"Let’s hearts rejoice who search for the Lord."
– Psalm 105
Dear Friars, Sisters and Friar Suppliers,
I hope you all had a Thanksgiving filled with gratitude, appreciation and blessings for all of God’s gifts to you and your families. As we transition into Advent, the season changes from one of gratitude to one of waiting and anticipation. Advent is also a time of searching. Searching for God.
I heard Peter Kreft (Catholic apologist) speaking on EWTN radio about his conversations with atheists. When he listens to an atheist give all their reasons for not believing in God, he asks them, if their hearts are searching for something more, something bigger than themselves. They always reply “no.” They say they are satisfied with their short life on earth and need nothing more. Even if there is a God, they reject Him. Then there is the sceptic. I have heard other people tell me that God is such a great mystery, we can’t possibly know Him, so why bother searching for Him. Religion is all man made. So, just eat, drink and be merry. Whatever happens after death, if anything at all, is unknowable and not worth stopping to think about or pursue.
This is such dangerous thinking. It’s what the Catechism calls the sin of presumption. It’s a decision to refuse to believe, to search, to learn to know. People in this situation are like rock walls. They are completely unreasonable. There hearts and minds are closed. We have to pray for them.
I myself, and I imagine most of you are not in this category. We are searching. We are continually searching for the transcendent mystery, who is God Himself.
This is what Advent is all about. Have you ever wondered how Elizabeth and infant John in her womb recognized Jesus in the womb of Mary? Or, why only a few shepherds and three wise men went searching for the Christ child? Why was it, that only Simeon, and Anna recognized this seemingly insignificant infant in the arms of His parents in a crowded temple? Why did so many throughout His life on earth, accept Him and so many reject Him? Isn’t it still the same way today? I think this is a greater mystery than God Himself. I can understand a loving God. I can’t understand why people reject Him. We are created in His image; we are created with an intellect to know Him. We have the ability to think, reason, imagine, remember and a will to accept or reject. God said “yes” when He decided to create. He always says “yes.” He says “yes” to everything that is good. He even makes good come out of our bad decisions. So shouldn’t we say “yes” to Him? Isn’t our time on earth worth searching for Him? We have nothing to lose if we search for Him. We have everything to lose if we don’t.
“Give us this Advent, O God, the vision which can see your loving presence in this world in spite of human failure and rejection.”
Advent is also a time of preparation. We are preparing to welcome God once again into our lives. There are also many preparations that families do during Advent to prepare for Christmas as a celebration of Christ’s birth. Decorating, shopping, gift wrapping, cooking, cookie baking. We have so many traditions. Of course, we are all doing it for the right reasons! Right? Let’s try to remember the reason for the season, especially when it’s getting to the eleventh hour and we are frantic.
The Friars and Sisters are just as during Advent as the rest of us. They are busy with food and toy handouts to the poor.
They receive lots of visitors and family. And of course, there are the liturgical celebrations that need to be planned for.
Their food needs increase during this season as the Friaries and Convents fill up with more people. Just like our own homes.
Please remember to try and be extra generous to Friar Suppliers during the Advent/Christmas season We try very hard to meet all their food and grocery needs.
We are still collecting suitcases for our Haiti Mission trip. Any size will do and will be greatly appreciated. Just drop them off at our house please: 583 S 7th St. Lindenhurst, NY 11757
Our annual big Haiti Mission trip is right after the New Year. Every year the expectations and possibilities of what our missionaries can do increases with great potential and possibilities. There are over forty people going on the January 2019 mission. Everyone going is expected to pay their own way and fundraise as well. Charlie asks each missionary to fund raise a minimum of $2,500. There are no freeloaders. Every penny goes to the poor. The more that comes in the more they can do to help the poor in Haiti. It’s a daunting task. We are so grateful for the money that is donated for this project. We can’t do anything without the generous help of Friar Suppliers, friends, families and everyone. Please be as generous as you can to the Friars, Sisters and our Haiti Mission.
Thank you, dear Friar Suppliers and families for your love, prayers and contributions to Friar Suppliers.
Thank you, everyone who so generously give of their time, muscle and energy to make this all work. We are humbled by your sacrifices and love for the Franciscan Friars, Sisters, and the poorest of the poor in Haiti. We are all servants of the Lord, trying to do our little bit to change this suffering world. We are so grateful!
May God bless you all with joy during this Advent season.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Joan & Charlie Moran
Eileen & Rich Garbe