Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What to do for Lent?

At the beginning of Lent Christian homes are full of conversations about what to do or "give up" during this annual penitential season. Let the medicine match the malady. If you have a cold you do not take chemo therapy. If you have cancer you do not take an aspirin. Why not take a look at those faults and weaknesses that you usually pray about and confess. Then think about a devotion or practice that would directly impact those things.

The New Testament often quotes a famous passage from Isaiah 40, "A voice of one calling in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low' ..." So let us level those mountains of pride and fill up those valleys of doubt in order to make a path in our hearts for the grace of the Lord!

God bless you,
Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR
St. Joseph Friary, New York, NY

Papal message for Lent 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Discernment and Renewal

On the Feast of the Presentation our brothers renewed their vows to live our Life for one year. Renewing vows for one year may or may not seem like a huge commitment. On its own it really isn’t. Really the renewal encompasses far more. I renewed my vows for the first time eleven years ago, yet I remember it quite vividly. All the friars kneeled at the altar rail of St. Adalbert Church in the Bronx. In the presence of all the friars in the community, I spoke into the microphone: “I Brother Gabriel Mary of Jacksonville vow and promise to almighty God…” At age 25, and after having spent two and a half years with the community, my renewal of vows was for me telling God, "You’ve brought me this far and I believe you are calling me to this life and so I will continue to follow."

Every step forward becomes a step towards letting go of that which is solely our own will. Through this period of discernment we become more aware of who we are as His sons and who we are called to be. Discernment is never meant to be a source of anxiety but an opportunity to trust. Our Lord didn’t give the Apostles a five-year plan; he simply invited them to follow Him.

Please pray for all of the friars who renewed their vows!

Check it out ... 

+ FYI : The two-week visit for those wanting to join our community will be July 12-26, 2012.

+ The friars are featured in this new book. It is really positive and well written.
(find it on amazon here)
(video of an interview with the author here)

+ FatherBenedict.com NEW!
Your one stop site for all books, audio and video from Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR

God bless you,

Fr. Gabriel Mary Bakkar , CFR 
Saint Joseph Friary
523 W. 142nd St.
New York, NY 10031

Interested in learning more? Give us a call!

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