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General Rule

FRANCISCANS
OF THE
EXALTATION
OF THE
HOLY CROSS
(Exaltation Franciscans)
Old Catholic Apostolic Church of North America
2012 Franciscans of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
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Prelude
As human beings we all feel the need to belong. From birth this need is fueled by
the dependency of parental figures. As we grow this need strengthens into a life
force; a pull that grasps our identity within our own ethos and our own culture. All
societies value different forms of identities, social norms and value systems as
pertaining to a personal uniqueness - a rule of life.
Within the structure of belonging and fellowship of the Franciscan family is a force
so strong that no man, women, creature or spirit can break. Truly, the ties that
bind us together are stronger than the ones that would tear us apart. This bond is
that of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His saving grace.
We are all called to a level of responsibility for one another as Christians. Jesus
said, Salt is good but if the salt has lost its saltiness, wherewith will ye season it?
Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace one with another. (Mk. 9:50) St. Francis
made a point to stand for unity, social justice, and to be a living witness to the
world. If we are to truly follow he that followed HIM, then we must be made
accountable to our brethren and live in a way that is favorable in the eyes of our
Lord. And if we choose to pick up our own cross and bear it, then we must live by a
certain rule of life; a guideline to which we may be answerable to. It has been
written, And he that taketh not his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of
me. (Mat. 10:38)
Accept all as coming from God, do all for God, offer all to God, and seek ardently
the perfection of Charity and the love of the Cross.
We as the Exaltation Franciscans devote this General Rule to the dedication of St.
Francis of Assisi in the spirit of dedication, love, and reverence to our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ.
General Instruction
The Franciscans of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (or Exaltation Franciscans) are
committed to praying and working for a fuller expression and realization of the
unity of the Body of Christ through the ministry and sacrament of reconciliation
which heals the dismembered Body of Christthe Church. Reconciliation begins
with our relationship with God, one another and our self. The continual healing of
the Body of Christ makes visible of His presence, kingdom, love and grace in the
present moment.
This rule is not meant to be a burden, but is to enable us to live the common life in
Christ. In our daily life in community these disciplines must be lived. It is here that
God shapes Christ in us. It is here Christ calls us to be his Body, living in love, joy,
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peace, patient endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, gentleness and self-control.
It is here God gives us our place among the faithful.
Therefore with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven,
we laud and magnify thy glorious name, evermore, praising thee, and
saying:
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, LORD GOD OF HOSTS: HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE FULL
OF THY GLORY! GLORY BE TO THEE, O LORD MOST HIGH! AMEN.
Any common life shared by Christians is built upon the new commandment given to
us by Jesus; Love one another as I have loved you (John 15:12). Within such
company, mutual acceptance and forgiveness is to transcend discord. The pursuit of
truth and honesty is to build faith on a spirit of generosity and hospitality. Its' goal
is to extend peace to all neighbors, both friend and stranger alike. This quality of
love, including all of its' practical applications, is the aim of Christian monastic life.
Four-Fold Purpose
Community of Prayer
Community of Reconciliation
Community of Discipleship
Community of Hospitality
Direction and Guidance
Sacrament of the Present Moment
In gratitude for the gift of life we will seek to be aware of God present in every
moment, trusting that as we respond in faith to the duties of each day God is
revealed. The Word made flesh and dwelling among us shows His glory in the
ordinary circumstances of daily life, in our neighbors need, in the beauty of
creation, in the tasks set before us and in the rub of community life. In these
moments we would see and hear and taste and touch the goodness of God. And we
would ask the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts and words and actions that we
might glorify God in all.
Prayer
In recognition of Gods longing for us and our longing for God we will set aside a
time each day for prayer. As a part of the whole people of God, we pray the prayer
of the Church and the Office of Psalms. This corporate prayer, based on the
Liturgical Year, is the primary expression of our life together in Christ. As we pray
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the Office we experience the mystery of Jesus presence in us. Remembering Gods
command and promise we will delight in the Lord by keeping the Sabbath holy. As
individual members of the Body of Christ, we will give ourselves to personal prayer,
to being with God and to listening for His word to us. These times set aside for
prayer, corporate and personal, are to enable us to pray unceasingly and to live
prayerfully.
Simplicity
Acknowledging God as Giver and Sustainer of life we will order our lives in
simplicity, relying on Gods Providence. We will seek daily to un-clutter our lives by
letting go of things, concerns and habits that divide our hearts and keep us from
simplicity itself. We will content ourselves with the place and provision God grants
and call to mind each day the plight of the poor and the needs of the worlds
peoples. We will order our day so that we will have time -- time for God, time for
people, time for ourselves, observing a rhythm of work and leisure. Ordinarily the
morning will be given to reflective activities, to prayer, reading and
correspondence; the afternoon to physical labor; the evening to community life and
nurture through the company of the faithful.
Silence and Solitude
In response to Gods one true Word, the Word our hearts long for, we will spend
time daily in silence and solitude. In silence and solitude we listen for the Word,
Christ, present in the beginning and dwelling within us. We are drawn beyond
division, into the mystery of unity in Christ, in whom all things in heaven and earth
are made one. The Word is spoken to us personally, and in the solitude of the heart
our true identity is revealed. Time set aside for silence and solitude creates and
awareness of Gods Word and cultivates and attitude of attentiveness and
receptivity, enabling us to think and speak and act in response to Gods Word
throughout the day.
Spiritual Direction
In gratitude for Gods guidance through the Holy Spirit, we will listen for direction
and seek to discern Gods will. We will give thanks each day for the church on earth
and the company of heaven, for the Holy Scripture and tradition. Acknowledging
that Gods grace is most often mediated through others, we will seek regular
spiritual direction from a person of holy wisdom (Anam Cara). When a suitable
Anam Cara (soul-friend) is not available we will seek direction through good books,
family and friends, and our own prayer.
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Spiritual Reading
In response to Gods call to seek Him and grow in wisdom we will attend to the
Divine Word spoken to us through Scripture. This will include study, but also taking
to our heart the Word through meditating, praying and contemplating Scripture.
Thus we come to know and love the person of Christ Jesus. We will also seek
insight by reading other writings of spiritual significance.
Eucharist
In thanksgiving we will gather at Christs table regularly, receiving His Body and
Blood given to us for the life of the world. The celebration of Eucharist is central in
the life of faith. The one who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me;
and I in him. Just as the Father who has life sent Me and I have life because of the
Father, so the one who feeds on Me will have life because of Me (Jn 6:56-57).
Christ offers Himself to us in this sacrament, and we respond in obedience. In
receiving Christ we become that which we receive, the Body of Christ. Taken,
blessed, broken and distributed, we are drawn into the mystery of the paschal
pattern of dying and rising. In this sacrament we anticipate the fullness of the
kingdom when all creation will be gathered as one at Christs table. We will
celebrate this hope each day as we gather at table, making each meal a
remembrance of Christs feast.
Corporate Prayer
The corporate worship of the Church nourishes and sustains our life in Christ. Care
should be taken to avail ourselves of opportunities to be united in and with the
Body of Christ in order to acknowledge the holiness of God, to hear Gods word, to
offer prayer, and to celebrate the sacraments. Regular participation in Sunday
worship is of primary importance.
Individual Prayer
Prayer is responding to God by thought, word and deed, with or without words,
through Christ Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. Consider regular times and
places for the offering of meditation, contemplation, adoration, praise,
thanksgiving, penitence, oblation, intercession, and petition.
Repentance and Reconciliation
This is a regular examination of conscience with emphasis on living in love of God,
love your neighbor, and of yourself. This may include the Sacrament of
Reconciliation.
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Fasting and Abstinence
Forms of self-denial are found useful by many people but a hindrance by some who
find it difficult to judge what is the proper place for the use of these in their lives. It
is deemed appropriate to fast from meats, fishes, alcohol, and oils on Wednesdays
and Fridays. No fast should ever occur on a Sunday, as this is the joyous occasion
of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Consideration is given to those who
may not be able to fast due to health conditions.
Devotional Reading
Regular reading, study and devotional consideration (meditation) of Holy Scriptures
in particular and other spiritual books is an enriching part of our spiritual life.
Stewardship
Consider regular giving of a portion of your time, your talents, and your money to
you church and to support the Community through prayer, work and gifts, as may
be appropriate for your circumstances.
Statements of Affirmation
I will pray daily, remembering to use the Lords Prayer with special intention that
Gods will may be done in me and in all humankind.
I will cultivate a personal prayer life, and seek a closer walk with Jesus Christ, our
Savior and Healer.
I will pray for the whole Body of Christ for the purpose of supporting the Scriptural
intent that the whole Body upbuild itself in love (Ephesians 4:16).
I will receive Holy Communion regularly.
I will seek such health of body, soul and spirit as will make me capable of maximum
vocation.
I will cultivate the gifts that God has given me for the work of healing by study,
active service, and by giving heed to the revelation God gives in particular
circumstances.
I will seek continued growth as an instrument our Lord can use for the healing of
others.
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I will share this healing Gospel with others by personal witness, by praying for
others, and by contributing to the edification of the Body of Christ according to my
ability.
I will attempt all of this so far as I am able with the help of God.
Types of Vocation
Engaging in a lengthy process of discernment and formation can be difficult and
tests the patience of the partaker. It is urged to N
because of a desire to simply be a part of a group. This formation is best served
cold with no pressure or corporate expectations. This is a very personal journey but
made with loving brothers and sisters of like mind. SIM
FIDELITY are the building blocks of Franciscan spirituality.
Conversion (dedication to the transformation of ones life in the image of Christ)
and stability (the vow to persevere with ones brothers and sisters until death) is
the ultimate aim of this profession.
POSTULANCY (Postulant)
NOVITIATE (Novice)
PROFESSED (Profession)
Concerning the Habit
As we adorn ourselves with humility, we bring to mind the charge of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to
the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me
are reminded of our duties as poor men and women of Christ.
All brothers and sisters of the Franciscans of the
allowed the Habit of our Seraphic Father St. Francis. The humility of this habit
should be worn for all Liturgical functions and church sanctioned events. For our
use we will employ a Brown
bound with a white Cord of three barrel knots and with side beads of the Franciscan
Crown, a wooden cross is worn by all members. If a member holds the rank of
Bishop, a gold pectoral cross and a red zucchetto may be worn. If a mem
the rank of Priest or Deacon, a silver pectoral cross and a black zucchetto may be
worn. Sandals are our accustomed foot wear. It is not expected for all members
outside of a walled monastery to wear the habit at all times. But it is expected for
the cross of the Victorious Christ to be worn under secular clothes.
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Engaging in a lengthy process of discernment and formation can be difficult and
tests the patience of the partaker. It is urged to NOT take these steps in haste or
because of a desire to simply be a part of a group. This formation is best served
cold with no pressure or corporate expectations. This is a very personal journey but
made with loving brothers and sisters of like mind. SIMPLICITY, PURITY and
FIDELITY are the building blocks of Franciscan spirituality.
Conversion (dedication to the transformation of ones life in the image of Christ)
and stability (the vow to persevere with ones brothers and sisters until death) is
mate aim of this profession.
POSTULANCY (Postulant)
PROFESSED (Profession)
As we adorn ourselves with humility, we bring to mind the charge of our Lord and
. If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to
the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me
are reminded of our duties as poor men and women of Christ.
All brothers and sisters of the Franciscans of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross will be
allowed the Habit of our Seraphic Father St. Francis. The humility of this habit
should be worn for all Liturgical functions and church sanctioned events. For our
Habit after the fashion of the Order of Friars Minor
bound with a white Cord of three barrel knots and with side beads of the Franciscan
Crown, a wooden cross is worn by all members. If a member holds the rank of
Bishop, a gold pectoral cross and a red zucchetto may be worn. If a mem
the rank of Priest or Deacon, a silver pectoral cross and a black zucchetto may be
worn. Sandals are our accustomed foot wear. It is not expected for all members
outside of a walled monastery to wear the habit at all times. But it is expected for
the cross of the Victorious Christ to be worn under secular clothes.
Engaging in a lengthy process of discernment and formation can be difficult and
OT take these steps in haste or
because of a desire to simply be a part of a group. This formation is best served
cold with no pressure or corporate expectations. This is a very personal journey but
PLICITY, PURITY and
Conversion (dedication to the transformation of ones life in the image of Christ)
and stability (the vow to persevere with ones brothers and sisters until death) is
As we adorn ourselves with humility, we bring to mind the charge of our Lord and
. If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to
the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. We
Exaltation of the Holy Cross will be
allowed the Habit of our Seraphic Father St. Francis. The humility of this habit
should be worn for all Liturgical functions and church sanctioned events. For our
he Order of Friars Minor
bound with a white Cord of three barrel knots and with side beads of the Franciscan
Crown, a wooden cross is worn by all members. If a member holds the rank of
Bishop, a gold pectoral cross and a red zucchetto may be worn. If a member holds
the rank of Priest or Deacon, a silver pectoral cross and a black zucchetto may be
worn. Sandals are our accustomed foot wear. It is not expected for all members
outside of a walled monastery to wear the habit at all times. But it is expected for
This General Rule has been approved by official mandate of the
Apostolic Church of North America
Witnessed by:
Our deepest thanks go to Fr. James Hager II, Prince of Peace CEC, Columbia, South
Carolina for generously offering a template in which to build our own Rule of life. Upon
examination it is found to be in keeping with the vision of the Franciscans of the Ex
of the Holy Cross and as such IS adopted with additions and amendments as the Rule of Life
by the Exaltation Franciscans.
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This General Rule has been approved by official mandate of the Old Catholic
of North America on 14 April 2012.
Our deepest thanks go to Fr. James Hager II, Prince of Peace CEC, Columbia, South
Carolina for generously offering a template in which to build our own Rule of life. Upon
examination it is found to be in keeping with the vision of the Franciscans of the Ex
of the Holy Cross and as such IS adopted with additions and amendments as the Rule of Life
Catholic
Our deepest thanks go to Fr. James Hager II, Prince of Peace CEC, Columbia, South
Carolina for generously offering a template in which to build our own Rule of life. Upon
examination it is found to be in keeping with the vision of the Franciscans of the Exaltation
of the Holy Cross and as such IS adopted with additions and amendments as the Rule of Life