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Monday, April 2, 2012

My Journey


Last month I wrote about leaving a group I had belonged to for many years, http://www.beanielife.blogspot.com/2012/02/are-you-group-person-i-am-not.html, it was not an easy decision, but it was one that had to be prayerfully made and I have peace in my heart because it was the right decision for me.
Throughout Lent I have been on a journey, I left my Secular Franciscan Fraternity, although I am still a fully professed Secular Franciscan, and I asked the Lord to show me the way.
About a month ago my good friend Cyndi, also an SFO, told me about a group called the Confraternity of Penitents, or CFP, she said that a circle met in Fort Wayne and thought that I might like to visit the website to find out more.  I visited the website, http://www.penitents.org and began to read, and I have not stopped.  The CFP follow the Rule of 1221;  a rule of living written specifically for the laity in the year 1221 by Cardinal Hugolino de Conti de Segni at the request of St. Francis.  The Rule of 1221 is followed by the CFP, there is a constitution written to adapt the Rule to modern day living, but for the most part the Rule is followed as written. The best place to fully investigate the Rule and Constitution and get answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ'), is to visit the website, http://www.penitents.org.
The process of formation with CFP is at a minimum four years, and it is a very thorough formation, initially incorporating disciplines in prayer life, and slowly, slowly brings about lifestyle changes to simplify life, remove obstacles between oneself and God, and slowly moves you to a total surrender to God.A week ago Cyndi and I were able to attend a local CFP Circle, we met some lovely people who too feel called to live a simpler life deepening their faith. I purchased The Handbook of the Confraternity of Penitents, 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1452877386/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d5_g14_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1MB8A7MP4AENWM8P1EJ2&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846
an excellent resource and an encouraging book that fully covers the entire process of discernment, inquiry, formation  initially a postulant and then as a novice.  Formation never really ends as it is a lifelong journey. The CFP are simply regular people, singles, husbands, wives, retired, working, mothers, fathers, grand-parents, who feel called to live a life of penance in their desire to surrender all to God.  The local CFP is very blessed to be able to meet at Our Lady of Angels Oratory in Fort Wayne, home to the Franciscan Brothers Minor, and soon to be home of the Cloistered Franciscan Sisters Minor. You can check out more about Our Lady of Angels Oratory at their website, http://www.franciscanbrothersminor.com . The Brothers and Sisters also follow the Rule of 1221, however it is different to the rule written for the laity.
What I really like about the CFP, and have hungered for, is the discipline and structure in following the Rule and applying it to daily living, the foundation of the Rule is prayer, prayer, prayer.  I also like that the CFP in Fort Wayne already participate in two active apostalates, reaching out to neighborhood children to share Christ, and providing prayer and practical aid to the homeless, and they have only been together since last October! I am excited to see where the Lord has led me, I am ready for the journey, and plan to apply to be an inquirer and know that all along the way will be prayer and ongoing discernment at each stage of formation. Blessings,Bean


5 comments:

Lynda said...

Sounds really interesting Bean!

I am at a crossroads, having decided the Mennonite church is not for me. I'm not sure where the Lord is leading me now, but it will be interesting to see.

Bean said...

Just continue in prayer, fasting, and the Lord will show you the way, I will keep you in my prayers too. I hope your move goes well.

Blessings,
Bean

Barb, ofs said...

Blessings to you as you explore this spiritual discipline! I'm looking forward to hearing more about it.

VickyF said...

I second what Barb said, Martine! Peace and All Good, and many blessings on your journey!
Vicky OFS

Bean said...

Hi Vicky,

Nice to see you in blogland :)

Peace and All Good

Bean