Fred began writing Spiritual Reflections 30+ years ago, when he joined a religious order of monks which is no longer in existence. Fred was with that order for almost five years. He has been, and continues to be a professed member of the Secular Franciscan Order. "bro. Fred's Reflections" really began at the behest of his superior, as a monk, and the first 83 reflections were written there (1998-2002). Hundreds were added in the years following.
Please use the index in the left-most column, to find other reflections.
Pope Benedict XVI "The Solemnity of All Saints encourages us to reflect “on the dual horizon of humanity, symbolically expressed in the words 'earth' and 'heaven': the earth represents the path of history, while heaven represents eternity, the fullness of life in God”, said the Pope to the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square at midday to pray the Angelus.
“This feast reminds us of the Church in its dual dimension: the Church on its journey through time and the Church which celebrates an eternal feast, the heavenly Jerusalem. These two dimensions are united by the 'communion of saints', which begins here on earth and is completed in heaven. On earth, the Church represents the beginning of this mystery of communion which unites humanity, a mystery centred entirely upon Jesus Christ: it was He Who introduced this new dynamism into humankind, a movement that brings us towards God, and at the same time towards unity, towards profound peace. ... Being Christian, belonging to the Church, means opening to this communion, just as a seed opens within the earth, dying and germinating, reaching up towards heaven”.
The saints – those proclaimed as such by the Church, but also all those known only to God, whom we also celebrate today – have experienced this dynamism intensely. Christ presented Himself to each one of them in a very personal way, thanks to His Spirit which works through the Word and the Sacraments. Indeed, being united with Christ in the Church, does not nullify personality, but rather opens it out and transforms it through the force of love, giving it an eternal dimension, already here on earth. In essence, it means conforming to the image of the Son of God, fulfilling the plan of God Who created man in His image and likeness. But entering into Christ also opens us to communion with other members of the mystic Body that is the Church, a communion that is perfect in 'heaven' where there is no isolation, competition or separation”.
In the saints we see “the victory of love over egoism and death: we see that following Christ leads to life, to eternal life, and gives meaning to the present, ... filling it with love and hope. Only faith in eternal life can enable us to love history and the present, but without attachment, with the freedom of the pilgrim who loves the earth because his heart belongs to heaven. May the Virgin Mary give us the grace to believe firmly in eternal life and to enter into true communion with our beloved deceased”.
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A Gift of a New
by Fred Schaeffer, OFS 2019
Secular Franciscan Order
Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis
Divine Mercy Fraternity
Vero Beach, FL
Term expires: 2/10/2022
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
Helen Caldarone, OFS
Mary "Jean" McGovern, OFS
Jack Reddy, OFS
Donna Haro, OFS
Joanne Giordano, OFS
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
Five Franciscan Martyrs