Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Third World Order, or The Dobee Brothers

Today's "sermon" was provided by Fr. Michael Cassell who was visiting to drum up support for Food for the Poor. He effectively made our check books open for this charity, but I dare say he went too long. As usual, the more you speak, the more likely you are to be criticized, not just for being long winded, but you are more likely to create weaknesses in your argument. As a "3rd Order Franciscan," he should not be bashing those persons who are of a spiritual bent. He said he was tired of people talking about "how wonderfully spiritual St. Swithen's is...etc," and going on to say that people should be "doey, doey, doey," and not "talkie, talkie, talkie."
I looked for some discussion of this order and found the link in the title. Another search for spirituality and the 3rd order returned this:
Please note the following: "« Penance» as it developed in the penitential-Franciscan charism is composed of and explained by the two principal characteristic elements:
1. «continuous conversion» in the biblical sense of « metanoia», that is, a redirecting of oneself toward God, as a constant tending toward Him which implies leaving behind instinctual life which centers on self, and the undertaking of a life in which God is the center of activity and aspiration;- active and effective charity, on behalf of the brothers and sisters in Christ, an active charity extended to those who have greater need of it, a dedicating of oneself in many ways to the works of mercy both spiritual and corporal."

I think Fr. Cassell should have made the point that everything a Christian "doer" does comes first from a God/Christ/Holy Ghost centered spirituality. He came over quite strongly opposed to the mythical St. Swithen's syrupy spirituality. I think he was proposing a final solution (get out there and do!) in hopes of rallying the troopers from their comfortable pews. I don't think his method is effective in changing people's lives for long, but it is effective in raising money. If he hopes to create a master race of doers without first seeing to their spiritual development, I am afraid he is taking us down the wrong path, on a journey that no one do alone, a journey without the spirit for guidance and nourishment.
He almost went so far as to bash praying for others since that would distract from doing for others.

As I count them up, I think I heard a breaking of the "Rule" (3, 4, and 6) in this sermon.

I will pray (rule 3) for all of us to be led by the spirit (rule 6) to support these good works. I hope I am not being manipulative in my words (rule 4). For the Food for the Poor Site see:

No comments:

Post a Comment