Confraternity of Penitents Monthly Newsletter -- March 2017
LENT: Penitents who have completed Novice 2 are bound by the fasting and abstinence provisions of our Rule concerning Lent. All others are, of course, bound by the Church’s rules regarding fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and abstinence from meat on all Fridays of Lent. However, all penitents at the Postulant level and above should be abstaining from meat on all Fridays of the year except those on which a Solemnity falls. Please see Chapters II and III of the Rule and Constitutions for fasting and abstinence requirements and also Appendix A of the Constitutions. Happy Lent!
THOUGHT FROM A CFP AFFILIATE: TWO THINGS
There are only 2 things in the universe, first is the Will of God, the second are those things permitted by God. So if God has not changed things, then he is permitting them, and uses circumstances for His purpose. The acceptance of this, calms and quiets the soul, it brings the gifts of acceptance, and resignation to God’s Holy Will.
Disappointing??? As a well - known saint once said, “If you knew the value of suffering, you would pray for it.” I have not got that far, yet.—David Curry, CFP Affiliate
VISITOR’S VISION: “LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE OTHERS…”
If we recall, this last couple of weeks, our Gospel readings on Sundays has been coming from the first sermon of Jesus as Matthew recorded it. Matthew’s version is famously known as the Sermon on the Mount since, at its beginning, Matthew said that Jesus climbed a hill and sat down and started to instruct his disciples and followers (Mt 5:1-2). This is unlike its parallel in Luke, which is called the Sermon on the Plain, since Luke said that Jesus sat with his disciples on the plain (Lk 6:17&20). Now, we may recall that while instructing his disciples on that hill, Jesus exhorts/enjoins them thus: “Let your light shine before others, so that seeing your good work, they will give praise to your heavenly Father in heaven” (Mt 5:16). So, as the month of March this year starts with Ash Wednesday, which ushers in the season of Lent, I wish to reflect on letting our light shine more brightly through the works and penances we perform at this period.
As we reflect on this, it is good to point out that this is not so much an academic analysis or exegetical discussion but simply a spiritual reflection, taking cognizance of the fact that different people will narrate the same event in different ways, respectively, either because of their personality make-up or their background or their interests or their intended response or their audience or all these combined. Take, for instance, the way the four evangelists narrated the suffering and passion of Jesus or even their description of Jesus, which are different due to their different perspectives and the message each of them wanted to convey to their audience. Hence, from their gospel, we see that Matthew and Mark wished to convey Jesus as the Messiah; Luke’s central message was that Jesus was a prophet, while John’s theme was the incarnation of the Son of God. As we read the story of the passion, we see that the omission by John, of some of the details of events included by the synoptics, was because for him, the suffering and passion of Jesus was a revelation and a sign of a deeper reality: the mystery of Christ, the Son of God.
Now, the above title, whose complete quotation says: “Let your light shine before others, so that seeing your good work, they will give praise to your heavenly Father in heaven” (Mt 5:16), seems to me to place more emphasis on our works than on the one doing the work. Of course, this is not the question of whether the axe that cut down a tree is more important than the man who welded it; rather it is about the importance of looking at the effects of our actions, which then motivates us to prepare ourselves better, in other to achieve the desired good, without trumpeting ourselves. So, what constitutes our good actions, and how can they shine brighter? In other words, what are the values Jesus was exhorting his followers to imbibe, to allow their light (good works) to shine brightly?
As I look at it, since Jesus did not ask us to shine, rather he asked us to let our light shine, it seems to me that he wanted to warn us about that great human problem of self-centeredness as contrasted to selflessness. In other words, Jesus is not only talking about our good works (our light), but about the intention for which we carry out those good works, in addition to what can help our light not only to shine but to shine brightly. Thus, the question is: what prevents our light from shining, or what vices do encourage self-centeredness and what virtues do encourage selflessness?
Regarding the vices, one cannot but think of pride. As we recall, the Scripture is very adamant that when pride takes the lead, failure is its consequent effect (Prv 29:23). As Ben Sirach says, “Pride has its beginning when a person abandons the Lord, his maker. Pride is like a fountain pouring out sin, and whoever persists in it will be full of wickedness…” (Sir 10:12-13). Hence, God hates pride, arrogance and evil ways (Prv 8:13), since greed feeds them, thereby bloating our ego and self-centeredness. And if we recall, these vices were part of the areas where the devil tempted Jesus (Mt 4:1-11), the second Adam (Rom 5:14), just as he did to the first Adam (Gen 3:1-13). The seriousness of these vices is also clearly manifested in the incident recorded in the Gospel, about how Judas went to the chief priests and asked them what they would give him if he betrayed Jesus to them (Mt 26:14-16). These vices, which greatly encourage selfishness, prevent our good work from shining brightly, so that people would embrace these woirks and give praise to God. Vices actually succeed in making our good works odious to others.
However, on the other hand, humility is a virtue that encourages selflessness. Humility breeds obedience (Phil 2:6-11) as well as patience. As we read from the book of Proverbs; “Obey the Lord, be humble, and you will get riches, honor, and a long life” (Prv 22:4). As Peter said: “…And all of you must put on the apron of humility, to serve one another; for the scripture says, ‘God resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble’. Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time” (1 Pt 5:5-6; see also Jam 4:6-10). Hence, humility is a virtue we can work to imbibe this Lent, in order to produce good works that will shine so brightly that people will give praise to our heavenly Father. As we have read from the scriptures, Jesus always emphasized the importance of humility, because, when we take the humble position of serving others selflessly, it is then that we are exalted (Lk 14:11). As the scripture says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (Jam 4:10).
–Father Francis Chukwuma, CFP Visitor
NO GREATER LOVE: THE PRODIGAL SON
One of the most popular of the parables of Jesus Christ is the parable of the prodigal son (Lk 15:11-32). This parable describes a father with two sons. The younger son demands his inheritance and then goes to a far country and squanders the inheritance on “loose living” (sexual freedom). When his money is gone, a famine comes to the land and the son is forced into extreme poverty and want. He then decides to return to the father since his situation was much better when he was at home. When he is near home his father sees him, runs to embrace him, and declares that it is time to have a party. However, the older son, who never left, grumbles that the father is giving a party for this son who wasted the father’s property on prostitutes.
Preachers often emphasize quite rightly the mercy of the father in that he took back as a son his younger sinful child. They also sometimes preach on the older son who wrongly resented the mercy of the father. Sometimes, however, the character in the parable who gets the least favorable treatment is the younger son.
It is said that the younger son did not really repent before going back to the father but only realized that he had a better life with his father than he had now living in poverty and extreme hunger. He was just looking for a more comfortable life.
When we examine this parable, we can see something very different. It has been pointed out that it was and is very unusual to demand an inheritance from a parent before the parent is even dead. There must be a reason. There must have been conflict and harsh words between the father and the younger son. Why? We can get an indication from what the younger son did after he left. He spent his father’s money on “loose living” which probably means sex and possibly also drugs. The younger son probably wanted to do these same things at home in his father’s house. But daddy, who was certainly a devout Jew, said “not in my house”. This would be the source of conflict. Times are very different now, but we can still relate to this. How many parents, even now, who will not tolerate sexual immorality in their houses, have seen their children leave home? Only, now they do not have to go to a far country. Thus, we can see that the younger son must have harbored extreme resentment and anger against the father.
The son fulfills his dream of independence and sexual freedom in the distant land. His money runs out and hard times begin. All his “friends” who gave him so much pleasure have deserted him now that he has no money. He ends up doing the most despicable work for a Jew of feeding unclean pigs. But he is still very hungry. Then, he starts to think. Maybe daddy isn’t so bad after all. He can now see the goodness in his father. “How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough to spare, but I perish here with hunger!” (Lk 15:17). Next, the son says, “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.’” (Lk 15:18-19) The son was not simply going back to the father to get a better life situation. He could have gone to another country where the economic times were better. First, he had to get over his hatred and resentment against the father. He had to humble himself before the father and admit that he was wrong. Then, he had to give up at his father’s house the sexual freedom he had possessed.
The younger son also had to face the derision of his father’s servants and especially his older brother. Later in the parable, we are told that the older brother refused to join the party that the father had given to celebrate the return of his younger son. He said to the father “But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you kill for him the fatted calf!” (Lk 15:30) It appears as though the older brother did not like his younger sibling. The younger son also planned to work for the father as a servant to do what he could to pay back the father for the money he had squandered. The son did repent and turn away from his sin, and he was also willing to work to repair the damage his sin had caused.
We also need to look at the mercy of the father. The father most likely said to the son before he left that he could come back at any time. Thus, the mercy of the father was given to the son always. But the younger son received no benefit from his father’s mercy until he repented. When the father saw the younger son at a distance, he did not have to ask him “Are you sorry for what you did to me and the family?” The very return of the son was an act of repentance. The father joyfully was able then to give his barefoot and poorly dressed or almost naked son the benefit of his mercy. “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry.’” (Lk 15:22-23) The father was very willing to treat his wayward son as a son.
What is the Lord teaching us by this parable? Clearly the father in the parable stands for God. God loves us no matter what we do and gives His mercy to us to bring us to repentance. God does not just wait for us to repent but does whatever He can, short of violating our free will. In the Prodigal Son parable, God goes after the younger son by means of the famine and hard times in the far country. God gave the son the graces he needed to repent, and he used those graces. We need to ask if it is possible for anyone who is not repentant, and is therefore still attached to sin, can enjoy the beatific vision of God.
Chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel begins with the Pharisees and scribes murmuring about why Jesus associates with tax collectors and sinners and even eats with them. Jesus then tells them the parable of the lost sheep and the man who abandons ninety-nine sheep to go after the lost sheep and then rejoices greatly when he finds it. At the end of the parable Jesus tells us that the lost sheep stands for a repentant sinner. “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Lk 15:7) Then Jesus tells a parable about a woman who has ten silver coins and loses one. She searches for it diligently and even calls in her friends and neighbors to celebrate with her when she finds it. Again, Jesus tells us that the lost coin stands for a repentant sinner. “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Lk 15:10) The last parable in chapter 15, the Prodigal Son, is a concrete example of the first two parables. The younger son, as a repentant sinner, is like the lost sheep or lost coin. God seeks out the younger son by means of the famine in the far country and gives him an invitation to repent, which the son accepts. The father, who stands for God, even uses the same language of losing and finding as occurs in the first two parables. In speaking to his servants, the father says “for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” (Lk 15:24) At the end of Chapter 15, the father, in speaking to the older son, again says “for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.” (Lk 15:32)
From the Prodigal Son parable, we can see that repentance is not easy. The younger son had to overcome pride and hatred to admit that he was wrong and humiliate himself before his father, his father’s servants, and his older brother. He also had to give up his sinful life of sexual freedom as well as try to repair, as best he could, the damage he had caused. Preachers and teachers are indeed right to emphasize the love and mercy of the father. In recent times, however, we hear much less about repentance and conversion. It is certainly true that people like to hear about the loving, compassionate, and merciful God. They are not so happy to hear about the demands that God makes of them and the need for repentance and conversion. Penance is not so popular anymore, either, since it reminds us of our sinful nature.
The parable of the Prodigal Son teaches us that God extends His Mercy to everyone, even wayward sinners. But repentance is necessary to receive the benefit of His Mercy. In recent times, the Mercy of God is emphasized, but not repentance, conversion, and penance. Is it any wonder that so many people have lost the sense of sin and see no need of repentance? Repentance may be “old fashioned,” but that does not mean it isn’t necessary.
– Jim Nugent, CFP
FOLLOWING FRANCIS, FOLLOWING CHRIST: LENT AS IT SHOULD BE
St. Francis not only celebrated Lent strictly but he also celebrated it more often. He kept the traditional Lent before Easter, and he also kept the Fast of Saint Martin before Christmas. In addition, he also observed several other Lents during the year, each of these occurring before major feasts of the Church. He called them “Lents” because, during these times, Saint Francis prayed and fasted intensely. Historians estimate that Francis spent about half the year in these “Lents.” Why would he do this?
Perhaps he, like Sister Stella Francis of the Poor Sisters of St. Clare, loved Lent! “I love Lent!” Sister enthusiastically exclaims, “not because it’s a time to give up but because it’s a time to give. Jesus wants you this Lent,” Sr. Stella says, “so don’t give him candy.”
We are all tempted to give up things for Lent, but Lent should be a time for us to give. God wants to call us closer this Lent. Each of us will have a different way to approach God, so Lent will be different for each person. We look to Christ to show us individually how to celebrate Lent.
Sister Stella cited four examples of serving God, taken from the works of Abbott Columba Marmion. A King gave a banquet and four types of people attended. The first were the servants who respected their master and obeyed him. However, they served him more out of fear then out of love because they knew that he was their master. The second category were guests who shared food and joy with the master. They loved their master as a friend and brought gifts, but they did not give him everything. The third category were the master’s children who knew the master as their father. They loved him and wanted to do things to please him. The fourth category was the bride from whom the King kept no secrets. Hers was the closest intimacy and the most tender love. No one loved the King more perfectly than the bride.
The four categories are people who serve God. No matter what our vocation, God calls us all to bridal, spousal love. The bride listens to the King, receives his secrets, and holds them dear. St. Therese of Liseaux wrote, "It is not to remain in a golden ciborium that He comes down each day from Heaven, but to find another Heaven, the Heaven of our soul in which He takes delight." God wants to rest in us and be our consolation. He wants us now. It’s a lie to think that, if I only do these few things first, then I will pray better later.
Sister Stella asked where Jesus might be calling each of us this Lent. We need to take baby steps and be real. Satan loves us to bite off more than we can chew so that we become discouraged and give up. Pray for guidance and then make a little Lenten resolution that you could realistically keep. If our Lenten discipline becomes difficult or other trials assail us, we should recall these words which Jesus spoke when he wept over Jerusalem. “If you only knew what was meant for your peace today.”
Compassion is very easy for God. He can see how hard we are trying and how weak we are. This does not bother Him. He wants our trusting love, and He wants us to try. He asks us to show mercy to ourselves and toward others whom we should love as God loves us. What is helping us in our relationship with God? What is hampering us? We need to listen to the king as the bride did and hear what He is telling us.
The human soul has a capacity to endure suffering. Sometimes we wonder how people can endure what they are undergoing. God strengthens us when we think that we cannot take it any longer. Both intense joy and intense grief are painful. Jesus was filled with both during His Passion because He knew that His suffering was the remedy for our alienation from God. If we passionately embrace and give ourselves more fully to God during this Lent, we will emerge a joyful soul at Easter. Saint Francis knew this secret which is why he celebrated so many Lents yearly. He wanted to fully convert and be totally in love with God.
--Madeline Pecora Nugent, CFP, with due credit to Sr. Stella Francis, PSSC
A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon. "How do you know what to say?" he asked. "Why, God tells me." "Oh, then why do you keep crossing things out?"
A little boy was attending his first wedding. After the service, his cousin asked him, "How many women can a man marry?" "Sixteen," the boy responded. His cousin was amazed that he had an answer so quickly."How do you know that?" "Easy," the little boy said. "All you have to do is add it up, like the pastor said, 4 better, 4 worse, 4 richer, 4 poorer."
After a church service on Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother, "Mom, I've decided to become a minister when I grow up." "That's okay with us, but what made you decide that?" "Well," said the little boy, "I have to go to church on Sunday anyway, And I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell, than to sit and listen."
THOUGHTS FROM CFP’ERS: I DID NOT KNOW HIM
Saint John the Baptist says twice, when Jesus comes to be baptized, "I did not know him." You might think it strange that John, one person who should understand most clearly who Jesus is, who sees Jesus coming towards him, who saw, with his own eyes, the Spirit rest upon Jesus, would say twice that, "I did not know him."
Consider how Jesus had the opposite response. He intimately understood everyone whom He encountered, even if those people were complete strangers from a human standpoint. Jesus always came to people as they were. He came to the woman at the well. He came to the Centurion's house. He approached the Pharisees in words that they understood like sin, law, and stone. He saw into each person's heart and knew them. He saw Phillip under the fig tree, and he understood Thomas's doubts. Perhaps we can understand a bit better if we consider the incident of the paralytic who is brought down through the roof by people who saw who Jesus was. I highlight the paralytic because sometimes what we need the most is someone who 'knows us'. Someone who 'sees the spirit rest upon us'.
There is a man whom I work with. I'll call him John. He's been in institutions most of his life. He's lived in facilities whose staff may not have understood who he is but just kept labeling him, adding more and more diagnoses and drugs to his regime. What I've come to know about him in my short time with him is that he is smart, funny, caring, quiet, and soft spoken. There is a longing behind those eyes of his, but when I dance with him they light up. They sparkle.
People know Jesus as someone who takes away sins. That is only part of the equation. I see Jesus as someone who sees beyond His role as Savior. Someone who understands that what people need the most is someone who will pick their mat up and walk with them. Someone who sees beyond the hurt and the wounds and says, “Be baptized in water and spirit. Be given life again.”
Suppose that someone does not feel that loved by God. At least make it known that they are loved by you. Every week I see John. He comes down and gives me a hug. That is when I see Jesus coming towards me.
-- Peace, Jesse Pellow, CFP Postulant
REFLECTION ON THE RULE
I. FAMILY IN THE CHURCH
Members of the Confraternity of Penitents (CFP) strive to surrender to God through the living of a Rule of Life given to penitents in the year 1221, at the request of St. Francis of Assisi and written by Cardinal Hugolino de Conti de Segni, later Pope Gregory IX. The Constitutions of the Confraternity of Penitents delineate how Members are to live the Rule today.
II. JURIDICAL SITUATION
The Confraternity of Penitents is an international, private, Catholic, lay association of the faithful, existing with the permission of the Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne - South Bend, Indiana, USA, and headquartered in his Diocese. Because the Bishop has deemed the Rule and Constitutions acceptable to live, he has indicated that the CFP Way of Life is a safe guide to holiness. If penitents live this life in humility and love, they will move deeper into their own personal conversion.
III. SUBJECTION TO THE CHURCH
The Pope, by virtue of being head of the Roman Catholic Church, is also head of the Confraternity of Penitents. The Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne - South Bend, Indiana, USA, is the primary representative of the Church regarding the Confraternity of Penitents and has confirmed the canonical status of the Confraternity of Penitents as a private association of the faithful (Bishop Kevin Rhoades in a letter dated 3 January 2014, reaffirmed in a letter dated 28 September 2016. This follows a previous letter by Bishop Thomas Tobin, dated 11 February 2009, issued when the Confraternity was headquartered in Rhode Island, USA.). The Confraternity acknowledges the authority of the Bishop over its affairs and will follow his directives.
All Members of the Confraternity, as well as its spiritual advisors, Spiritual Directors, and Visitor, are in complete conformity to all the directives of the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church and of the Holy See to whom belongs the authentic interpretation of the Rule and Constitutions. The practical interpretation of the Rule and Constitutions belongs to the Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne - South Bend, in consultation with the Visitor and Minister General of the Confraternity who may also consult the Confraternity Council.
REFLECTION: This beginning of the Constitutions is required by canon law to establish the place of the Confraternity of Penitents within the Roman Catholic Church. It indicates that the Confraternity of Penitents is modern way of living the original penitential Rule of 1221, that the adaptations for modern times have been canonically approved as a safe guide to holiness, and that the CFP is subject to the Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend as representative of the Holy See.
MONTHLY LETTER TO ALL PENITENTS: BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO WITNESS, BE ATTENTIVE ENOUGH TO INVITE, BE KIND ENOUGH TO GIVE
Many times, we feel intimidated about sharing our faith. We don’t want to offend anyone or have any criticism coming our way, so we keep quiet. As penitents, we are called to evangelize, that is to spread the good news of Christ in charity and love. We do this by witnessing with our lives and sometimes with our words. Life pledged member Lucy Fernandez shared this story by a friend of hers. It shows how little evangelization can sometimes go a long way: I had to just about die before I answered the Lord's call to come to his Church.
I was raised in Southern Baptist and Assembly of God churches in Virginia and Tennessee. The only things I knew about Catholicism were from Chick tracts. If you are not familiar with Chick tracts do a Google search for: Chick tract Catholic. These are very anti-Catholic, tiny size comic books.
When I graduated high school, I left home and never went to church again. I thought I could read the Bible and pray on my own, and I had no reason to go listen to a preacher lecture me to sleep. When I was 30 I met my first Catholic. If I met any Catholics before, I didn't have any way of knowing it, because they kept their faith to themselves.
One day I went out to lunch with 3 guys from work. One guy had a habit of going out of his way to ask people questions that made them uncomfortable. When he discovered that one of the other guys was Catholic, the interrogation began. Much to my surprise the Catholic was able to defend his faith in a clear and polite manner, despite being attacked with accusations of "cookie worship" and idolatry. His explanations of Apostolic Succession, Transubstantiation, and church history left me wanting to learn more. I never asked him any questions. I just sat back and watched the debate and made a mental note to go to the library.
Over the next few years I read a few books and a lot of encyclopedia articles about church history and the origin of many denominations. At one point I even told a friend, "If I ever went back to church, it would probably be a Catholic church, because history tells me that they are the most likely to have it right." It was ten more years before I set foot in a Catholic church or talked to a priest, and by then I was almost dead.
After a series of deadly infections and a couple of surgeries, I found myself in a bed at St. Francis Hospital in an isolated hallway on an IV drip. When the chaplain came over the PA system for a prayer at 8PM, I muted the TV in time to hear the last few lines: "Lord watch over those who have wandered away from your flock, and call them to your church." I was shocked. I looked up at the ceiling and asked: "God... Are you trying to get my attention? I'm listening. What do you want me to do?"
I was in rough shape. After a series of antibiotic resistant skin infections, I was now suffering from a deadly intestinal infection, and it was not responding to treatment either. I had missed two months of work, couldn't keep down solid food, couldn't stay off the toilet, and I had lost 40 pounds. I was 500 miles from my nearest relative and had split up with my girlfriend. I had drawn up a will and planned my funeral. I was scared and alone.
I was released from the hospital, and the next morning I felt that it was very urgent that I talk to a priest. I had never talked to a priest in my life. I looked online for a Catholic church and found 4 within 5 miles. I prayed about it, and I felt led to Our Lady of the Greenwood, where I met Father Francis Joseph. Father prayed over me and introduced me to Judy, who invited me to Mass, signed me up for RCIA, gave me some reading material, and encouraged me to call her cell phone with any questions. I began attending Sunday Mass, read the entire Catechism before RCIA started, and called Judy with lots of questions. One of the ushers introduced me to some people in the parish, and one of them introduced me to Eucharist Adoration. I soon signed up for a Holy Hour. Another parishioner invited me to a potluck dinner at their home and asked me to join their Presentation Ministries Small Christian Community. My RCIA sponsor convinced me to get up early on Fridays for a men's ministry program called That Man is You.
I was received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil at Our Lady of the Greenwood in 2016. A family from my Presentation Ministries community invited me to their home for Easter dinner and signed me up for the Knights of Columbus. Then one weekend when the Gospel reading told us that branches that do not produce fruit would be cut off and thrown in the fire, I asked folks in my Presentation Ministries community what we were doing to evangelize. Pamela loaned me a copy of Steve Dawson's book on Catholic Street Evangelization. I attempted to contact the Indianapolis chapter listed on the website but got no response.
Many things led me to where I am today. The lesson to be remembered here is that no one person brought me into the Church. The guy who defended his faith while he was being ridiculed. The usher who noticed I was new. The parishioners who talked to me when I was the new guy sitting alone at coffee and donuts. The people who invited me into their homes and communities when I was a stranger. The people who recruited me into That Man Is You. The Knight introduced me to the Knights of Columbus. Each person made a difference because all of these things kept me from giving up, flaking out, and going back to doing my own thing.
The guy who showed me the adoration chapel and explained what Eucharistic Adoration was probably made more of a difference than anybody, because there I found life when I was dead. There I found love when I was alone. There I accidentally met Monsignor Svarczkopf two weeks after I first came to Mass. It was a day when I was trying to decide if I was going to return to mortal sin, or continue my journey into the Church. That day I find a priest standing there waiting for me and he tells me, "We don't believe in coincidences." There I met Jesus, veiled in what looks like bread.
That guy 10 years ago planted a seed by defending his faith, but so many other people fertilized the soil. So many people nurtured the growth of that seed, that without them it never would have grown. Every little thing we do affects somebody. Do all for the glory of God.
-Jamison Henry (Jamison is now living with the Franciscan Friars Minor and will be accepted as a postulant in their Order in May, 2017. Please pray for him.)
POETRY -- POWER IN THE TOUCH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!
Lord reveals his glory to all who ask and seek for it diligently. -- The Touch of God is so precious because it is intimate and personal. -- It is divine, life-giving and consecrating -- It is filled with the spirit of God and its anointing. -- Touch of Jesus Christ is cleansing, purifying and healing -- Even the storm calms down because of Jesus Christ
The possessed man is healed by Jesus Christ in Capernaum -- The woman with the issue of blood was healed as soon she touches Jesus Christ -- The lepers were healed when Jesus Christ touched him -- He touched blind eyes who was born blind and made them see -- He touched deaf ears and they could hear.
Jesus touched the casket, and the dead man came back to life. -- Jesus’ Touch is powerful for it brings salvation, repentance, -- Deliverance, miracles, protection and Healings.
The Touch of Jesus Christ healed and restored people -- His Touches set people free, proclaimed freedom to the captives -- Everything that Jesus touched prospered and received a blessing. -- Everyone whom Jesus touched received a blessing and healings -- The Touch of Christ brings life to all that receive his Touch -- Because He is the resurrection, and the life -- His Touch gives power to preach the Gospel to all people And to bring revelation of God’s love.
When Jesus touches us, He makes us saints, holy people and holy places. -- He leaves us sanctified without defiling us, white as snow from head to toe. -- The Touch of Jesus Christ gives us peace and happiness which world can’t offer. -- Through Jesus Christ we’re promised an abundant life. -- Through Jesus Christ We are acquitted from sin, released from guilt of sin -- We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. -- There is victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
--Shaila Touchton, CFP Postulant
CONFRATERNITY OF PENITENTS PHOTO ALBUM
On February 28, the CFP Headquarters in Fort Wayne bid farewell to Br. Archangelo, a young pilgrim hermit who had been in Fort Wayne for nine months. He is now heading back to his hermitage in Florida. With Brother are three people who help the CFP in various ways. Left to right: Iffat, Tim, Br. Archangelo, and Sue. God bless you, Brother. In your quiet, unassuming ways and your prayerful attention at Mass, you have been an inspiration to us all. We miss you!
With us, please hold Br. Archangelo in prayer as he discerns how God is calling him next.
FROM THE CFP HOLY ANGELS GIFT SHOP -- cfpholyangels.com, 260-739-6882,
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