“If it hadn’t been for Fr. Benedict, I don’t know where I’d
be.”These words, spoken by a young man
who had lived at the St Francis House for boys founded by Fr. Benedict in the
60’s, have been echoed by the sentiments of countless others during these days
of prayer and rememberance.As Fr. Andrew
preached at yesterday’s funeral, “No Fr. Benedict, no CFR’s!” and so without Fr.
Benedict, I don’t know where I would
We CFR’s have been powerfully reminded (and perhaps
educated) this week that Fr. Benedict’s untiring and faithful “yes” to God for
over 60 years has been a source of tremendous grace for thousands, if not
millions of people; bishop’s; priests; families in poverty; religious sisters;
boys from Children’s Village; viewers of EWTN; readers of his 43 books;
homeless men; women in crisis pregnancy and who knows how many more…?And who knows what the ripple effect of God’s
grace has been through the lives of
those touched by Fr. Benedict?Only
God.And that’s how Fr. Benedict would
So often the news is disturbing and frightening.War, terrorism, disease, moral
confusion.There is a great deal of fear
in our culture.People feel helpless and
hopeless in the face of everything and so do nothing.But that wasn’t Fr. Benedict’s style!He was a man of faith and hope, impelled by
the love of Christ and so he had to do something.And he did a lot!
But what is our response?What is my response?It must be the same response uttered by Fr. Benedict when he was 17 years old, as he left home to follow Jesus and join the
Capuchins.It must be the same response
that then led him (some 30 years later) as he left the Capuchins (his home) to
follow Jesus and begin the CFR’s.The
same response he uttered, not without struggle and suffering, for over 60 years.
We can almost hear him say it in his unmistakable quiet voice, “Yes Lord.”
Just the other day I read this quote from St. John Paul II
and thought of Fr. Benedict:
“The first duty of the
consecrated life is to make visible the marvels wrought by God in the frail
humanity of those who are called.They
bear witness to these marvels not so much in works as by the eloquent language
of a transfigured life, capable of amazing the world”(Vita Consecrata).
Fr. Benedict wasn’t perfect and nor are any of us.I’m not called to be Fr. Benedict and nor are
you but his powerful “yes” challenges each of us, in our frail humanity, to
offer our lives to God wherever we are, with the same passion and generosity. Fr. Benedict’s life made visible the marvels of
God and you know what?So can we!!And that’s what amazes the world - the ripple
effect of grace!
+ Fr. Emmanuel Mary Mansford, CFR
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The friars would like to thank all of you for the love and support! May Our Holy Father Saint Francis intercede for us so that we may, like Our Lady, magnify the LORD with our little lives! You have our prayers as well.
Last night I heard confessions at a great young adult event at Saint Patrick's Cathedral (NYC). After all was said and done, despite my usual ability to remember, I could not remember where I parked my car. I went to the spot where I thought the car was and it was not there! "STOLEN!", I thought out loud.
Just then I saw some guys and an immodestly dressed woman get out of a mysterious van right in front of me. My eyes met hers and I had an uneasy feeling. I immediately headed back to the Cathedral in search of a police officer. Just before I spoke to the officer - out of nowhere - I remembered that I had parked one block over from where I thought. Sure enough the car was still there...
This morning during Mass I had a heavy burden to pray for that woman. I now understand that my Guardian Angel had helped me to forget (later to remember) where I had parked so that I would see her and pray for her. Would you join me today in praying for all women who are in need of help?
From the closing prayer for today's Mass: "As you are pleased to nourish us for eternal life with so great a Sacrament, O Lord, direct us by the ministry of Angels into the way of salvation and peace. Through Christ our Lord."
+ Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR
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