The “Rule and Life of the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis,” which we promise to observe when professing our vows, has many statements that call us to follow Christ more closely.
I can remember feeling a little overwhelmed, at one point in my formation, at the number of exhortations included in our fundamental document which include words like always, everywhere, ever, and remember that.
Some of the words contained here are very beautiful, but we do have a lot to live up to! I think it is good to re-read our Rule from time to time, to help remind ourselves of St. Francis’ inspiring exhortations.
One of the these came to mind this afternoon: “But they should not be so busy that the spirit of holy prayer and devotion, which all earthly goods should foster, is extinguished.”
I think this can be a point for examination of conscience for me tonight, since I was busy. I’m not saying being busy is bad, but I want to evaluate: did my busyness extinguish “the spirit of holy prayer and devotion”?
Between communal liturgical commitments, receptionist duties, and leading our residents’ weekly Bible study, my morning was filled. Then, this afternoon, I hosted another “rhubarb party,” where we cut up a comparably small donation of rhubarb.
After this, I ended up making strawberry-rhubarb scones with some of what we had cut. This project ended up being a little more “busy” than normal, since I had to haul three cookie sheets of unbaked scones over to the convent to use the oven there. The one in our Activities Kitchen which I normally use is not working very well, and I didn’t want to risk failure in my culinary endeavor. (I already depend on St. Martha and our Blessed Mother for their intercession in my domestic undertakings; I didn’t need to throw in any additional risk factors.)
We are also exhorted to: “keep the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary…ever before [our] eyes.” I wonder what kind of experiences she might have had baking!
Sr. Christina M. Neumann