Tuesday, January 6, 2015

For the salvation of others

In response to one of our posts on Facebook, one of the poor who has been coming to us for years expressed his gratitude for the presence of the brothers in downtown Bradford.  Here follows an excerpt:

""The brothers", two words, two words alone, those two words, for over two year, represented, hot food, on a Tuesday, "the brothers" was synonymous with a Tuesday. My feet, set off there , every Tuesday, without fail, Tuesday, wasn't Tuesday, without, seeing the brothers, a warm welcome, a hot drink, and lo and behold, being immersed with the love there.  The brothers, bro Felice, father Thomas, father Conrad, father Leo, there are many more, they never fail, consistent and true. Never stop the awesome work you do, You may not always realise just what you mean to so many, it's like you don't twig, until it's not there anymore. You have given me the strength to reach into new pastures, so a flipping big well done is in order. Flipping big well done. out of all the projects, you and Emmanuel, reach deeper for people, well done."
Our life in service to the poor is regular fare for us, like bread and butter.  Hard to imagine one without the other or a week without it.  There are times when it is a struggle to let go of your plans and make your way down to the kitchen to be with those that come.  But when you hear what kind of an impact it can have on others' lives it makes your objections so petty.
Brothers, as you continue to discern, never underestimate the significance your lives have on others.  Many times our discernment is focussed on our relationship with the Lord alone, listening in prayer for indications of his plan for us, and seeking the grace to say "yes".  Know, however, that your vocation is not for your salvation alone...it also includes the salvation of others.  Jesus not only has you in mind when he calls you, but also the many people he is sending you to be his hands, his feet, his heart, his voice.

One of our founders, Fr. Glenn, was preaching recently in Scotland.  He told the story of driving in a snow storm once.  He strained to follow the lights of the car in front of him.  As the snow continued he pulled over to rest a moment when he noticed something behind him.  Stopped behind him now was a row of cars waiting for him to continue.  Unbeknownst to him, many were relying on him to continue ahead.  He thought he was  looking for his own way down the road.  Take the chance brothers.  Set out to follow the Lord's light down the road, and know that your willingness to follow the Lord, will enable many others to follow along the same path to Him.
May this light that has come make you more aware of the drama of salvation that a vocation invites you into...a drama that is no solo show.

Happy Christmas brothers...you are in my prayers daily.
Fr. Gabriel Joseph,CFR
Vocation Director, Europe.

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