“The Secular Franciscan, committed to following the example and teachings of Christ, must personally and assiduously study the Gospel and Sacred Scripture. “ (Art 9.2.a, General Constitutions of the Secular Franciscan Order)
In the America magazine website’s blog, The Good Word, there is an entry by John W. Marstens, on reading the Bible. In it, he expresses the concern that despite the increasing access people have to the Scriptures; through books, the Web, laptops, and Kindles; people are losing the ability to read well. We are now in a time when if an article, whether on paper or electronic, is longer than 400 to 800 words, the viewer begins to lose interest. There is still a growing illiteracy when it comes to the Bible; when people read aloud the Scriptures, some have trouble pronouncing the most common of words, breaking the flow of the reading.
Franciscans are committed to the Word of God, to reading, listening, meditating, and praying over it. As with Francis, we are called to live the teachings of Jesus Christ, make them come alive in our daily world. If we can do that, maybe we can inspire others to take up the Scriptures and read.