Hello, friends! I am pleased to offer this site to the growing Catholic furry community.
Catholic Furries is a safe haven for all to discuss and express themselves. Here we will offer comfort to any who need it, and spread the message of our Good Shepherd.
This community holds to the apostolic tradition of the Catholic Church, and its beliefs are in line with the teachings of that Church. We acknowledge the authority and sacrifice of our lord Christ, and in memory of him we will treat all with love and kindness. We ask that all who are here will do the same, and that they will respect even those they do not agree with.
This community is growing little by little every day. We are in the process of redesigning the site, discerning the needs of the community, and planning our work to relieve the needy and to encourage Godliness in the furry community. We welcome any who would help us in this to contact MatthiasRat, the assistant admin of this site, for more information or to give suggestions.
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Remember to "preach the gospel every day, use words if necessary." -Saint Francis of Assisi
Pax Christi, and may God bless you all.
As some of you may know, Matthias, Salvestro, and I have been working hard at FA to bring you teachings, devotions, and the like over on the FA side of the ministry. In doing so we (or at least I) have been coming from a perspective influenced heavily by the Angelic and Universal Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas. Especially with my Dominican background, that most excellent of saints, his theology and philosophy, have been at the core of many of my offerings.
That said, the Church is not nearly as monolithic a thing as can be encompassed by only the Dominican perspective. There are in fact many ways to live as part of Holy Mother Church. A new friend of mine, Red V. Black (a.k.a. RedScotFox), has offered to start a series on Franciscan Spirituality. I'm sure you all know of the Seraphic Father, St. Francis of Assisi, of the life of such holiness and unity with God that he was granted the honor of the Stigmata, and of the many saints such as Claire, Bonaventure, Kolbe, and Pio who have followed him. I want to thank Red for his willingness to share with us and start this conversation, and I hope that, as St. Dominic and St. Francis met in the streets of Rome and rejoiced in God together, so we may foster the many legitimate ways of living the Godly life found in the Catholic Church. And now, his reflection:
Pax et Bonum!
My name's Red Vopiscus Black and I've offered to do some reflections for the CatholicFurries page on Weasyl and FA.
My dear Brothers and Sisters, thank you all for watching the page. We've been multiplying our followers recently, and that's pretty darn exciting. Please invite your friends to join us, so that we can offer them love and perspective right from the heart of the Church.
This one, as the title says, is a very basic look into Franciscan Spirituality, a rich and wonderful way to come to know our Lord that isn't really known of outside of the Franciscan community.
First off, I am what is known as a Postulant with the Order of Friars Minor, in other words, I'm in my first year of formation, and in August I will be a Novice. I don't have any advanced education, and what I tell here is what I have learned from Professed Friars and Friar-Priests who have masters and doctorates in their respective fields.
Franciscan Spirituality is such a broad scope that encompasses so many things, so this here is really a bare bones intro, but there are plenty of resources to look into if you find this way of Spirituality to be uplifting. If you are unaware of the Franciscans and who they are, we are followers of the way of St. Francis of Assisi, a man from 13th Century Italy, who founded one of the largest Religious Orders in the Catholic Church, and “The Rule and Life of the Friars Minor is this: to live the Gospel of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by living in obedience, without property, and in chastity.” This quote from the opening of our Rule of 1223 is what St. Francis intended. Unlike other orders and societys that have specific goals (Teaching, Hospital Work, Prayer, Preaching, ect) the Franciscans separate themselves in that we have no set-in-stone mission but that! to live the Gospel in whatever way we see fit, so that is why us Franciscans are so diverse in our ministries, from Doctors, to Plumbers, to Priests and Gardeners if you have the calling, you can live it out with us.
But I digress, Franciscan Spirituality is very different then what most Catholics are used to, you see, back in the time of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure was also compiling Theology, and around the same time Bl. John Duns Scotus did the same. Aquinas and these two didn't agree on much, and their theologies reflect that. But ever since the late 1200s the Catholic church has mainly based it's theology, rules, and spirituality off that of the Dominicans (Aquinas was a Dominican), leaving the Franciscan viewpoint to stay within our Order. So I'd like to offer to everyone a chance to have an open mind, and perhaps see a brand new and completely Church accepted Theology and Spirituality. And at the heart of Franciscan life, is the Primacy of Christ and His Incarnation.
The Primacy of Christ. Jesus is the be-all and end-all. Seems like something any Christian would say, right? Well it probably is, but Franciscans look at it in a different way. In the Gospel of John we find that all things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. And this is where Franciscan thought begins. We believe that everything created is for Christ, and at the center of all creation is Christ. And this was done out of love, for God and the Spirit so loved the Son that it couldn't merely be contained between them, and it poured out into creation.
This is an area where Franciscan's view things differently, we DO NOT believe Christ was merely sent to the world to forgive us our sins, no, for if that were true, that would give humans power over God, that we twisted God's arm into sending His Son to us to save us. We believe that God sent us His Son as the supreme act of Love, for that is what we believe God to be--Ultimate Love and Good. And so from the beginning, God intended to share that Love he has for his Son with creation and that that love would be the Incarnation. The fact that He also came to forgive us our sins is a distant second, we believe that even if humans never had sinned, Jesus still would have come to us to show us how to Love as the Father loves.
Franciscans focus on God's Love rather then human sin. We say, "God redeems us because he loves us? No, he loves us and then redeems us." God sees in us a union of Love with Him before He even begins to look at our sin. His redemption to us is an act of love for us not an act of saving from sin, and the first act of redemption--The Incarnation.
We don't view Jesus' coming into the world is not primarily for redemption but all of our need for love. A love so powerful and free that it incorporates all our failings and sins, a love that is always there and never taken away, a love that comes to be and know what being human is, and then go beyond it. A love to show us how to love, a love that blesses and glorifies all of God's creation poured out for Christ in the Resurrection.
We see Jesus, His Incarnation and Resurrection NOT as something to be hoped for or to look forward to, but something that is happening right now in our very lives and world. God is Love and that Love is our redemption and redemption is not solely being saved from sin, but is rather the gift of the possibility of openness to the experience of God in our life.
And since God intended Christ to come from all eternity, it has also been determined that Christ would come into a sinful creation, sin made the manner of how the Incarnation would happen, but not the fact that Christ would come.
To put it simply, Franciscan Spirituality begins with Christ, stays with Christ, and ends in Christ. That God is love and all that is and will be is because God is Love and is among us in Christ who is ever present. Not because we sin, but because he loves us and wants us to love Him in return.
TL;DR? Franciscan Spirituality focuses on God's Love not Sin
If you enjoyed this view I encourage you to delve deeper into Franciscan Spirituality and Theology. Read some of the works of Bl. John Duns Scotus and St. Bonaventure.
If you didn't agree with this, that is perfectly fine, believe in what works for you, both Dominican and Franciscan schools of thought are accepted by Holy Mother Church and I am just hoping to expose more people to the Franciscan way of thought.
Nevertheless, I hope to do more of these on other topics. Maybe you can suggest some things I could talk on with the Franciscan spin on it, and at some point there will be a reddit style AMA on FA and Weasyl I hope as well.
Pax et Bonum, again!
-Red V. Black
Joined 25 March 2015