, 2017.

FOLLOWING FRANCIS, FOLLOWING CHRIST: THE COMPLETION DATE IS SET

THE COMPLETION DATE IS SET:- (Philippians 1:6) “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ” God will always finish what He started. The moment God placed a dream in your heart, the moment that promise took root, God not only started something in your life, but He also set a completion date. Scripture tells us that God is called the Author and Finisher of our faith. God wouldn’t have given you the dream; the promise wouldn’t have come alive, if God didn’t already have a plan to bring it to pass. It doesn’t matter how long it has been or how impossible it looks. Your mind may tell you it’s too late. You’ve missed too many opportunities. It’s never going to happen. No. God is saying, “It’s not over, I have a final say. I’ve already set the completion date.” So if you will stay in faith and not talk yourself out of it, it will just be a matter of time before it comes to pass.

We can look at St. Francis who never planned to start a religious Order. His conversion was for himself alone, he thought. He began to do penance, following the promptings of the Holy Spirit. God knew that He could not show Francis the big picture or Francis would likely have bolted away. So God led him slowly and more deeply into his own conversion until others noticed and wanted the joy Francis had. Francis had a dream of a castle of armor for himself and his knights. He had believed in this dream, thinking that he would become a great prince and lead a military army. God had other plans, that Francis would lead knights in a peaceful way, to transform the world through peace and not through war. But it took Francis a long time to understand that this was the meaning of his dream. Nevertheless, God brought the dream to completion through Francis who initially misunderstood its interpretation.

A PRAYER FOR TODAY:- “Father, thank You for completing what You have started in my life, I choose to trust You. I choose to wait in You. I put my faith in You knowing that, through faith and patience, every promise will come to pass in Jesus’ name. Amen”.

(2 Timothy 1:6) “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of hands.”

Have you ever wanted to do something really great? Maybe you had a big dream; maybe you believed you could start a business. Maybe you wanted to lose weight or go back to school. Now it’s been so long. you tried and it didn’t work out. The loan didn’t go through. The medical report wasn’t good. Now, the “Never” lies are playing in your mind. “I’ll never get well.” “I ‘ll never get married.” “I’ll never accomplish my dreams.” Today is the day to get your fire back. Today is the day you get your new perspective. The Creator of the universe has already set the completion date for the dream He has placed in your heart. And, just because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean that it’s not going to happen. God has already lined up the right people, the right breaks, the right answers. Everything you need is already in your future. Now you’ve got to shake off the doubt, shake off the discouragement. Whether it has been a year, five years, or fifty years, what God promised you He still has every intention of bringing it to pass. Keep standing, keep believing, keep hoping and keep moving forward. Get your fire back and let Him fulfil every dream He has placed in your heart!

PRAYER:- Father, thank You for every dream and desire You’ve placed within me. Today I choose to press forward. I choose to stand in faith, I choose to be diligent with everything You placed in my hand, in Jesus’ name. Amen (From Joel and Victoria Osteen)

Those who have moved the world have not been so much men of genius, as men of intense mediocre abilities and untiring perseverance. Not so often the gifted of naturally bright and shining qualities, as those who have applied themselves diligently to their work. You need the gift of continuance. Wanting in perseverance, volatile natures are outstripped in the race of life by the diligent and even the dull. Who goes slowly, goes long and far. Common sense. Attention. Application. Perseverance.

 

–David Curry, CFP Affiliate

HUMOR: TRUISMS

- I'm great at multi-tasking--I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once.

- If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

 - Never tell your problems to anyone, because 20 percent don't care and the other 80 percent are glad you have them.

- Doesn't expecting the unexpected mean that the unexpected is actually expected?

- Take my advice — I'm not using it.

- I hate it when people use big words just to make themselves sound perspicacious.

 - Hospitality is the art of making guests feel like they're at home when you wish they were.

 COLORING BOOKS

School is about to start again soon in the northern hemisphere. The Confraternity of Penitents Holy Angels Gift Shop offers a selection of coloring books for both adults and children. Each of these books not only develops fine motor control for children but also provides a source of tension relief and spiritual instruction for adults. The topics of these coloring books are varied, and go from the saints, angels, life of Jesus, and life of the Blessed Mother to Celtic blessings, the Rosary, and illuminated Scripture.

Coloring book prices range from 2.25 to 16.95 per book. Please visit the gift shop on line or call us at 260 – 739 – 6882 for a complete listing of the coloring books carried in the Confraternity of Penitents Holy Angels Gift Shop. Samples are shown below. 

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Confraternity of Penitents

1702 Lumbard Street

 Fort Wayne IN USA 46803 

260-739-6882

copenitents@yahoo.com 

 

May God bless you and give you joy!