"Oh, there are brothers too - I didn't know that!" are words we hear occasionally. Yes, we exist - already since 1967.
Because we are a small flock
Because we are a small flock and not so much in the field, we are not so well known. 20 years after the foundation of the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, God called us into being as a separate spiritual life community in Darmstadt-Eberstadt. Since then we have been living and working together at Kanaan, our place of life and work. The journey of the brotherhood began on December 1, 1967, with the initiation of the first brothers. Today we count seven brothers from Germany, Great Britain, Canada and U.S.A..
Francis of Assisi!
Francis! What a fascination emanates from this simple man of Assisi! Mother Basilea had already met Francis of Assisi inwardly many years before the foundation of our fraternity and had been blessed by it. She testifies in the preface to the little booklet Francis and His Places Talk Today:
"In his personality, his nature and life, I encountered the original gospel: 'If you do not become like children...' - 'Father, I am blessed that you have not revealed these things to the wise, but to babes, to little ones, to fools...'".
The heart-wrenching childlikeness and humility of Francis of Assisi, as the root of all authority in the service of Jesus, seized my heart ... The burning love for Jesus, born of repentance, the close heart connection with Him, the source of all joy, as it met me in His life, strengthened my desire: 'More, I want to love Jesus!'"
As Kanaan-Franciscan Brothers, we are called to live according to the basic rules of Kanaan, the most important of which is: "Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is near." Thus, through our common life, something of the Kingdom of Heaven, of the Kingdom of God should shine among us, and thus the Triune God should be glorified. And for this, the practice of our daily life is the best training ground. Each brother for himself seeks an ever-growing connection with God, but also gladly participates in the times of common prayer and worship. The daily three o'clock prayer in memory of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus is a help to stay connected to Him. And together with the sisters and guests, we appreciate the Sunday services at Kanaan with Holy Communion.
What do the brothers do?
When the first brothers arrived, Kanaan was practically ready, even though we had a lot to do with building work over the years. Already from the first years the brothers had some tasks at retreats and in the travel service and could pass on experiences of the common spiritual good, as it happens until today e.g. with the care of male guests. In the cooperation with the sisters, our practical gifts were also challenged throughout the years - among others in technology, handicraft, horticulture. In the process, our own spiritual life grows in secret. We want to recognize the guidance of the Holy Spirit and follow Him wholeheartedly.
First love in everyday life
Even if our lives do not correspond in many ways to the ideas of our time, and we do not have much to show for ourselves according to earthly standards, we still long to become ever more useful channels for the Lord. We want to walk the path of first love for Jesus - and thereby experience what it means to belong as a man to the bride of Jesus Christ, in completely exclusive love.
In God's presence
Therefore, today we want to live in God's presence and depend completely on our heavenly Father, so that we can testify: He lives, He created us, and He will also perfect us - to the goal that He has already held in His heart for each of us and for all the many who love Him since the foundation of the world. Spring 2014