Posted By admin on June 1, 2012
Dear Friars, Sisters, and Friar Suppliers:
“Strong is His love for us; he is faithful for ever.”
A couple of weeks ago, I came across a reading in the “Liturgy of the Hours” which must have been written a long, long time ago. It impressed me so much because it speaks for all time. It is entitled, “From a letter to Diognetus,” (I am sorry, I do not know the guy.) and its subheading is, “The Christian in the world”. I would like to share it with you.
The author starts out by describing Christians as indistinguishable from others, in regards to nationality, language or customs. They follow the same customs of wherever they live. I will quote the rest:
Taken from: The Liturgy of Hours. Volume II, pp. 840-842.
And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives. They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law.
Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.
To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world. As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world, but their religious life remains unseen. The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it, but because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures. Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong, but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.
Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body and all its members despite the body’s hatred. It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the
body is held together, and similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together. The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place; and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven. As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution. Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself.
I thought this reading was good food-for- thought for this month’s reflection. The life of a Christian has not changed in these modern times. Ask yourself, if you were arrested for being a Christian, would they have any evidence to accuse you with?
Doing food shopping for the Friars and Sisters for some 18 years, we always find the month of May the most challenging. With Mother’s Day happening in our florist and Ordinations and vows happening with the Friars and Sisters, and First Communions on Saturdays in May. Finding time to do the shopping, food-packing, sorting, newsletter, and pick ups and deliveries are a challenge every May for everyone who is involved. Amazingly, it always works out and the job gets done. Thanks to all our faithful volunteers and all who juggle their schedules around to squeeze it in.
We thank all of you for your faithful commitment to helping Friar Suppliers through your donations and volunteer help!
Thank you donors for the portable TV’s, and VCR/DVD’s for the Sisters to use for their formation. They are very grateful.
If this letter gets to you on time, remember you are all invited to attend the final vows of 5 of the Sisters on Saturday, June 2, @ 2pm at Our Lady of Good Counsel, 90th Street, NYC (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues).
Congratulations, love and prayers to our sisters!
On May 27th, a group of nurses returned to Haiti for one week to continue caring for the sick whom they have been treating for three years now. They bring medicine and comfort to those most vulnerable. Keep them in your prayers, and please continue to support our Haiti mission.
During the month of July, we will pack rice and beans here at our house in Lindenhurst on every Saturday in July, and ship it all to Haiti. If you would like to help, call Chris Volpe at 631-842-8551. This is a fun job for kids to do. Kids love to scoop and pour rice and beans.
June is the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Feast of Corpus Christi. Maybe you can find a little extra time to spend in Adoration. If we only understood how much Jesus loves us, we would fall to our knees with tears of humble gratitude.
Our next food-packing day will be on Saturday, June 16th, @ 10 am. Please call if you plan on coming.
Please remember to write your checks out to:
“Friar Suppliers” and mail them by June 15th, to:
108 N. Greene Avenue
Lindenhurst, NY 11757-4153
Remember to send us your prayer requests on the enclosed index card. We forward them to the Friars or Sisters when we deliver the food. They promise to pray for your needs.
Jesus, we trust in you,
Joan & Charlie Moran
Eileen & Rich Garbe