01 October 2015

TSSF Principles, Day 1

It’s October and Francistide will soon be upon us, so it seemed good to me to devote my blog this month to the Principles of the Third Order of the Society of St Francis (TSSF), which is the Anglican subdivision of the worldwide Franciscan family.

The basis of that which follows is the Rule of the Christa Seva Sangha at Poona. Its successor, the Christa Prema Seva Sangha, had as its English branch the Brotherhood of the Love of Christ, St. Ives, Huntingdonshire, and the latter, when it joined the Brotherhood of Saint Francis of Assisi, and so formed the Society of Saint Francis, transmitted the original Rule. This version was revised in August 2005. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version.
The Object
(1) Jesus said, ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.’ (John 12.24–26)

The Principles begin with a quotation from the Gospels. This highlights the point that the Franciscan vocation is first and foremost about following Jesus.

The grain dies and falls into the earth in order to bear fruit. Only by dying to self can we learn to live for others. This is what Franciscan poverty is truly about.

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