Monday, March 31, 2014

Win the REAL War (2 of 2)

God is Holy and has a "Zero Tolerance Policy" for sin in Heaven. This
means that, by His grace, I need to be made holy before I can enter fully
into His Presence in Heaven (thank God for His Mercy each time in
Confession, and for Purgatory in case we fall short on earth!).  Jesus
calls us to have a righteousness that surpasses that of the Pharisees
whose whole religious observance was an empty outward show - He calls us
to true conversion of heart and mind so that we may follow Him in freedom
and love.

How often do I make big decisions in haste which I later come to regret?
In a brief instant, I can choose Jesus Christ and His Kingship of Love,
renewing my love for Him with a tiny prayer or act of my will, entrusting
all to Him; or I can waste His precious gift of time in fruitless
diversions or even serious sins with lasting consequences. God loves us so
much that He created us with free will!

"A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for
peace." (Ecclesiastes 3:8) [RSV]
Let us show our love for Christ this Lent by firmly resisting and
courageously overcoming every sin, evil, deception, activity and thought
in or near ourselves that does not glorify Him or love our neighbor. Let's
fight and win the REAL WAR against Satan and against sin in our *own*
souls; we don't fight alone, but in union with Christ & His Immaculate
Mother...in the Victorious Name of *JESUS*!

Only then will we have PEACE with others and in the world. Yes - we may
even have to *put to death* selfish or evil plans, thoughts, ideas and
grudges, and attachments to past hurts, present doubts or future fears.
This takes real sacrifice, but the "payoff" is truly everlasting... God
bless you and know of the Friars' prayers for you - and please pray for us

+Br. Philip Maria Allen, CFR
St. Felix Friary
Yonkers, NY, USA
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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Win the REAL War (1 of 2)

Ecclesiastes chapter 3:1-3a (RSV) says: "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal..." (Perhaps a familiar song or movie popped into your head as it did in mine.)

For years I was disturbed by the verse "a time to kill" since I am a Christian committed to loving, not killing. But it finally dawned on me at Mass this morning about the different senses of Scripture, and to what this might actually refer to.

Perhaps the "deaths" that need to happen refer to things that are offensive to God and harmful to ourselves and others, like: sin, evil, envy, hatred, lying, pride, unforgiveness, bitterness, injustice, judgmental-ism, lust, sloth, etc...

When we take the time to examine our conscience, it helps us to identify what we "need to die to." Then we can ask Jesus to help us to be victorious in this area of our lives.

+Br. Philip Maria Allen, CFR
St. Felix Friary
Yonkers, NY, USA

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Annunciation

Free yes offered now - 
will echo eternally - 
vessel of God's plan - 

#holyhaiku #Lent #annunciation

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

3rd Sunday in Lent - Deep Encounter

Five men could not fill
her deep desires like a well
fulfilled by true Love

#holyhaiku #Lent
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

3rd Sunday of Lent - The Woman at the Well

Like a well, God's Love
deep desires completely quenched
never thirst again

#holyhaiku #Lent
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Saint Joseph Must Have Been Amazing!

Reversal of roles - 
he cradles his Creator - 
chosen to raise God - 

#holyhaiku #Lent #saintjoseph
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014


When a group of high school students visited us in our friary, and it came time for them to leave, one hurried over to me, “Okay, so I know we don’t have a lot of time,” she said, “but I have to ask you something.  Did you ever doubt? and what did you do?”  There was a necessity in her eyes, an urgency in her voice that reeled me in easily, and I wanted so badly to solve everything for her in that one moment, to watch her walk away happy, smiling and without these deep concerns weighing down her soul.  I had nothing to say, though.  I answered her something totally inadequate, something like, “Yes, I have.  You need to pray; be honest about it and pray.”  It’s not an awful answer but it certainly isn’t a life changing response. 

She left as fast as she came, slipping onto the bus—lost among the thirty faces behind the large tinted windows, and I thought, well, that could have gone better.  But, you know, as I began to complain to Jesus that I had nothing profound to say, I realized that whatever I had to say wasn’t too important to him.  His concern now was that I pray for her, that I intercede.  It’s as if (and it’s not unlikely) that encounter happened not so that I could change her life in an instant with elegant words, pat myself on the back and be on my way, but that I may take her with me and carry her through my intercession and continued support.  And I have prayed.  I have tucked that little girl and her intentions inside my heart, and I always go back to her, and for her I will probably always be praying.  I think that, more than the clever words, is efficacious.

+ Br. Joseph Michael Fino, CFR
Paterson, NJ
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Monday, March 17, 2014

The Real Saint Patrick

Things lose their meaning
Will the real Patrick stand up?
True lover of Christ

#holyhaiku #Lent #stpatricksday
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Friday, March 14, 2014

2nd Sunday of Lent - The Transfiguration

Strength before the trial
Remember this when I die
foretaste of the end
#holyhaiku #Lent
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The Eucharist and the Poor

There are two places that Jesus promises us we will always find him; in the Eucharist and in the poor.  To our senses the bread of the Eucharist appears ordinary, humble and “unlike” the God we often imagine.  To our senses the poor often appear repulsive, wild and a “lost cause.”  Yet there, in those odd and unusual places, God remains waiting for us to visit.

At first the announcement of the Eucharist causes doubt and division among many of the disciples leading them to abandon Jesus, “after this many of his disciples drew back and no longer walked with him” (John 6:66).  The announcement of his presence in the poor is a matter of salvation.  For those who have served Jesus in the poor will go on to eternal life, while those who did not, “did it not to me.  And they will go away into eternal punishment” (Mt 25:45).

God always shows up where we least expect him and in ways that we cannot comprehend.  It is, at the very least, a call to pay attention, a call to beg the Holy Spirit to see and think like God since His ways, ideas and thoughts are rarely like ours.

+ Fr. Jeremiah Myriam Shryock
Ft. Worth, TX
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Prayer For Peace

Lord hear our prayer
for peace in our warring world
hope in You our rock
#holyhaiku #Lent #Prayer #Peace
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Conversion In Christ

Conversion in Christ
Called by the Incarnate One
One second away

#Lent #holyhaiku #Christ

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7 Steps to a Holier Life – by Mother Teresa

When we are stressed or feel overly burdened in life it’s usually
because we’ve gotten our priorities out of order. Here are 7 of my
favorite Mother Teresa quotes that will help. When read in this order,
they are guaranteed to bring order and peace back to your life. Give them
a try.

Step 1: Slow down.
“I think the world today is upside down. Everybody seems to be in such a
terrible rush, anxious for greater development and greater riches and so
on. There is much suffering because there is so very little love in homes
and in family life. We have no time for our children, we have no time for
each other; there is no time to enjoy each other. In the home begins the
disruption of the peace of the world.”

Step 2: Make some room.
“If you are discouraged it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust
in your own power. Your self-sufficiency, your selfishness and your
intellectual pride will inhibit His coming to live in your heart because
God cannot fill what is already full. It is as simple as that.”

Step 3: Open your eyes.
“Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”

Step 4: Put great love into the small things.
“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things
with great love.”

Step 5: Do not tire.
“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be
extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.”

Step 6: Remember – it’s faithfulness, not success.
“God doesn’t ask that we succeed in everything, but that we are
faithful. However beautiful our work may be, let us not become attached to
it. Always remain prepared to give it up, without losing your peace.”

Step 7: Leave the rest to Jesus.
“Be humble and you will never be disturbed. It is very difficult in
practice because we all want to see the result of our work. Leave it to

+ Br. Philip Allen, CFR
Yonkers, NY
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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Seek His Face This Lent

A season of grace
Spiritual practices
help us seek His face

#Lent #holyhaiku
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Palms into Ashes, Why?

Why they use the palms from Palm Sunday to make the ashes for Ash Wednesday - a meditation.

I was recently visiting the route which Jesus took when he rode into Jerusalem which we commemorate every Palm (Passion) Sunday. That was a strange day uncharacteristic of what Jesus had been doing. There were several times before when he avoided the attempts of a crowd at making him King. He had told the demons to keep silent about who he was. He was hesitant to accept the accolades.

His riding into Jerusalem on a donkey amidst the palm branch waving crowd was filled with Old Testament allusions. The people would have been thinking of Jesus as the Messiah who is, like Solomon before, a new Son of David, thus fulfilling all of the prophecies.

Those palms could represent the false notions that the people had concerning the Messiah. They were hoping for a political and military leader who would liberate them from the oppressive yolk of Rome. Those false ideas died with Jesus on the cross.

How appropriate that those palms become the ashes of Ash Wednesday. Ever a sign of repentance (see Daniel 9; Jonah 3; Job 42) those ashes used to mark foreheads with crosses have a deep meaning. Just as the crowd in Jerusalem, each one of us need to be purified of false ideas, false hopes from politics and false images of how God saves. In 1 Cor 3 St. Paul teaches that the fire of God's love will purify the dross out of our lives. Lent is a great time for a deeper conversion.

+ Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR
Yonkers, NY
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Homily Video: Trust in God This Lent

Homily Video: "Trust in God This Lent"
by Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR

Father Luke compares the statue of Atlas, a symbol of man straining beneath the world, to the infant Jesus who holds the world like a ball in His hand.

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