Based on a OFS Retreat Teaching by Fr. Michael Englert, OFM Conv., June 15, 2012
This Retreat, given at St. Lucie Parish (Port St. Lucie, FL) where Fr. Michael is a Parochial Vicar, was attended by members of Divine Mercy Fraternity (Vero Beach), Padre Pio Community (Jensen Beach), other Secular Franciscans, and a few members of local Prayer Groups.
This writing is based on handwritten notes taken by Fred Schaeffer, OFS at that meeting, and I ask the Holy Spirit for Guidance and Grace to write down what was said.
What is Sine Proprio? People usually translate the Latin phrase sine proprio as "without property", or "poverty". But as St. Francis of Assisi used it, perhaps a better translation would be "without possessing", or "without anything of one's own".
In Galatians 5:16-25, we find this text: "I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ [Jesus] have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires." (NAB)
Concupiscence - the lust of worldly things (see the works of the flesh in Scriptural passage, above) is usually found in lust for these four themes:
This is what happens to "those who DO NOT do Penance" (See Preamble to Secular Franciscan Rule). To sinners.
On the other side of Evil, is the Spirit, the Light of Christ, of the Gospel, the Church. cf. Those who DO penance.
St. Francis was immersed in the Holy Trinity. He possessed Joy, Brothers and Sisters, Church. As Franciscans, Joy translates into more frequent participation in the Eucharist, attending Holy Mass not only on Sundays and when we have to be in Church but also on weekdays. Making frequent Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship, Song, Psalms, Liturgy of the Hours. Secular Franciscans are urged to participate in the Liturgy of the Hours. Consecrated Religious and Priests have the obligation to participate in this, the prayer of the Church.
Surrender to the Franciscan Rule, another positive is Fasting from p/p/p/p (above), worries, cares, opinions, talking. Offering our lives, whole lives to Him.... etc.
Then our Fasting becomes that of reparation.
Reparation for the millions and millions of "lives" taken through abortion, which goes on unabatedly in the world, the Franciscan ideal of being channels of peace becomes very important.
"Sine Proprio" in the face of the Concupiscent Heart ... Spiritual Battle... without grasping onto the self. Fighting the tendency to sin, that is why St. Francis fasted so vigorously - to say No! to Concupiscence. Another example, for example in monasteries, is the "Statio" or the Silent Standing in a hallway to the Church or Chapel prior to a liturgical function or Holy Mass - this is to release the worldly thoughts from the soul - to recollect and empty oneself from distractions, etc.
Detachment - "Abandonment to Divine Providence" by Jean-Pierre De Caussade (1675-1751) who believed "that the present moment is holy and that people should abandon themselves to present, a stance that is in stark contrast to the Catholic focus on the future and life after death. For de Caussade, living in the moment meant having a complete trust and faith in God, for God's will defined and guided all things."
People who are sick, especially long-term sickness. Practice "Sine Proprio" - don't possess the sickness.
Professed Franciscans lead a life that is immersed in the Liturgy, immersed in prayer and in evangelization, immersed into the Eucharist, they live the life of the Spirit in Mass.
In Thankgiving and Praise, we bring our Petition before God - but in gratitude!!
Fight evil by entering into the light!
Peace and Good!
"God loves mankind with an infinite love and when He punishes,