THE TAU COMMUNITY AT OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA
Christ spoke to St. Francis urging him to “Rebuild my house!” St. Francis led the way for the entire Church to come back to Christ by following his example. The Tau Community at Our Lady Star of the Sea is a faith sharing group who seeks to live their lives in the spirit of St. Francis and Claire of Assisi. Our inspirational text is "Live Like Francis – Reflections on Franciscan Life in the World" Authors are Jovian Weigel and Leonard Foley.
The Tau community meets every Tuesday (except the first one of the month) from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in the Banquet Hall. All are welcome.
For further information you may call Kim at (910-612-3119), Ruth ( 910-691-7551) or Ray (201-446-6434).
The Tau Community seeks first to increase personal spirituality and devotion to Christ. This leads to a ministry which invites the Parish community to walk in the footsteps of Christ reflecting the devotion of St. Francis to Christ and his love and respect for all of God's creation.
Blessing of the animals - To celebrate the feast day of St. Francis in October of 2019, we organized a time for Fr. Jim to bless all the "fur-babies" and provided medals to commemorate the event.
The Angel Tree - At Christmas 2019, we asked our church family to share their blessings with those less fortunate. Over 600 items/gifts were donated and distributed throughout our sommunity! This is truly a concrete example of the Holy Spirit working through people to make a difference. Thanks be to God for the generosity and thoughtfulness of our OLSS "angels".
Lenten Prayer Table – Providing nails and prayers for meditation about the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ and about the meaning of that sacrifice for YOU personally. The nail is YOUR nail, but it is also Christ’s Nail. Please read about St. Francis and his devotion to the Cross as a symbol of God’s love for mankind.
Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy – the Tau Community embraces opportunities to continue the corporal and spiritual works of mercy with commitments to participate in providing food for Our Lady’s Pantry here at OLSS. We also seek ways to protect the environment among our ongoing projects.
WHAT IS THE TAU?
The Tau cross is most often associated with St. Francis of Assisi who learned of the symbol from a religious group who cared for lepers. Francis was also present at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 where Pope Innocent II stated: “I have a great desire to eat this Passover with you.” He then announced that the symbol that every Catholic should take as a sign of their Passover was the Tau cross. He continued, “Every Catholic must be involved in a triple Passover - a Corporal Passover, a Spiritual Passover, and an Eternal Passover”. He urged Catholics to be champions of the Tau. The Tau became the sign dearest to Francis, his signature and symbol of a deep spiritual conviction that the conversion and salvation of every man (his Passover) is only in the Cross of Christ.
As it was for St. Francis, the Tau for many centuries has symbolized a devotion to Christ in the most simple and non-ostentatious way. It is a reminder of our responsibility to work as Christians in the world around us, to be willing to bring LOVE, not hate, into the world; to be committed to peace; to care for our fellow man and all of God’s creatures.
FOUNDATION OF FRANCISCAN SPIRITUALITY & WAY OF LIFE
Jesus Christ and no other - When Francis sought permission from Pope Innocent III to establish his religious order, the Pope asked him, “What is your rule?” Francis replied, “The gospel of Jesus Christ.” To follow Francis we strive with all our body, mind and spirit to go from gospel to life and life to the gospel. To begin we must know the Lord and the gospel of Jesus to live our life according to it. Each day, we begin again to bring the gospel into our everyday life.
THE FOUR “C’s” or BASIC PILLARS OF FRANCISCAN SPIRITUALITY
One - THE CRIB
Francis knew that many people of his time did not believe that Jesus was truly human. He thought about how to demonstrate His humanity and what better way than using a baby. In the poor village of Greccio, Francis created the nativity scene or Creche. The villagers brought their animals and their families. Francis told them how much God loves them; so much so that he came into the world and became one of us, that Jesus is Emmanuel. This is a message that the villagers had never heard before. Have you heard it? Do you believe it?
From Greccio, the Creche has become part of the celebration of the INCARNATION every year in Christian churches throughout the world. There is always a crèche year round in every Franciscan institution and in the many homes of those devoted to Franciscan spirituality.
Two - THE CROSS
The love of Jesus for us did not stop at the incarnation (the Crib), but continued to and beyond the Cross. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends..” Jn 15:13 Francis prayed that he would come to personally know what Jesus suffered for his love of mankind. In 1224 Francis was the first to receive the gift of the stigmata (marks corresponding to those left on Jesus’ body by the Crucifixion).
While praying before the San Damiano Cross Jesus is said to have spoken to Francis saying: “Francis, rebuild my church. Cannot you see it is falling down.” This icon cross was significant to both St. Francis and St. Clare and depicts a loving, relational sacrifice shared with all of God’s creation. Christ’s expression shows that perfect joy of suffering accepted for the love of God and the love for all of US! Both saints Francis and Clare endured many sufferings in their lives and accepted them, as did Jesus, as redemptive for all of creation.
Three - THE CUP
The cup of the Eucharist keeps us close to the Christ of the Incarnation (The Crib) and the Christ of Redemption (The Cross). At Mass, Jesus continues His loving, giving presence among us and Emmanuel, the God Who will never leave us. St. Francis often said, “I see nothing bodily of the Most High Son of God in this world except his most holy body and blood.”
Four - CREATION
The love of Francis for all of creation is the reality of THE love of God for all of creation. It is INCLUSIVE of ALL things visible and invisible, not just on earth but in the heavens and in the cosmos: people, animals, plants, water, the oceans, air, ideas, religions, EVERYTHING! To love all that God has created requires that we pray for all, respect all, care for all, preserve all, sacrifice for all, rejoice for all, and we suffer with all.
UNITING IN CHRIST HIMSELF - Poor, He laid in a crib, lived among us, loves us and died for us. He continues to live with us in the Cup of Eucharist and in Creation as author and goal. As followers of Christ in the footsteps of Francis and Clare, we are called to daily conversion and striving to model our thoughts and deeds to witness to Christ’s presence in the world.