The Reading of the MGC Rule at Retreat
The Rule of the Mercy of God Community is based on the Rule and principles of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi.
Since you have been chosen by God who has given you this new kind of life, and because of His deep love and concern for you, you should practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others. Don't worry about making a good impression on them but be ready to suffer quietly and patiently. Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Most of all, let love guide your life, for then the whole church will stay together in perfect harmony. Let the peace of heart which comes from Christ be always present in your hearts and lives, for this is your responsibility and privilege as members of Christ's body. And always be thankful.
Remember what Christ taught and let Christ's words enrich your lives and make you wise; teach them to each other and sing them out in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing to the Lord with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, and come with Christ into the presence of God our heavenly Parent to give God your thanks.
1. We, as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, desiring to seek personal
perfection and to dedicate our lives to the service of others, do hereby form
the Mercy of God Community, and adopt the following as our Rule.
2. We are a community of professing men and women from various Christian
traditions who choose to live in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of
Assisi. Although we each identify with our own particular traditions, we
freely choose to worship and live together prayerfully, peacefully, and
ecumenically. As an inclusive community, we welcome candidates regardless
of racial, ethnic or national origin, physical ability, marital status, previous
religious life experience, affectional orientation, work or professional
background, socio-economic status, or place of residence.
3. Jesus heralded charity, love for God and neighbor, as the basic
commandment which all His followers should strive to fulfill. So many of
Christ’s teachings and parables emphasize the importance of love. Saint Paul
speaks of love as the greatest of all virtues. In his first Letter to the
Corinthians, we are reminded, “If I gave everything I have to the poor, and if I
were put to death for preaching the Gospel but didn’t love others, it would be
of no value whatever.” Saint Francis teaches his followers that their mutual
love should exceed the love of a mother for her own children. Therefore, we
shall strive to reflect perfect love in the communities in which we live. Where
charity abides and thrives, communities experience inner spiritual growth of
their members and fruitful accomplishment of their apostolates
4. We promise to live the Gospels of Jesus, “in the manner of Saint Francis
and Saint Clare.” To achieve this end, Francis and Clare remain the principal
inspiration and example by their total commitment to the Gospel. We consider
this Rule an undeniable means to the deepening of personal sanctification, and
a secure path to the fulfillment of our Christian commitment.
5. As a contemporary model of holiness, our community also is committed to
offset the scandalous divisions among the Christian Churches. We strive to be
the gentle presence of true Christian community for all the world to see “How
good and joyful it is for brothers and sisters to live together in unity.” The
Mercy of God Community seeks to respond, by example, to Christ’s prayer
“That all may be one.”
6. We shall pursue Christian unity; foster a profound personal and community
spirituality based upon the presence and uncluttered teachings of Jesus Christ;
emphasize prayer and meditation; respect all denominational traditions;
extend the Gospel message and other truths beyond parochial bounds, and be
prophetic to the whole Church. United in Christ, we shall extend ourselves
beyond the boundaries of our individual traditions in order to embrace the
priesthood of all believers. In the Letter to the Ephesians we are told, “There
is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope
when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God
who is Creator of all, over all, through all, and within all.” This truth guides
our ecumenical spirit of Christian unity.
7. We are committed to outward ministries of reclaiming persons for Jesus
Christ; outreach to the alienated, disenfranchised, powerless, fallen away, and
despairing, and to perform spiritual and corporal works of mercy and other
good deeds of renewal, reconciliation, and healing. Our dedication to Christ
will be reflected in our love and service to our neighbor. Jesus teaches that,
“Whenever you did it to these my brothers (and sisters) you were doing it to
8. Governed by equality, collegiality, freedom of expression, and democratic
process, we reach community decisions by consensus or majority resolution.
We adhere to the belief that there are no religious superiors among us, for all
are servants among equals.
9. We embrace our commitment to the virtue of Poverty, as we choose to be
detached from material possessions and to use our resources and goods in the
best way possible. We are confident that God will provide the means by
which we will live and serve.
10. Our commitment to the virtue of Responsible Sexuality ennobles our capacity for
human affection. It transforms our passion into total love of God and
11. In all matters, we pledge ourselves to the virtue of Obedience, which is to
Jesus Christ and the message of the Gospels. Through prayer and spiritual
guidance, each Brother and Sister discerns God’s will.
12. A bold and total service to Christ requires a unity among our brothers and
sisters. We place ourselves under the Holy Spirit, who inspires this Rule and
who guides its interpretation and implementation. With confidence, we pray
that God will continue to shine the light of the Holy Spirit upon us.
Brothers and sisters, I beg you through the mercy of God to offer yourselves as a living witness holy and acceptable to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you may judge what is God's will, what is good, pleasing, and perfect.
Adopted 6-25-93; Revised 11-10-02, 10/4/2020.