|Thoughts on the Gospel of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, For Members of the Secular Franciscan Order*|
|*As written by Fr. Stephen F. Sabbagh, OFM|
Sunday, January 17, 2010 - 1:11 PM
"Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great." As He said these things, He would call out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Welcome to "The Franciscan Blogger"!
Well, this is the first, introductory blog and maybe we could start out sharing with you our intentions, expectations and desires for this website and blog.
Firstly: This blog and website is only intended to share the "Good News" of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and especially from a uniquely Franciscan perspective. And, really, we're most desirous of communicating with, sharing with and benefitting from an enhanced relationship with Secular Franciscans.
But: Neither this website nor this blog is particularly specific to either Franciscans or Secular Franciscans in general.
Rather, Catholics, non-Catholics, Christians and non-Christians may well discover that the message of Jesus as communicated through the heart of Franciscan spirituality is a refreshing and much needed message that the world desperately needs.
Secondly: While one of the driving motivators on producing this website has always been to share the writings of Father Stephen Francis Sabbagh, OFM to the Secular Franciscan Order, I suspect that the reader will soon discover that the underlying message is Jesus. "Jesus first; Jesus always."
Secular Franciscans are those who live in the world; some are married, some are single. Secular Franciscans vote, play, do charitable work and travel. They work, raise families, have friends and experience more intimately the workings of this world than your model or typical religious priest, brother or sister. And, Secular Franciscans are called upon to assist in changing the world, for the better.
You see, hardly a day transpires when one doesn't run across the tragic and destructive news of the world; the news of war, hunger, economic devestation, depravity, disease and chaos. Really, many today fear that we live in spiritually perilous days, times of angst - The End Times!
How often have I recently heard people claim that the world is just about ready to end, that great evil is upon us and that death and destruction is only a heartbeat away. And, nowadays, how does anyone avoid such topics and controversies such as The New World Order, Bilderbergers, Illuminati and governments out of control and bent upon control of peoples.
Well, maybe so. I'm not sure many of us are in a position to know the methods and motivations of those who seem to control the world around us.
But, these "headlines" are not necessarily new. There are repeated eras and epochs of similar issues such as we face today. Truly, there may be nothing new under the sun, yet, we are called to bring the love of Christ to the world, thus making all things new again.
And, really, that is the purpose of this website. Not only to share information and writings with Secular Franciscans, but to bring Jesus to the world today, once again, birthed and swaddled in ways and means unique and relevant to our world today.
As important as ever, if not more so, Secular Franciscans are well-placed and well-tempered to bring to the world an important alternative to the "solutions" of the world. While gold and silver investments are advertised to protect us from a world gone wrong, and while survivalists preach the hording of guns, butter and ammunition, we rarely hear of what "real" working people and common Christians are supposed to do in such times.
I propose that the route needed to get off that road of perdition is the Gospel of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Christ's simple, but brave, Gospel of Love brought hope and salvation to the world. And, St. Francis re-lived that very message in his very being, in his very fiber; today we are called upon to re-create that Franciscan message to a world most eager to hear it.
So, let us begin this day which the Lord hath made to shape our own hearts into vessels of love for God. Let us us today offer all to God for the conversion of all souls to the Sacred Heart of Jesus!
The Franciscan Blogger
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“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” - St. Francis of Assisi