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Catholic Francsican Friar

Is there a need out there for single people. I am thinking about becoming a Francsican friar. I would like to help people in society: marriage problems, drug addicts, people in prison, and so on. But no marriage. Does everyone have an obligation to marry and have kids, or not?

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 ---Ed on 4/10/07
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Ed if you desire to marry, don't give up looking!
I married my husband 4 months after he turned 60, that was 4 years ago. I had been married before, he had not. Life and love is much more 'relaxed' as we get older! I am now 57 yrs. old. barba4556
---NVBarbara on 5/13/07

Ed...I'm glad you're still reading here; this thread was starting to look "lonely", for such an interesting and edifying and fun place > old I am > fifty-nine and never married > "maybe" I wasn't quite so romantic while younger, and now am aging away from that possibility (=: and "maybe" I MYSELF can still go welcoming excuses to criticize OTHERS > good points, Ed...thank you.
---Billbila5659 on 5/12/07

Helen::While reading your post of 27/4/07 saw your quote of Ephysians 1:8-9.which does not tally with what you quoteThe Chapter deals with Spiritual blessings in ChristReminding us that we were blessed by Him in love right before the foundation of the worldto be holy & Blameless.Read it because it may make the difference between your understanding & Gods Truth.Your salvation is in your own Hands Trust & follow Him who as God Became MAN to show us the WAY HIS WAY.
---Emcee on 5/10/07

Must remember, Francis didn't conciously go out to set-up an organization. He simply felt that the life his peers had planned out for him wasn't for him. In fact he felt quite sick by the materialism and superficiality around him. I think you are quite hard on him. Francis wasn't perfect. No man is. But he reminds me of St John the Baptist who went out and lived in the dessert. Where are these people nowadays. Don't be too harsh on Francis. He loved God and helped bring many to Him.
---Ed on 5/10/07

I don't know how old you are. But Francis was 25 or less - a young man - when he turnd to God. People of that age are more romantic than us when we get older. But their contribution is just as important as ours. Even if they do sometimes go overboard in some things. They are not perfect, neither are we older people. And something that they have and we more easily lose: vibrancy, joie-de-vivre, charm, romance, imagination, spontaneity of spirit and so on - things that Francis was abundant with.
---Ed on 5/10/07

Ed, I read a book about Francis and how he wanted his followers to do things; it seems he did not even want to look at he wouldn't get into lust. Well, I'd say real self-control is the fruit of the Holy Spirit > so it is natural and does not depend on using methods to force control on yourself. Fruit GROWS and is sweeter after it is ripe . . . in God's love with almighty control with sweet satisfaction.
---Bill_bila5659 on 5/10/07

Also, it said Francis insisted that ones not wear footwear, in order to identify with Christ's "poverty". But Jesus wore sandals. If what the book says is true, I think Francis was imposing a self-produced control regimen on himself and others. Paul says, "These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglest of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh." (Colossians 2:23)
---Bill_bila5659 on 5/10/07

Ed - LOL. That's a good one. Yes, you got it right!
---Helen_5378 on 5/2/07

Helen. What do you mean? You are a big woman from Australia ?!
---Ed on 5/2/07

Ed and Bob - Gotcha! You were both half-right. It is both!
---Helen_5378 on 5/2/07

Is there anything wrong by the way flirting with a single woman. Of course its wrong with a married woman. But if you don't flirt then it is difficult to get to know someone. But since Helen says she is not interested i am backing off. No offence intended, by the way Helen.
Sure Bill.
If there are any single ladies out there who want to flirt so as to get to know someone a bit more for marriage then please let me know.
It is o.k. to flirt isn't? I mean we are human beings not robots.
---Ed on 5/2/07

Ed, you can ENJOY a Christian sister without getting married to her. I think of how it says God "gives us richly all things to enjoy," in 1 Timothy 6:17. If Helen is truly satisfied being single, then we can enjoy her the way she really is being blessed. Helen, I hope you'd like to have ME also for blogging. Ed . . . can we s-h-a-r-e her? Easier done if she's single (-: ! ! !
---Bill_bila5659 on 5/2/07

Ed - Just not interested in marriage.
---Helen_5378 on 5/1/07

Oh Ed, I don't recall Helen saying you couldn't get your arms around her. If she did, it's because she lives in Aussie country. The distance is too great I suppose. I'm bummed, too. I wanted the two of you to get hitched. What a rotter, Helen will know what that means.
---Bob on 5/1/07

You said i wouldn't be able to get my arms around you. By that do you mean you are a large woman? Nothing wrong with that as long as you stay healthy. And large women are nice and cuddly (and better child-bearers than thin, scrawny ones). Are you not attracted to men or are you just not interested in marriage, full-stop. Just curious.
---Ed on 5/1/07

Ed - Yes, without love a Christian is like a clanging cymbal (1 Corinthians 13:1). However, the love that Christians have can only come into that Christian when they are born-again. This is how it goes: Saved, then fruit of the Spirit develops. Love is a fruit of the Spirit. Salvation is purely and totally by faith. "The just shall live by faith" (Galatians 3:11). Also read Galatians 5:4 where it says that you have fallen from grace if you attempt to be justified other than by faith.
---Helen_5378 on 5/1/07

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Ed - I am single and am very happy that way. I know we disagree but hope we can continue to Blog here together. :)
---Helen_5378 on 5/1/07

i agree Bill
---Ed on 5/1/07

Hi, Ed . . . yes, I have liked a lot of women, and wanted to marry "a number"; but now that I have experienced God's love more, I can tell my fondness for certain women was NOT in the quality and goodness of God's love. It does me more good to love ALL people in God's love fulfilling me in ALL my relating, with NO favoritism because of someone's Bible talking or nice looks etc. "'For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?'" Jesus says in Matthew 5:46.
---Bill_bila5659 on 5/1/07

No one has an obligation to have kids and marry. and to stay single so you can be free to minister is a noble plan as long as you are committed to ministry, Paul says it was good anyway. He also said that it is better to get married than to live in sexual hunger.
---Jared on 4/30/07

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Paul also said that no one should consider themselves better than another for staying single. and that is was false to not permit marriage at all. So decide for yourself.
---Jared on 4/30/07

"The Scriptures you have quoted all apply to the person after they have become born-again" where is the sciptural evidence for this? That is your personal - Helen's point of view. Even Martin Luther admitted this piece of scripture went against his claim of Fide Solo. He just said that the writer had got it wrong. Again you can tell us your personal opinion - but scripture - St Paul tells us that Faith without Love is useless.
---Ed on 4/30/07

By the way are you married or not? How old are you too? Let me know. Seriously i might be looking for a good Christian wife. Even though i disagree with you often ..
Love Ed
---Ed on 4/30/07

Ed - No. The Scriptures you have quoted all apply to the person after they have become born-again. Faith is the only thing that saves, and that salvation is totally in Jesus' finished work on the Cross for sin. The Holy Spirit who resides in believers will produce love in that person, as love is a fruit of the Spirit, not of self. Being born-again will also produce good works. But love and works do not contribute to salvation. They are a product of having already been born-again.
---Helen_5378 on 4/30/07

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"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love." (Galatians 5:6)

So, faith that saves, I'd consider, is faith which works "through love" > through the love which is in the Holy Spirit > "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:5)
---Bill_bila5659 on 4/30/07


In the epistle of James, James says the opposite to you:

1. "a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone" (2:24)

2. "faith without deeds is useless... dead"(2:20,26)

3. "the devils also believe, and tremble" (2:19)

4. a letter instructing Christians "to be doers of the word and not merely hearers" (1:22)
---Ed on 4/30/07

2. Helen

And when you quote Ephesians you are quoting St Paul who said: ""If I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing" (1Cor.13:1-3)

This is the similar to what James says in point 2.

Therefore scripture tells us very clearly, Helen, that you need Love / Good Works, not just Faith, for salvation.
---Ed on 4/30/07

Hi, Ed > "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." (James 2:24) James gives three examples of works which justify >

(1) helping someone who is "naked and destitute of daily food." (James 2:15-16)

(2) Abraham offered up Isaac (21-23, Genesis 22)

(3) helping God's messengers (v. 25)

Each example involves PERSONAL loving > helping humans, or how Abraham loved God by personally communicating with Him and doing what He said to do.
---Bill_bila5659 on 4/30/07

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thanks Bill,
---Ed on 4/29/07

1 Timothy 3:1-10 shows me we need pastors who are family men so they can understand and help married people with how God has helped them.
---Bill_bila5659 on 4/29/07***

According to Barna, conservative Protestants have the highest divorce rate of all Christians.
---augusta on 4/29/07

Ed - Scripture does say that we accept God's free gift of salvation through faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). Scripture does not say that we accept salvation through love. Once you are saved, then you know you are saved and you are a different person. Then there is the ongoing work of sanctification in our lives brought about through the Cross and Jesus' finished work there.
---Helen_5378 on 4/29/07

Faith without works is dead.
I doubt the faith of those who say they are Chrisrtian (even if claiming to be born-again) if they did not do works or show love.
---alan_of_UK on 4/29/07

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1. No Helen! You are not listening to me sister.
I never said that you can work your way to Heavan. Salvation is first and foremost a gift from God. But we have the choice of rejecting or accepting that gift. How do we accept it? Firstly through faith, and secondly through Love (not the same as good works - subtle, but important difference).
---Ed on 4/29/07

2. Helen

And if there is one thing about my faith i am most sure about: if there is no love then there can be no salvation:

"And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing" - this is written by the same person (St Paul) who wrote the quote you used.

And it makes sense. Jesus whole life was one act of sacrifice. One act of Love.
---Ed on 4/29/07

3. Helen
St Paul (Corinthians 13):

"Love is long suffering,
love is kind,
it is not jealous,
love does not boast,
it is not inflated.

It is not discourteous,
it is not selfish,
it is not irritable,
it does not enumerate the evil.
It does not rejoice over the wrong, but rejoices in the truth

It covers all things,
it has faith for all things,
it hopes in all things,
it endures in all things.
---Ed on 4/29/07

4. Helen
What right have we to judge we have been saved (we don't - only God). Jesus suffered under those Jews who thought they were righteous. Remember those Jews who tried to trick him over the stoning of the girl. Jesus said whoever is without sin can cast the first stone. Jesus warned something similar to this in the Good Samaratin when the man of faith walked on by, but the non-believer helped the beggar (compassion).
---Ed on 4/29/07

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5. Helen.

And lastly Jesus tell us this (in Matthew):

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
---Ed on 4/29/07

Ed, Hebrews 4:15 says, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." This shows me Jesus went through things we go through so He can feel for us and help us with what got Him through things. Like this - - 1 Timothy 3:1-10 shows me we need pastors who are family men so they can understand and help married people with how God has helped them.
---Bill_bila5659 on 4/29/07

Hi, Ed > you say you are in a crunch? If you mean a crunch to make a decision, I'd say don't let any crunching thing push or hurry you. See what God gives you peace to do > Jesus does not worry and hurry and waste and wear and tear us, in how He cares for us. So, I'd say don't let pressuring stuff and people push you around.

"'Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.'" (Matthew 11:29)
---Bill_bila5659 on 4/28/07

Ed - What you are talking about is a works salvation which God will not accept from anybody. When God looks at you, He must see you in His Son Jesus Christ, or else you are not saved. The whole plan of salvation is about what Jesus did on the Cross for the sin of the world. Galatians 5:4 says that you have fallen from grace if you attempt to be justified by law which is works.
---Helen_5378 on 4/28/07

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Ed - ("No Love: then no salvation (Corinthians 13).") -- That is not true. Ephesians 2:8,9 says "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast". Faith is totally in Christ and is a free gift from God. Nobody can work their way to Heaven. Sin is the problem and Jesus paid the price for sin on the Cross. P.S. Which Corinthians were you referring to?
---Helen_5378 on 4/28/07

Ed - If you read the New Testament you will see that there are far more commandments for Christians to keep other than the love commandments. None of them give us salvation. Salvation is totally in Christ and is a free gift from God.
---Helen_5378 on 4/28/07

Ed - You have quoted Corinthians several times, but is it 1 or 2 Corinthians that you are referring to?
---Helen_5378 on 4/28/07


"For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so to also faith without works is dead" (James 2:26)" - clearly contradicts your assertion.

Just as St Paul contradicts your assertion (Corinthians) "faith without Love is useless"

What did Jesus say? In fact what did Jesus do? His whole life was one big example of sacrifice for others - Love.

We can accept or reject God's gift of salvation. And we do so by acting out or not acting out God's Love.
---Ed on 4/28/07

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God's greatest commandments are to Love God and neighbour. He warns us of the person who thinks he is a man of God and forgets his Love (The Parable of The Good Samaratin). True Love is spontaneous. Not calculating (will this get me saved?). Of course we pray for salvation but that is different.
Faith Alone - is NOT enough - just as Faith and Good Works is NOT enough. It is ultimately about Love (has similarities to Good Works but still different). No Love: then no salvation (Corinthians 13).
---Ed on 4/28/07

God's greatest commandments are to Love God and neighbour. He warns us of the person who thinks he is a man of God and forgets his Love (The Parable of The Good Samaratin). True Love is spontaneous. Not calculating (will this get me saved?). Of course we pray for salvation but that is different.
Faith Alone - is NOT enough - just as Faith and Good Works is NOT enough. It is ultimately about Love (has similarities to Good Works but still different). No Love: then no salvation (Corinthians 13).
---Ed on 4/28/07

Emcee - Salvation is a free gift from God. Ephesians 1:8,9 says "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselfes; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." That is what God says about salvation and it applies to everyone.
---Helen_5378 on 4/27/07

To those of you here who think you can work your way to Heaven. No, you cannot. The problem is sin. God accepts nothing except complete perfection which is found only in His Son Jesus Christ. That is why Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God. Jesus is without spot or blemish, which is something we humans cannot attain in this life. Perfection awaits us in Heaven.
---Helen_5378 on 4/27/07

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Salvation IS NOT a free Gift Helen you are sending more people to hell by that statement than you know.Did A&E get saved although they were created by GOD-- NO after committing sin they were DRIVEN OUT OF The Garden of Eden & told their future by God.Perfection & keeping HIS Commandments & being Free from SIN is what gets you admitted to heaven.
---Emcee on 4/27/07


Only God is sinless and perfect. Even born-again Christians continue to commit sins. In order that they have really repented and really are of God they must continue praying and putting into action God's two greatest commandments (Love God and Love neighbour) right up to the moment of death. No human being has the right to judge that they have been saved (or that others are not). That - and when it takes place - is up to God, alone. God Bless.
---Ed on 4/27/07

Ed your way to heaven seems to describe working for salvation. You also say the way is hard in your description. How does what you say stack up against Matthew 11:30 which says,"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."????
---Mima on 4/27/07

Ed - Nobody reaches salvation upon death. Salvation is a free gift given to born-again Christians while they are still alive and are able to choose to accept that free gift.
---Helen_5378 on 4/27/07

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Dear sisters (Helen and Lorra).
Yes i had a born-again experience when i was aged 17 as a Catholic although i was taught by the Benedictine monks to try and be a good Christian not a good Catholic!
However i believe we have to keep praying and acting out God's love to stay on the right track - to the very doors of death, in order to reach salvation. Although the road is hard, God is always there to protect us and guide us in the right direction (Love, as opposed to pride). God Bless.
---ed on 4/27/07

Ed - The one most important thing of all is that you be born-again. That you believe that Jesus the Son of God came into this world, took on human flesh and died on the Cross for your sins, then He rose from the dead. Do you know for sure where you are going when you die? Once you are born-again, then all else will fall into place. Bless you.
---Helen_5378 on 4/25/07

Ed, on the other hand, my aunt did become a nun and has lived an amazing life and travelled to some impressive places (perhaps not so tourist friendly, but spiritually rich). She is celebrating 50 years as a nun this spring. To her this has been a rewarding vocation that has enabled her to reach out to so many more people (she is not cloistered).
---lorra8574 on 4/24/07

Ed, you have a major decision to make and it is great to have a sounding board, even if this is a strange place to sound off on this particular subject. I had considered choosing a vocation years ago. I wasn't sure about marriage or children and thought that single life was where I should be. I believe that God called me to the vocation of marriage - dragged me kicking and screaming. But it has been wonderful and I thank God that I listened to Him.
---lorra8574 on 4/24/07

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Ed, I have several Franciscan Friars friends of mine and I simply wish I am as happy as they are.

Dedicating one's life to work for Christ is a noble direction one can take.
---Caring on 4/22/07

Happy Birthday Rachel!
Well you should go back if you have the chance. Only time i visited Belfast i went down an alley and some kids chucked some stones and a brick at my car. But it's changed since then so i hear ..
---Ed on 4/12/07

Ed, Belfast was not a safe place for me to go many years ago. I flew across the country to NYC, left JFK and landed in Shannon with a backpack. I stayed longer in Ireland than any other country I visited. I really did not want to leave, but I did. I traveled all over Europe and flew home from Barcelona, Spain. Ireland is still my favorite place. I was there on my birthday. Today is my birthday, Ed. :-)
---Rachel on 4/12/07

Hi Rachel
Ireland is great place. There have been troubles for the last 40 years, but thank God: the staunchest heads of the Republicans and Loyalists came together two weeks ago to agree to joint rule in N. Ireland. This is a miracle of sorts. Similar to the peaceful end of apartheid in Africa, peaceful independence of India, fall of Berlin Wall etc.
Lived in the west of Ireland. Visited Belfast only once. Apparently it is a completely different place now - really great for tourism.
---Ed on 4/12/07

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Ed, and sometimes losing is winning.
Did you live in Northern or Southern Ireland.
I've been all over Southern Ireland, but did not make it to Belfast. What a beautiful country to grow up in, but not without hardships. You hang in there, Ed.
---Rachel on 4/10/07

There are Anglican (both in communion with Canterbury and continuing) Franciscans, and Lutheran Franciscans.

There are also various kinds of Protestants who are Benedictine oblates.

SECOND time of posting.
---Jack on 4/10/07

Ed, I said it is too late because he does not have the gift of celibacy, such as Apostle Paul and yourself.

But I think he would make a great San Francisco treat.
---Cynthia_1 on 4/10/07

Thanks Lorra.
Sorry to be talking about myself but coming to a crunch time in my life so enouraging to hear people's opinions.
---Ed on 4/10/07

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"However, in your case Ed, you say you like women very much ... and I wonder whether your "calling" in fact results from your fear of commitment to one woman? You can help people just as much when you are married"
- you could be right Alan. Don't know. Some men like men, though, that doesn't mean they should be with men. Married couples do something very special: bring up families. But is surely easier for single people to help people such as waifs, prisoners, prostitutes, outcasts.
---Ed on 4/10/07

Thanks Rachel
I know a lot of single-minded people like me. They are often highly creative, or characters, contemplative etc .. Can't quite fit in. Coming round to the view that the world is made up of practical people who get married and have families, and single people, who shape the society we live in, mould-breakers, prophets even - they are no better or superior - just equal, but different, to the sort of people who get married. And many are a mixture of the two. All equal just different!
---Ed on 4/10/07

Matthew 19:12, even Jesus agrees that chastity is a good thing. And marriage is not an obligation but a calling, just as the priesthood, or sisterhood or brotherhood is (nuns and monks). When Paul said it was better to marry than to burn, he was addressing those who were weak. He himself set the example for celibate singledom as a missionary preacher.
---lorra8574 on 4/10/07

Some cannot contain themselves and should marry, but those who are strong enough and willing to devote their whole lives to God, should be encouraged to do so, especially if they are feeling God's call to this vocation.

This does not mean that everyone who marries is weak, we go where God calls us. But some are called to be single and to serve the Lord, and only the weak would stand in their way.
---lorra8574 on 4/10/07

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Why do you say too late? Is your husband dead? If not then it is never to late.
---Ed on 4/10/07

Some of our greatest artistic geniuses have your makeup.
Your personal life is none of our business, but you want to give back to others. You do not have to marry. Would the move to a 'friar' be a way of escape? Pray about it and don't make any snap decisions. I imagine you've been through a great deal.
---Rachel on 4/10/07

Yes God calls people to salvation, but once they are saved, He may call them to do other things, as He has called Helen, Elder, Bruce and others here.
There is no reason why he should not call some to be friars, in the same way that He calls others to be other kinds of pastor.
However, in your case Ed, you say you like women very much ... and I wonder whether your "calling" in fact results from your fear of commitment to one woman? You can help people just as much when you are married.
---alan_of_UK on 4/10/07

Ed, sorry if I caused offence with the marriage question, that was not my intent. I pray that God will guide you and bless your work.
You may want to talk to Susie, she and her husband minister together. Often women can 'get a foot in' where a man can't.
Pray and see what the Lord advises, God bless.
---NVBarbara on 4/10/07

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And yes i am a Catholic but would also like to devote some of my life to bringing Christians closer together and working out their differences. Jesus said pray to "Our" Father, not "My" Father. Having grown up in Ireland with all the religious troubles it disturbs me that there is so much disunity amongnst Christians.
---Ed on 4/10/07

Apostle Paul had that gift. of remaining single and set apart 'sanctified' for the Lords work. I wish my husband would of had that gift.

ah, too late now.
---Cynthia_1 on 4/10/07

Helen and all.
Thanks for your interest. Appreciate it (in a bit of a rut).
Taken me a long time to admit: but i am autistic (not terribly) and bi-polar. Misfit, fish-out-of-water, uncouth .. bit of an art, painting, music, drawing obsessive. However God has blessed me in other ways: most extraordinary dreams, sensations. Have rally turned some disturbed kids and adults around, and made them happy and enjoy life (and hopefully turn to God, one day). I have no practical gifts.
---Ed on 4/10/07

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