Saturday, October 10, 2009

October 2009 C.F.R. Vocations eLetter

Grace and peace to you! I pray this letter finds you well.

You’ll be happy to know that our new postulants are settling in nicely and are already on the move, especially preparing for our annual dramatization of the life of St. Francis in anticipation of his feast on October 4th. The guys are a great group - very kind, generous, joyful, and eager to learn and grow. As they begin to learn more about themselves through trials and errors, they make light of their own shortcomings and quirks, which provide little humiliations for the postulant himself but lots of laughs for the rest of us!

When we are seeking the Lord and his will for our lives, we too want to be on the move and are quick to act. But we need to be careful because we may want to say, “I will follow you wherever you go” only to receive a response too challenging for us to accept. Or we can say, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death” and proclaim our own victory and say, “Even though [the other disciples] all fall away, I will not” but we have only to keep reading to see that the famous author or those one-liners did not do so well…on his own. Furthermore, how do we consider our desire to follow the Lord when we hear something like, “My son, if you come forward to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for temptation.” In the words of one our friars, “Mercy, bro!”

Brothers, be at peace and hear the Father say to you “not by your might, nor by your power, but by my Spirit” will you discover his will. We can be so anxious about the future that we are completely missing the graces present to us in the sacrament of the moment. C.S. Lewis wrote that time (you and me) touches eternity (God) in the present. We are in the greatest communion with the Father in the here and now! God is waiting to pour out upon us his abundant goodness, but if we’re so preoccupied with the who, what, where, why, and how of the future, we are completely missing what he’s trying to do for us right now! God is trying to tell us, “Be still and know that I am God.” He is trying to love us right where we are, but we are running in every other direction then where he’s trying to meet us. We need to “be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him” and “trust in him that he will act” because “God is faithful” and “he will fight for us, we have only to be still.”

So where do we need to be to encounter the Father and learn about what he’s trying to do for us in the “now?” That “where” is with Jesus his Son. Thankfully, we can be with Jesus in his physical presence, body, heart, soul and divinity, in his Body and Blood, the Eucharist. When we receive him at Mass, when we receive him in the Word, when we rest with him in our Eucharistic adoration, and when his Mother takes us by the hand and draws us to him. Friends become friends through a shared encounter, and they come to know one another by spending more time with one another. Are we spending quality time with the Lord? If we want to know better his will, we should probably come to know more about his very self. Otherwise, we might find it rather difficult to know the heart of the one whose love we're seeking. Like John and Andrew, we must ask Jesus, “Lord, where are you staying?” We need to “be” with Jesus and then we can “follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” As you know, God is not going to come down in the burning bush; if he did, we’d probably freak out. Instead, he draw us to himself using ordinary means – bread and wine, and through that bread and wine, we’re encountering him all day each day we make the time to receive them. We need to “taste and see that the Lord his good” and “find refuge in him.” Brothers, do not be discouraged, but place your trust in God’s care for you…a care with which he surrounds you at every moment, a care in which he is leading you and guiding you to make you more faithfully his own.

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord” (Ps 31:24).

(Lk 9:57; Lk 22:33; Mk 14:29; Sir 2:1; Zech 4:6; Ps 46:10; Ps 37:5-7; 1 Cor 10:13; Ex 14:4; Jn 1:38; Rev 14:4; Ps 34:8)

Br. Aloysius Marie Mazzone, CFR

St. Joseph Friary
Harlem, NY

Must check it out:
+ Video: Dominican Sisters of Mary
+ Video: C.F.R. Postulants get heckled for praying the rosary outside an abortion mill
+ US Vocations Choosing Traditional Orders (Aug. 20, 2009)
+ Modern society has become 'allergic' to sacrifice, warns Vatican official (July 6, 2009)

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