“Mary our Mother, pray for us.”
Dear Friar Suppliers,
It is so wonderful to still be in the season of Easter, spring, and the month of Mary. It’s a beautiful time of year. It is always so joyful as we celebrate First Communions and Confirmations! May 13th is a favorite of mine, Our Lady of Fatima. Then we close the Easter season with The Ascension on May 26th. I hope you are all enjoying this time.
One of the difficulties in spiritual life is “runaway thoughts.” It is especially true when these thoughts take away our peace. We can experience thoughts that make us confused, disorganized, anxious, depressed, worried, fearful, and a whole host of other negative thoughts. We ruminate on and on; sometimes only adding to our misery. We seem to be our own worse enemies. It’s hard to get control of them because we are preoccupied with whatever the problem is we are dealing with. It can take all our effort to stop thinking, and then we find ourselves going back to it again and again. It can start to dominate our lives and we lose the peace that God wants us to have.
St. Paul teaches us in Phil 4:8, the mindset we need to work on in order to have peace and harmony, with God, people, and circumstances. Paul says: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Ok, St. Paul, so how do we do this? It’s not as easy as he makes it sound. We need need to take the emotional energy that we are experiencing and apply it to praying really earnestly and to pray with gratitude. Think of Jonah, who was drowning, and at the last minute he cries out to God “when my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord and my prayer rose to you. With a song of thanksgiving, I will sacrifice to you…Salvation comes from the Lord.” Jonah 2:5,7,9.
Most of us exchange the joy of gratitude for the misery of self-pity. We complain more than we give thanks. This is a habit we have to change and diligently work on to form the virtue of gratitude in ourselves.
During Holy week I had the opportunity to go to confession with Fr John Paul CFR. For my penance, he told me to meditate on this same scripture Phil 4:8. I more than anyone, must admit that controlling my anxious mind is very difficult. He said, when our brain is overactive with stressful thoughts, we should immediately command our brain to “STOP” and to picture in our minds, something, true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, or gracious.
The other day, I was praying the Liturgy of the Hours and I became alert when I read a certain antiphon. It said, “Free your mind from all that holds it down; learn self-control and put your full trust in God who offers you His grace.” (I can’t find where I saw this quote in the LOH Vol 2. You’ll have to trust me on this one.)
Sometimes, no matter what we do, we can’t seem to overcome this lack of peace. So then I know, we just have to ride it out and offer it to God as a sacrifice. Jesus suffered the worst agony in the garden of Gethsemani, We can offer our anguish united to Him. I truly believe that He allows this kind of suffering because it is redemptive. So why fight it, when it becomes too difficult?
“I will sacrifice to you a willing heart and praise your name for it is good: for you have rescued me from all my distress and my eyes have seen the downfall of my foes.” (Psalm 54)
To sum this all up, we need prayer, gratitude, self-control of our minds, and submission to God’s will. As St. Teresa of Avila says: “Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you, all things pass away. God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God, lacks nothing. God alone suffices.”
The past two years were a “bump in the road” with Covid to say the least. Everyone was affected by it in some way or many ways. However, I think we can all safely say that life is slowly getting back to normal if there is a normal. Charlie is feeling much, much better, and seems to be just as eager to run Friar Suppliers as ever before. His illness with Covid caused all of us to stop and think about what will happen to Friar Suppliers if something happens to Charlie. It's still an unknown mystery that only God knows the answer to. We will keep plugging along for as long as God allows us to.
The Friars and Sisters will continue to receive monthly food from Friar Suppliers and the work in Haiti will continue even though there are no plans for a mission trip in the near future. Over the years, the Haitian people have learned a lot of skills and are able to continue the work with the help of your donations and Charlie’s supervision and monitoring.
We are asking you all to pray and ask your family, to pray daily for the future plans of Friar Suppliers that only God knows. Pray, that if it is God’s will, new younger people will step up and eventually continue to run Friar Suppliers. Ask St. Joseph to make a way forward.
Friar Suppliers will need people to:
Create a monthly shopping list.
Shop for the food.
Rent a van if needed.
Deliver the food to one location in the Bronx.
Write a newsletter monthly.
Get newsletter printed and mailed.
Fundraise, fundraise, fundraise
Maintain our website - friarsuppliers.com.
Use computer skills to bring Friar Suppliers into the 21st Century.
Learn and takeover bookkeeping and record keeping.
Receive and open the mail.
Do the banking.
Haiti Pack will need people to:
Visit Haiti if possible to see what Friar Suppliers have done. Or learn from others who have been there.
Establish a relationship with the “Little Brothers of St. Therese”
Establish a relationship with the many Haitian workers and the neighborhood community.
Fundraise, fundraise, fundraise.
Oversee ongoing projects and monitor remotely.
Order barrels for shipping.
Store barrels where ever.
Collect food, clothing, shoes, etc
Volunteers needed to fill barrels.
Arrange for shipping of barrels.
Please understand that no one person would be needed to do all these things. Many people working together is what makes Friar Suppliers such a beautiful ministry. Fundraising, bookkeeping, computer skills, organizational skills, a love for the poor, and willingness to serve God in this way are the kinds of people we need to ask God to send us to keep Friar Suppliers running way into the future. Of course, new minds and creative thinkers can change and improve Friar Suppliers in whatever way God uses them.
What is the mission of FriarSuppliers? We proudly serve the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Renewal by providing them with food and things they need so that they can live and serve the poor through their vocation of poverty, chastity, and obedience as priests, brothers, and sisters.
In conjunction with the CFRs and the Little Brothers of St. Therese in Haiti, we minister to the poor in Haiti, by providing food, clothing, education, employment, farming, housing, and medical care to the poor in need.
Thank you for being such vital supporters of Friar Suppliers. Many of you have been with us since the beginning. None of this would have been possible without your financial and “hands-on” help. We are humbled by your support. We never thought God would ask us to do anything out of the ordinary, but He did and we are grateful for all of you. None of you are ordinary. You were called by God. Please pray for the future of Friar Suppliers. It is in His hands.
Joan & Charlie Moran