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Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos

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Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE)

Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)  

(“an Order within an Order”)

Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE)

Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) Blog 

 
Opinions expressed in this Blog do not necessarily represent views of the Bishop Protector of OFE,  Provincial of OFE, Minister General of OFE, the OFE Board and Council, the Abbey Board, the OFC Advisory Board, or any other members of OFE, OFES, COFE, Sanctification of Families Union of Saint Francis of Assisi, Theotokos Association of Catholic Priests,  and OFE Charters.
 

Compassion

Francis of Assisi wrote, “Whoever may come to us, whether a friend or a foe, a thief or a robber, let him be kindly received.”​


Our Lady of Las Lajas

Our Lady of Las Lajas (Our Lady of the Rocks)
 
There are many amazing incidents involving apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary related throughout history, and nearly countless times where she has come to give her special assistance to men. One of the most astonishing events involves a little known apparition, Our Lady of Las Lajas, and a miracle that can still be witnessed today on a cliff face of Guaitara Canyon in Colombia, South America.
 
It was in the year 1754 when a woman named Maria Mueses de Quinones was traveling from her home in the village of Potosi to the neighboring village of Ipiales, which was about 6 miles away. The trail had turned down into the gorge formed by the Guaitara River when Maria was caught in a sudden squall. She did not like this shadowy and overgrown place, for she, like all the natives, believed the grotto known as Las Lajas (The Rocks) was inhabited by the devil. Despite her fears, Maria was soon forced by the violence of the storm to take refuge there anyway.
 
Making the Sign of the Cross and invoking the aid of the Blessed Virgin, Maria peered fearfully into the darkness as she took her first few halting steps into the cave. Surrounded by the awful darkness she was just beginning to look about when she felt someone, or something, moving directly behind her. Afraid to turn around, she ignored the feeling until she felt a finger begin tapping her insistently on the shoulder. Certain it was the devil himself, Maria fled out into the raging storm.
 
Maria had a young daughter named Rosa, a child who had been a deaf-mute since birth. Sometime later, returning home from Ipiales, Maria was carrying Rosa on her back on the way to their village when she suddenly was suddenly overcome by exhaustion. Unable to go any further, she sat down and rested on a large stone near the dreadful grotto.
 
“Mommy, look at the mestiza who has detached herself from the rock with a little boy in her arms and two little mestizos at her side!”

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“…bruised, hurting and dirty…”

Pope Francis said, “I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.” 



“Can I hold your hand?”

“My steps wobble, God I feel like a new born child Can I hold your hand?” (Haiku Prayer)



“…danger of starving.”

On the Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Saturday, August 24, 2019, the Minister General of OFE established the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist, for married and celibate Roman Catholic priests. The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) and the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) were fused together in a single entity (“an Order within an Order”). Present members and those who join will be members of both orders.​
 
The Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist is reflective of our present history, goals, mission, charism,  apostolic works, and Roman Catholic tradition. 
 
“We need to make our leaders understand that the Mass is more important than mandatory celibacy,” said FutureChurch cofounder, Fr. Louis J. Trivison. Quoting Catholic canon law and the second Vatican Council Trivison noted: “we have the right to receive in abundance…the spiritual goods of the Church, and it is our right and duty to make our views known on matters which concern the good of the Church.” OFE is working for the reinstatement of priests who left the active ministry to marry and reconsideration of opening ordination to “all Catholics called to it by God and the people of God,” including women and the married, rather than lose access to the Eucharist.
 
“While the Pope writes beautiful statements about what the Eucharist means for Catholics, most Catholics in the world have no regular access to Mass [the Eucharist] at all,” said FutureChurch Executive Director, Sr. Christine Schenk. “If, as the Pope says, the Church truly “draws her life from the Eucharist, then we are in danger of starving.”
 

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” (St. Francis of Assisi) 



“Lord, take me where… “

“Lord, take me where You want me to go, let me meet who You want me to meet, tell me what You want me to say, and keep me out of Your way.”  (The Prayer of Saint Mychal Judge)



“Together…”

You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things.” (Mother Teresa)



“…doing the impossible.”

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” (St. Francis of Assisi)



Save Me, O Lord!

Saint John Chrysostom uses the example of charcoal, in order to console sinful people. A lit charcoal will burn you. If, however, you throw this lit charcoal into the sea, which will prevail? The sea or the charcoal? The sea, of course. As soon as the charcoal hits the water, it is extinguished and disappears.
 
Sin is a charcoal that scorches and burns our insides. What excruciating pain! Don’t allow this condition to persist. Take hold of it during the life-saving moment of confession and throw it into the sea of God’s compassion. Your charcoal of sin will immediately be extinguished and disappear.
 
If you tell me that you have not only one charcoal but many sins that are burning you, I will respond that God’s mercy is not just a sea: it is an entire ocean. Actually, it is something infinitely larger. The sea and the oceans have a certain limit, boundary, and end. God’s compassion, however, is incalculable, limitless, and endless. (Elder Ephraim of Arizona)


Seek What Is Above

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.”  (Colossians 3:1-4)


“Power of Planting a Seed…”

“We can’t force someone to hear a message they are not ready to receive, but we must never underestimate the power of planting a seed.”  (Good People News)


“More compassion and caring… “

God places us in the world as his fellow workers-agents of transfiguration. We work with God so that injustice is transfigured into justice, so there will be more compassion and caring, that there will be more laughter and joy, that there will be more togetherness in God’s world.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)


Love All…

Love All, Judge None


“You are not the judge of creation…”

Do not look for the faults of your friend. Do not repeat the short comings of your neighbors in you talk. You are not the judge of creation… Be the judge of your own sins, and chastise your own transgressions.” (Saint Ephrem the Syrian)


“God loves…”

“Satan loves to take what’s beautiful and ruin it. God loves to take what’s ruined and make it beautiful.” (Get Through The Week)


“Mercy is …”

“Mercy is the true face of love.”  (Pope Francis) 


“All life demands struggle. “

“All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.” (Pope Paul VI)


“Seek God…”

“You can, you must try to seek God in every human life.  Although the life of a person is land full of thorns and weeds, there  is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.”  (Pope Francis)


“I will not reject anyone…”

 “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me.” (John 6:37)


“The Church must be…”

“The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel.”​ (Pope Francis) 
 


Unfulfilled Potentials

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams. Think not your frustrations, but your unfulfilled potential.”
(Pope John XXIII)
 


“Justice of God incarnate”

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord!” (Luke 1:46) When I recently prayed anew over Mary’s beautiful Magnificat proclamation, I realised what a wonderful exception this is. A prophetic, powerful word, so necessary to be heard, is not silenced – even though spoken by a young woman! Mary proclaims a revolutionary Savior who casts down the mighty and feeds the hungry. Justice of God incarnate! Surely a message for today. But today the episcopal and canonical structures of our Church – not the evangelical and grace-filled structures – would not allow Mary to vote in official church gatherings, hold key leadership roles in Vatican offices, and participate in decision-making structures. Truly, our Catholic Church has no future if we continue to silence God’s words spoken and lived through women. As a male in today’s Catholic Church, I don’t want Mary and her companions silenced any longer….And I believe Jesus is with me.” (Cf. https://overcomingsilence.com/. Pete Henriot, S.J. Member Zambia-Malawi Jesuit Province)


Troubled Waters

I asked God, “Why are you taking me through troubled waters?” He replied, “Because your enemies can’t swim.” 


Givers

The happiest person in life are givers not the receiver.


Grief

Grief
By Mindful Christianity Today
 
Grief never ends…
But it changes.
It’s a passage, not a place to stay.
Grief is not a sign
of weakness, nor
a lack of faith…
It is the price of love. 


Corpus Christi

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
 
“The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” (Pope Francis)
 
“The Eucharist is our living Memorial. In the Eucharist, as the Council recalls, ‘is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself our Pasch and the living bread which gives life to men through his flesh – that flesh which is given life and gives life through the Holy Spirit. Thus, men are invited and led to offer themselves, their works and all creation with Christ…’ (Presbyterorum ordinis, n. 5).” (Pope Benedict XVI)
 
“Without prolonged moments of adoration, of prayerful encounter with the word, of sincere conversation with the Lord, our work easily becomes meaningless; we lose energy as a result of weariness and difficulties, and our fervor dies out. The Church urgently needs the deep breath of prayer, and to my great joy groups devoted to prayer and intercession, the prayerful reading of God’s word and the perpetual adoration of the Eucharist are growing at every level of ecclesial life.” (Pope Francis)


Ecumenical Friends

Ecumenical Friends
“That they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you.” (John 17:21)
An invitation to Religious Orders and Churches to be Ecumenical Friends with the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical.
 
What does it mean to be “ecumenical friends?”
 
These are some of the things that reflect what that means: To pray regularly for the unity of the Church; to be rooted in a particular Christian tradition; to take an active part in the careful and honest appraisal of whatever needs to be done for the renewal of one’s own church; to be fascinated and curious about that which is different; to be willing to learn; to cultivate an historical consciousness; to be ready to celebrate vitality in the Body of Christ wherever it is found; to be willing to work together; to feel the scandal of our divisions; to be open to God’s will for the Church; to appreciate the important role of provisional regulations and church structures in our evolution from alienation to reconciliation; to have an appreciation for the hierarchy of truths in Christian doctrine; to try to understand others as they understand themselves; to be alert to the presence of God and the action of the Holy Spirit in the lives of other Christians and members of other living faiths; and to have a biblical patience.
 
OFE has no ecclesiastical or jurisdictional affiliations with the religious orders or churches that are listed on our website.


Most Holy Trinity

Most Holy Trinity
By Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo+, OFE
 
The divine Trinity takes up his abode in us on the day of our Baptism: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. Every time we sign ourselves with the sign of the Cross we remember God’s name in which we were baptized. With regard to the sign of the Cross a theologian, Romano Guardini, remarked: “We do it before praying so that… we may put ourselves spiritually in order; focus thoughts, heart and will on God; after praying, so that what God has given us may remain within us…. It embraces the whole being, body and soul… and everything is consecrated in the name of the Triune God” (Lo spirito della liturgia. I santi segni, Brescia, 2000, pp. 125-126).
 
What is the dogma of the Holy Trinity?
 
The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the “consubstantial Trinity”. The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire: “The Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is, i.e. by nature one God.” In the words of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), “Each of the persons is that supreme reality, viz., the divine substance, essence or nature.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 253)
 
The divine persons are really distinct from one another. “God is one but not solitary.” “Father”, “Son”, “Holy Spirit” are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they are really distinct from one another: “He is not the Father who is the Son, nor is the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son.” They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: “It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds.” The divine Unity is Triune. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 254)
 
The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another: “In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both. While they are called three persons in view of their relations, we believe in one nature or substance.” Indeed “everything (in them) is one where there is no opposition of relationship.” “Because of that unity the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Son is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 255)

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The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer
 
“The traditional expression “the Lord’s Prayer” – oratio Dominica – means that the prayer to our Father is taught and given to us by the Lord Jesus. The prayer that comes to us from Jesus is truly unique: it is “of the Lord.” On the one hand, in the words of this prayer the only Son gives us the words the Father gave him:13 he is the master of our prayer. On the other, as Word incarnate, he knows in his human heart the needs of his human brothers and sisters and reveals them to us: he is the model of our prayer.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church Number 2765)
 
“But Jesus does not give us a formula to repeat mechanically.14 As in every vocal prayer, it is through the Word of God that the Holy Spirit teaches the children of God to pray to their Father. Jesus not only gives us the words of our filial prayer; at the same time he gives us the Spirit by whom these words become in us “spirit and life.”15 Even more, the proof and possibility of our filial prayer is that the Father “sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!'”16 Since our prayer sets forth our desires before God, it is again the Father, “he who searches the hearts of men,” who “knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”17 The prayer to Our Father is inserted into the mysterious mission of the Son and of the Spirit.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church Number 2766)


Pentecost

Pentecost
 
“The Church of Christ is always, so to speak, in a situation of Pentecost: she is always gathered in the Upper Room in prayer, and at the same time, driven by the powerful wind of the Spirit, she is always on the streets preaching.” (Pope John Paul II)
 
“If the Lord has left us ignorant of the ordering of many things in this world, then it means it is not necessary for us to know: we cannot compass all creation with our minds. But the Creator Himself of heaven and earth and every created thing gives us to know Him in the Holy Spirit.” (St. Silouan the Athonite, “Wisdom from Mount Athos”)
 
“Pentecost is the moment when a heart of stone is shattered and a heart of flesh takes its place.” (Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa)
 
“Without Pentecost the Christ-event – the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus – remains imprisoned in history as something to remember, think about and reflect on. The Spirit of Jesus comes to dwell within us, so that we can become living Christs here and now.” (Henri Nouwen)
 
“The Pentecost of the Upper Room in Jerusalem is the beginning a beginning which endures.” (Pope Francis)
 
“Jesus tells us that His holy Disciples will be more courageous and more understanding when they would be, as the Scripture says, Endowed with power from on high (Luke 24:49), and that when their minds would be illuminated by the torch of the Spirit they would be able to see into all things, even though no longer able to question Him bodily present among them. The Saviour does not say that they would no longer as before need the light of His guidance, but that when they received His Spirit, when He was dwelling in their hearts, they would not be wanting in any good thing, and their minds would be filled with most perfect knowledge.” (St. Cyril of Alexandria)



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