Our Lady's Little Scribe seeks to use the internet for sharing the Catholic faith and Franciscan spirituality, going from Gospel to life and life to the Gospel.

The silk painting, shown above, is by Ty Mam Duw, Poor Clare Colettines, Hawarden, WALES GB. Their website is here. Ty Mam Duw is Welsh and means The House of the Mother of God. Our Lady of the Pearl cherishes their friendship and is grateful for their many kindnesses and prayers. The image is used with permission.

Entertaining Angels

Entertaining Angels
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Evangelical Counsels

The religious make public vows to the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. These vows are beautifully described in Lumen Gentium in the chapter entitled "The Religious." How do the evangelical counsels apply to Secular Franciscans in particular but also to the whole Church in responding to the call to holiness?

The Secular Franciscan Order is an order in the Church, but is not, properly speaking, a religious order because it does not have the public profession of the vows to live the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience nor a requirement to live in community. The Secular Franciscan Order is a public association of the faithful. (See Canon 298 - Canon 320, click here.).

At profession, a Secular Franciscan makes promises to live "the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Secular Franciscan Order by observing its rule of life." A Secular Franciscan makes promises, not vows as do religious at their profession; therefore, a Secular Franciscan is not bound to the Evangelical Counsels the same way as religious. (Of interest, "A Vow and an Oath," Canon 1191 - 1204, click here.)

The Evangelical Counsels are essential to a Gospel-centered life, lived according to one's state of life, and for all in the Church responding to the universal call to holiness. They are present in spirit in the The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order and the General Constitutions.

A deeper understanding of the universal call to holiness, the Evangelical Counsels, the laity and the religious may be obtained through a reading of Lumen Gentium. See Lumen Gentium, at Our Lady of the Pearl website.


Source: Our Lady of the Pearl -

Secular Franciscans may consider doing a scripture meditation on poverty, chastity and obedience by reading Hebrews 13:1-8.

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