I am now leaving the Order (as far as I am concerned, I have
left). However, my priorities continue to be similar to those I
Third Order SSF Rule of Life for John Sturdy
Revised 20th August 1997
- I aim to put God first always.
- I shall read the Bible every day;
I shall set aside at least fifteen minutes each day for Bible
reading, prayer, and study.
I will sometimes combine some of these, for example, lectio
divina, or reading the Bible in a foreign language.
- I shall receive the Eucharist every Sunday, and attend an
Office service at least once each week when possible, and
say such a service privately if not able to attend a public
Office. I will set Sunday aside as not being a working day.
- When it is readily available I shall receive the Eucharist at
least one weekday each week.
- I shall try to facilitate ongoing conversio morum, by
various means including:
This is in the hope of breaking up old habits that hinder my
remembrance of my Creator, and of avoiding stagnating into new
- stopping for thought and prayer before taking decisions
- examen of consciousness
- written notes and essays, and journalling (taking care
to avoid the self-centred kind of introspection but
being prepared to draw on observations of myself where
- cognitve / scriptural techniques drawing largely on the
wisdom of Proverbs
- weekly review of my behaviour, and longer prayer, typically
towards the end of the week, with Sacramental Confession
- I shall take at least an Annual
Retreat, typically for a
week, usually in the autumn. This will usually be at a Franciscan or
other Religious House, and will normally be an individual and
- I shall work among the Parish as directed by my Parish Priest.
I shall take an active part in local Church ministry, both in
work behind the scenes and in work that involves people
directly. In practice, this includes serving at the Altar, web work,
bell-ringing and at times
serving on committees as elected.
- I shall make my time and abilities available to the Church in
general. This includes such work as preparation of Web sites,
and handiwork such as bicycle repair for mission projects,
and flower arranging.
- I shall be mindful of quality as well as creativity, for
example writing habitually in a legible calligraphic hand
rather than my old handwriting (which is no faster).
- In hope of tying my secular
employment into my spiritual life, I shall be mindful of
quality of my work, bearing in mind the Giver of my
abilities. I shall reinforce this with a prayertime at the
start of the working day, usually in the form of the ``Oremus''
electronic daily office from the Internet.
- I aim to tithe when this is possible, and set a basic target of
one part in twenty of my income to be given away.
- I will attempt to be be continually aware of encroachments of
consumerism on my way of life,
- weighing up the merits of buying things, making them
myself, or doing without them
- repairing, re-using, and recycling materials as
- On Fridays and Sundays, not buying anything other than
for immediate use
- I shall consider the appropriate form of transport for each
journey, choosing from cycling, driving, walking,
and using public transport. I will normally cycle and not drive
for at least one day per week.
- In choosing food, I will consider not only what is dietarily
appropriate but also the production of the foods, bearing in mind
the possibilities of something have been produced by exploited
labour, or with harmful chemicals, or transported long
distances when an alternative from nearby is available, or
packaged in excessive non-reusable non-recyclable packaging. In
giving thanks for the food, I will remember the many effects of
its production. I will eat economically for my day-to-day
- I will aim to be aware of resources used in various ways, such
as domestic water use.
- In choosing things to do, I will consider what is good use of
time and other resources, being respectful of the usefulness of
activity that is not immediately or measurably productive (such
as tidying up after other activities, or leaving more journey
time for the sake of goodwill to those who get in the way).
- I will set aside typically an evening a week for being at home,
tidying, reading and writing.
- In interacting with anyone I find difficult, I will attempt to
combine kindness with integrity, being prepared to do what is
genuinely helpful but not letting myself be pressured by
demands for pseudo-solutions. In particular, this includes
- those begging for money, particularly when it seems
likely they will use it for things which make an
addiction situation worse
- those wanting to corner someone
into talking to them so they can pretend to be friends,
particularly when it seems likely they will use it to
make a dependence situation worse
- I will make prompt but considered replies to correspondence.
- I will normally ask a member of a Franciscan or other Religious
community to be my Spiritual Director. I would hope to discuss
my keeping of the Rule and the Way of Life with him or her at
least twice a year.
- As well as consulting my spiritual director at intervals, and
asking for advice at sacramental confessions, in making
decisions and considering changes I will ask suitable friends
or relevant profession people for advice on important matters,
rather than taking them in isolation from my own ideas. I will
also be prepared to share such points with my Third Order
smallgroup for comments and advice.
|John C. G. Sturdy
Brother Thomas Anthony SSF is my present Spiritual Director.
John C. G. Sturdy
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Last modified: Fri Jul 06 22:23:11 GMT Daylight Time 2007