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Today, Ethan, Michael, JP, Rick, and the two of us met at Penn Station for Lunch. We met there Baron, who was after a cigarette and ended-up participating in a joyful lunch, Jeffrey who is always smiling and “loves this world”, Dominic, who was visibly very hungry, and very grateful for the lunch , Glenn and Arthur, who we know well already, Pat, and last but not least Andre, who scared us with a seizure at KFC. Thanks, God, medics came rapidly, Andre recovered and could finish lunch with us. The picture below will give you an idea of the wonderful time we’ve had. If you want to participate in our next Fraternity lunch, please let us know.
Derek & Pierre.
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7 of us, Paul, Whitney, Zeke, Rick, Arnaud, Derek and Pierre met at 11:30. We walked around the station and met Michael, Jehovah, Marie, Mildred, and Lamar. We invited them for a lunch in the station’s food hall, where we enjoyed Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell. It took time for Michael to feel comfortable with our invitation. He doesn’t have many teeth left and had to ask for a soup instead. Pierre took him to Pret to get one, and the two of them met there Mary, a tourist from Dallas, discovering New York for the first time and intrigued to see Pierre and Michael having fun and hugging each other. See some pictures of this blessed time below. Jehovah is a fan of the Blues Brothers and used to play the saxophone, Mildred is expecting a baby boy and proudly called Lamar her soon-to-be husband, Marie prefers crispy chicken sandwiches to pieces of chicken, we’ll know it for next time. See some pictures of this blessed time below, and let us know if you want to join next time, the list is building up already, we’ll be sold out soon.
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The Church gives us today the “Beatitudes” as an explanation of our celebration of All Saints Day. This is good, because the beatitudes present us with such a kaleidoscopic vision of what it means to be a saint: saints can be poor in spirit, or rich in persecution, meek and humble, or zealous fighters for peace, etc.
So of the many things we could say about saints and holiness, the beatitudes show us that not all saints are the same; in fact, the contrary is true: every saint is different, no two saints are alike! Probably we haven’t thought of this too much, but if we want to be saints, we have to be… ourselves! Not ourselves with our sins, but ourselves as God created us to be, the “you” God dreamed about when He created you. Matthew Kelly calls this “becoming the best version of yourself”, not of someone else. In fact, one of the effects of sin is when we try to be someone else, someone God didn’t create us to be: when we think we will be happier if we are like this or that “successful” person, or “movie star”, or whoever: we don’t accept the way God made us, and then we try to be like someone else, out of vanity, or pride, or jealousy or envy.
Two good examples of this. This first is from Jean Guitton, in his My Philosophical Testament. In it he imagines his own death, and at one moment, while he is speaking with his Guardian Angel, he says that the most terrible thing about dying is having to look back over one’s life and seeing what a great life it would have been if he had become the “Jean Guitton” that God created him to be! Another example is from G. K. Chesterton, in Orthodoxy. He writes about the text which says that the lion will lie down with the lamb. “But remember that it is constantly assumed … that when the lion lies down with the lamb the lion becomes lamb-like. But that is brutal imperialism on the part of the lamb… the lamb absorbing the lion instead of the lion eating the lamb. The real problem is–Can the lion lie down with the lamb and still retain his royal ferocity? That is the problem the Church attempted; that is the miracle she achieved.” It doesn’t matter if God made us to be a lion or a lamb: both can become saints, if we try to do this according to God’s plan.
A very great lesson about saintliness: every one of us can become a saint, but only if first we accept ourselves and how God made us, and then, try to become that person God created us to be. Let us remember that!
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