The Rule of 1221 and Statutes, Conclusion and Addendum
HERE ENDS THE RULE AND STATUTES OF THE CONTINENT BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE OF ST. FRANCIS, THAT IS THOSE WHO GIVE UP THINGS IN FULFILLMENT OF THE GOSPELS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Author of the Rule: Cardinal Hugolino dei Conti dei Segni, with the approval of St. Francis of Assisi, 1221 AD.
These Modern Statutes have been drafted by the Association Administrators and approved by the Visitor of the Association of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis and through them the Church.
Source of the Original Rule: Franciscan Omnibus of Sources
Addendum to the Statutes of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis
Every penitent should have a spiritual director or confessor if they can be found for help in discerning how to grow in the penitential lifestyle and understand the motion of the Holy Spirit. Pray for this grace. Spiritually mature priests, deacons, or other male or female religious can serve as spiritual directors, provided they are supportive of all the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and are also supportive of the intentions of the brother or sister to live the Rule. In their absence, other Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis, who are experienced in the “things of God” can serve as spiritual directors if approved by a spiritual assistant of this Association or the Administrators of the Association in their absence.
It is expected that most penitents will have a spiritual director by the middle of the first year of novice formation and that they will be meeting with their spiritual directors at least monthly. Everyone who makes a permanent profession to live this Rule should have a spiritual director if possible.
Spiritual direction is best done face to face, but spiritual direction via computer, phone, or postal mail is permitted, provided the individuals involved have met in person. Spiritual directors serve as advisors not military commanders. A good relationship enables penitent and director to discuss points of disagreement. Generally, once discussion is ended, it is safer for penitents to follow the director’s advice, wary of pride in one’s own opinions and judgment. However, before the tribunal of Christ, each person will have to take full responsibility for every decision. The virtue of prudence requires that penitents not deviate from a director’s advice without prayerful consideration of the entire situation.