The Province of St. Joseph, Spouse of the B.V.M. in Romania recently celebrated a Spiritual Chapter in the city of Roman. The Chapter was divided into two sessions. The first was held on June 25-26, 2018, with ninety friars participating. The second took place on July 2-3, with fifty-five friars participating. The theme of the Chapter was “The Lord Gave Me Brothers” (Testament of St. Francis no. 14).

Friar Giovanni SALONIA, OFM Cap., led the first group in basic reflections, while Friar Emiliano STRINO, OFM Cap., did the same for the second group. Their lectures explored three points: the ideal of Francis as interpreted from his writings, the obstacles that prevent us from living peacefully in fraternity and practical solutions to overcome fraternal difficulties.
On the long road to creating a fraternity that corresponds with our desire for happiness, we must learn to look with the eyes of faith in order to interpret the reality of community life. We do not focus on “how” a fraternity ought to be according to the way we understand it today—which Francis never spoke about. Rather, we focus on “how” we are called by God to be friars and to be a gift to one another, despite many difficulties. Major obstacles such as narcissism, envy and jealousy, which impede our being brothers, can be overcome with humility, by meditating on the fragility in one’s own life, by committing oneself to seeing one’s brother through the eyes of faith, aware that there is no truth without charity. One should always try to discover the affective value of the spiritual life. This road is long, but the grace of God is abundant.

Friar Cristian CLOPOŢEL