I was talking with my little just the other day in one of our “covenant talks”, at least that’s what I call them. We were talking about self-sacrifice. For such a deep subject, it received the smallest description in our covenant, but I think there is a reason for that. It’s a virtue that needs more than words. It requires action.
I always look for examples when trying to explain something, and what better example of self-sacrifice is there than Jesus Christ. God in his goodness could not let that which he had created continue in corruption. Only a man who lived without sin but still paid the price could redeem mankind. Therefore, in an act of filial obedience to the Father, Christ came down from glory, lived without sin and gave up his life for mankind as the pure and unblemished sacrifice.
We in Pater Noster strive to become like the Father, but to do so we must participate fully in the sonship of Christ. Christ as the Son of God gave his life for all. We must do so as well. There is a phrase in Latin that I try to model my life after: Non Sibi. In English: Not for oneself. It is not for ourselves that we are on earth. We are here for God. We must surrender our wills unto his divine will. “Thy will be done.”
Self-sacrifice is essentially love. Christ told his disciples to love one another as he had loved them. He also said that there was no greater love than for man to give his life for his friends. To love is to give life. The ultimate form of this is to give up our own lives so that others might have it. That’s something I wanted to reflect on and I believe we all could strive to be a more self-giving.
I recently took a giant step in my life in household. I was just given a little. He’s a freshman and his name is Tim. In Pater Noster we call them foster sons. Since our household is about fatherhood, we view it as our duty to be father figures in the lives of our intents and to mentor them in the ways of our covenant. He is my first foster son, so I am taking it very seriously. I want to make sure I leave him with something that will stay with him.
Just last weekend we started going over the covenant together. Pater Noster has five charisms that we strive for, and I plan to go over one each week. I started with humility, the foundation for all other virtues. I think humility is something that is often misunderstood. It does not mean that we have to think less of ourselves. Pride exists when we take our gifts and only give ourselves the credit. Humility is the opposite of that. Our talents and abilities are gifts from God, therefore, we must give the credit back to him. After Tim and I discussed this, I told to make list of all of his talents and abilities and show how each one can be used to serve the Lord God. He will show it to me on Saturday. I’m excited to continue working with him. He’s a great guy.
This week is a big week for my household and it has me really excited. Last week we got our first two freshmen intents on the same day. We already had a sophomore intent a few weeks prior. He made us this wonderful Italian dinner when he did so and it was one of the best things I’ve in a long time. I believe I had at least three pounds of food that night. This week is our household retreat. Retreats are a great experience for those in households, especially intents. It will be the first time that our intents get to experience the prayer life of household without being tied down by anything relating to academia. In preparation for this retreat, our coordinator Tyson has been leading us in a Marian consecration in the style of St. Joseph. The final day will be on our retreat, where Bishop Jeffrey Montforten will celebrate mass and complete our consecration. I can’t wait
In other news, Francis Fest was a huge success for us. We sold everything we made. More coming on that in a story that will be on my household website. Expect an article up Sunday, Monday at the latest.
The Francis festival is coming this Saturday, which means something very exciting for household life. Freshman can finally intent. I remember when I intented. It was at the Francis fest two years ago. I had already found the household that I belonged in, but not everyone is as fast as I am. You may be interested in multiple households. Several covenants may be calling you. My advice for freshman is to look at yourself. What are your weaknesses? What are your strengths? Find a household that will help you in those areas of life. Don’t just join one because you think the people are cool. That is not what households are for. They are to help build you up in Faith of Christ.
So the website is on the way. I already have the homepage done, it just needs a little tweaking in some spots. As things are developing there I also want to develop the why behind I am doing all of this. Households are important. In my opinion, they are a major part of the spiritual fervor that is found at Franciscan University. It is not very often that people can gather with others similar to them and discuss the higher things of life. Here at Franciscan it is common, and this is in part due to households. Students in household receive a true sense of a familial relationship with each other. They eat together. They work together. They pray together. Having a sense of community in one’s life is great way to help them grow as a human being.
Here at Franciscan University we have small groups of students that gather together to pray an converse about the Faith. These are households. Households serve students as small religious communities where students who have similar callings to strive after particular virtues. Each household has its own set of charisms that it is based on. For men, if you are interested in the virtues of Fatherhood, join Pater Noster (I’m in this one). If you are all about the Eucharist, join Tantum Ergo Sacramentum. If you love St. Joseph, become an Apprentice of St. Joseph. For women, if you are devoted to Mary, join Totus Tuus Maria. If you love mercy, join Daughters of Divine Mercy.
As the year progresses, I will be developing a website all about households. It will carry news all about household life, ministry and events. This blog will serve as a behind the scenes guide for my website is coming what the plans are for the future.