Friday, December 4, 2009

December 2009 CFR Vocations eLetter

May the Lord give you His peace! This month we have a reflection from one of our friars stationed in the South Bronx, Br. Simon. A blessed Advent and Christmas to all of you. Let us pray for one another.

Who knew? God knew!

Recently when flying out of La Guardia Airport in New York City, I was surprised by seeing a friar and a friend unexpectedly. Sitting near the gate reading a book, I took my time as the passengers boarded the plane. I was surprised when suddenly one of our own friars came up and gave me a big hello. It was joy to see him. Then all of the sudden a friend from Michigan, a college roommate - now a father of six children and successful business man - came out from the next gate. In those moments we received an unexpected blessing of the gift of friendship. Who would have known?

In our vocation to holiness we need to desire to truly accomplish God’s will for His greater glory, allowing Him to work out the details. When the apostles experienced and encountered Our Lord in the Gospels his response to them simply would be “come and see.” This would have caused the disciples to act with faith. Faith is required in the discerning of a vocation which may seem to be a longer and more difficult decision than responding to the invitation of our Lord. We ask ourselves why it cannot be more simple. On this journey of faith there will be unexpected blessings. We should pray for the grace to be content with the expected trial-of-the-day set before us, trusting that Our Lord is guiding us and those around us in our vocations.

We should be grateful for the gift of friends who pray and intercede for us in our discernment and trust that light and grace is given as a gift from God. Before I was a friar, while visiting one of the missions in California founded by Bl. Junipero, an older man who attended Mass with us approached me to ask if he could pray for my vocation. As he said a prayer he shared with me an image he received in his prayer. It was an image of me taking a detour in my journey which would actually become a catapult of grace. How true that word from the Lord became as the friars in New York asked me to wait and work. I worked in a dynamic program giving retreats for two years. It deepened my faith and friendships with other Catholics and solidified my resolve to enter religious life as a Franciscan. I am grateful for the unexpected detour, but desire that contentment Our Lord gives in being close to Him in prayer, in the sacraments lived out in a community, while experiencing the expected trials-of-the-day. This year I am a friar for nine years and I trust that “He knows the plans he has for me…” Jeremiah.

May the Lord bless you,
Br. Simon Marie Dankoski, CFR
Saint Crispin Friary
420 East 156 St.
Bronx, NY 10455

Check it out ...

+ Advent Meditation in Papal Chapel Contemplates Origins of Priesthood
+ Pope Benedict Invites the Faithful to Confession (Dec. 2, 2009)
+ NFP vs Contraception Videos (similar to the Mac vs PC commercials)
+ Video of Houston Priest Dying of Cancer
+ Made For More (excellent book by Curtis Martin, founder of FOCUS)