(9) As Tertiaries, we are prepared not only to speak out for social justice and international peace, but to put these principles into practice in our own lives, cheerfully facing any scorn or persecution to which this may lead.The tertiary is expected to display the kind of just behaviour that is likely to result in scorn or persecution. This implies that she might be expected to extend the call for social justice to unpopular causes and to marginalized, ostracized, and even hated individuals or groups – society’s scapegoats.
In our culture with its barely disguised hatred of immigrants, Muslims, bankers, and anyone even suspected of sexual offences (particularly against children), Franciscans need to be at the forefront of those defending the rights of people who have come to this country to escape persecution or to improve the lot of their families, the rights of those whose religious views differ from the mainstream, the humanity of the very rich (recognizing the burden that wealth imposes on people), and the rights of the accused to be presumed innocent and given a fair trial.
It is easy enough to say this, but as Franciscans we must practise what we preach. And the most effective way to do this is, like Francis, to start where we are – with our personal relationships and our everyday dealings.