Welcome to the first day of my blog.
I don't know how well I'll do with this thing. The idea is fun. But I am so easily distracted. I read a headline and have to run off to pray.
So what's a Secular Franciscan? you ask...
St. Francis of Assisi founded the Order of the Friars Minor, meaning Lesser Brothers from Matthew 25:40. The second order, later called Poor Clares, was that of the nuns. The third order, that of the laity, the Brothers and Sisters of Penance. The Brothers and Sisters of Penance would later be called the Secular Franciscan Order. SFO for short. The Secular Franciscans are the only third order that is a true order.
And what's this hermit business?
Back in 1982 or 83 some time, Pope John Paul II reinstituted the orders of consecrated laity. The order of virgins, hermits and widow(er)s consecrated to God under their respective diocese. In my case archdiocese. Hermits, sometimes called anchorites (anchoress for women), are consecrated under Canon 603. After a time (years!) of discernment and formation, perpetual vows of chastity, poverty and obedience are taken. Of the three types of consecrated laity, hermits are considered religious. Hermits can be given a religious name and a habit. The white habit of the hermit, pending permission of the diocese.
Doesn't a hermit live in the woods? What are you doing online?
Back in the day, the Requiem Mass was said for a consecrated hermit or anchorite. That was the end of their life as they knew it. Hermits would sometimes wander off into the woods or the desert. An anchorite remained with the church. Both spent the bulk of their day in prayer and solitude. Great penances were done for the salvation of souls.
This day, mass is still said for the consecration. But just regular mass. Each hermit to be consecrated writes their own Rule of Life, to be approved by their bishop. In my case archbishop. Rules are custom fitted for one's life as a hermit. My calling is to be a hermit in the heart of the city.
My greatest penance is putting up with my brother: