Sunday, December 18, 2011

Skepticism: Enemy of Your Vocation

A blessed Advent and Merry Christmas to all of you. This is such a beautiful time of the year, filled with memories and moving images of an amazingly humble God. Various TV channels usually run such classics as Dicken's A Christmas Carol (did you see the Disney - Jim Carrey version?), 1983 A Christmas Story, 1964 Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, 1969 Frosty the Snowman and the 1965 A Charlie Brown Christmas. Some people like the 2008 movie The Nativity Story. Many churches put on live nativity plays (see ours here). Saint Francis started it all! (read more here).
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus (Luke 1:31)

Christmas and Easter are also times when it is popular for various TV channels to show documentaries on Jesus, etc. Many of these programs this year will focus on anything except the religious aspect of Christmas - or they will be presenting the story from a skeptical point of view using testimonies from various "scholars". Beware!! It is worth noting that we are often bombarded from so many different sources which plant seeds of doubt about our faith. This is the tactic taken by the serpent in the garden. We are all influenced by the secular culture. Beware!! Skepticism is the enemy of your vocation. Littleness of faith is a huge problem when it comes to discerning and answering your call from God. Let's say bah humbug to the sowers of secular skepticism.
Just say no to those skeptical Grinches!

P.S. Remember the Nativity story? It is all true.

May the newborn baby Jesus bless you,
Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR
Saint Joseph Friary, Harlem, NY

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Litany for Salvation

Jesus save me from my pride that refuses help, even when I know I need it.
Jesus save me from the fear I have about the future.
Jesus save me from the desire to be my own savior or to find a savior in somebody or something else but you.
Jesus save me from lust and treating and seeing others only as objects of pleasure. Jesus save me from anxiety about decisions and circumstances in my life.
Jesus save me from my interior poverty and brokenness.
Jesus save me from my loneliness.
Jesus save me from my insecurities about myself, my body and my state in life right now.
Jesus save me from being overly concerned with what people say or think about me.
Jesus save me from the thought that my life has no meaning.
Jesus save me from despair and the temptation to think that You don’t love me and that I am beyond your help.
Jesus save me from disordered desires that cause imbalances in my heart, body and soul.
Jesus save me from being envious and jealous of others.
Jesus save me from blindness that prevents me from seeing the truth.
Jesus save me from mediocrity and only living life with half of my heart.
Jesus save me from the fear of being the person you call me to be.
Jesus save me from an attitude of “possession” that wants to take instead of receive life as a gift.
Jesus save me from laziness and an inordinate desire for worldly pleasures.
Jesus save me from the fear of death.
Jesus save me from not seeing the good you have placed within me.
Jesus save me from the million other things I cannot see or hear right now.
Most of all Jesus, save me from the thought that your love is not enough for me…

God bless you,
Fr. Jeremiah Myriam Shryock CFR
St. Felix Friary, Yonkers, NY

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fr. Mariusz is recovering well

(On Nov. 17, Fr. Mariusz suffered a heart attack and is now recovering well)

Dear CFR Associates and Friends,

With deep gratitude I write to thank you for your prayers for my recovery. Certainly this experience has reminded me again of the precious gift of life, and especially of the precious gift of our Faith.

On November 2, 2011, Pope Benedict spoke these words:

"If we reduce man exclusively to his horizontal dimension, to that which can be perceived empirically, life itself loses its profound meaning. Man needs eternity for every other hope is too brief, too limited for him. Man can be explained only if there is a Love which overcomes every isolation, even that of death, in a totality which also transcends time and space. Man can be explained, he finds his deepest meaning, only if there is God. And we know that God left his distance for us and made himself close. He entered into our life and tells us: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).

Be assured of my prayers for you and best wishes for a joy filled Advent Season. Please continue to pray for my recovery, that I will use this time as a time of prayer and renewal. Your intentions are in my heart at the celebration of Holy Mass. May God bless you abundantly!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Mariusz Casimir Koch, CFR
Community Servant