The Franciscan Fraternity
You will not, as is obvious, be an assembly of the perfect; but you must be a school of Christian perfection. Without this resolute will one cannot suitably be a part of such a chosen and glorious militia.” (Pius XII, July 1, 1956
" The rule and life of the Secular Franciscans is this: to observe the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of Saint Francis of Assisi, who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and People. "(SFO Rule 4)
As Secular Franciscans, the Lord gives us brothers, and sisters too. " The Rule and Life of the Secular Franciscans is this : to observe the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ...." . We do this by " following the example of St Francis of Assisi, who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people."
Fraternity is the means by which, and the environment through which, we are called to live the Gospel.
" The vocation of the SFO is a vocation to live the Gospel in fraternal communion. For this purpose, the members of the SFO gather in ecclesial communities which are called fraternities." Brothers and sisters are there to provide support and encouragement. They are there to teach. They are there to correct. They are there to help me live the Gospel, and I am there to help them live the Gospel.
It is the basic cell of the Order, visible sign of the Church, a supernatural reality based on the paternity of God and on brotherhood in Jesus Christ experienced in the strength of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Gospel the very foundation of fraternal life (RnB 1 1). Established on fidelity to the Gospel, fraternal evangelical life draws us into the intimate relationship of the Trinity.
Francis embraced the plan of God for his creatures as a family of sisters and brothers: brother sun, sister moon, etc. (CtC). He never referred to himself simply as "Francis" but always as "Brother Francis." "Brother" revealed the relationship with every creature to which God called him. "Brother" also revealed his mission to heal relationships through submissive humility (see CtC 10-11 (7th plenary council p6-7)