OPEN LETTER TO CFC-FFL WORLDWIDE
FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF OUR CONSECRATION TO MARY"
August 10, 2008
dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
in the love of Jesus!
has been one year since that blessed event last August 10,
2007, when we as CFC-FFL consecrated ourselves to the Blessed
Virgin Mary, more specifically, to Our Lady, Mary Mediatrix
of All Grace. Since that time, we have experienced her powerful
intercession, helping firm up our restoration and moving us
forward in our mission.
we had a pilgrimage to the Carmelite shrine at Lipa, Batangas.
We filled the Church and had a wonderful time. Like Mary in
her Magnificat, what we experienced was exultant joy. This
is the joy that comes from knowing God’s mercy, His
salvation, and His bountiful blessings. This is the joy that
comes from experiencing God’s love (Jn 3:16), trusting
in His plan for us (Jer 29:11), and responding to His particular
call to us as CFC—founded in 1981, re-founded in 1993,
restored in 2007.
was there from the very start in 1981. And at the very start
of our restoration in 2007, there also was Mary.
apparitions in Lipa, to a Carmelite novice named Sr Teresing,
started in August 1948. 60 years ago. Fr Melvin Castro, our
Eucharistic celebrant, said that the devil was defeated in
1948, and that now, from this day on, the devil will be defeated
through our work in every part of the world, where Our Lady
was a powerful affirmation of the spiritual warfare that we
have always been involved in, intensifying in the last few
years, with its most intense period last year. With restoration,
the devil’s intent to destroy CFC has been thwarted.
But the enemy does not give up. And today we are still deeply
involved in spiritual warfare. The devil will oppose God’s
work and God’s people till the end of time.
Jesus already won victory on the cross. And our Blessed Mother
too is victorious over the devil’s works.
do we now respond to this situation of continuing intense
spiritual warfare? Let Mary show us the way.
Mary was not afraid. She was greatly troubled at what the
angel told her (Lk 1:29) but the angel assured her, “Do
not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”
(Lk 1:30). In the midst of troubles in life, if we place ourselves
securely in God’s embrace by walking His path for us,
then, knowing His great love and great plan for us, we need
never be afraid. No matter what happens.
Mary embraced the cross. We know that there will be problems,
challenges and pain in life. We are called not only to be
unafraid of these, but in fact to face them boldly and joyfully.
Mary was told by Simeon that she would be pierced by a sword
(Lk 2:35). This was the price of walking with Jesus. So too
with us. The sage Jesus, son of Eleazar, tells us, “My
son, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for
trials.” (Sir 2:1). If we want to be disciples of Jesus,
we must deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow
him (Lk 9:23). All the way to the cross.
do not forget (never forget) that we are into spiritual warfare.
So the enemy will continue to oppress us. “It is necessary
for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”
(Acts 14:22). We can be subjected to persecution, even from
our own brethren. But even this will be cause for blessings
and great joy. Jesus himself pronounced the beatitude: “Blessed
are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when
they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of
evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Mt 5:10-12).
like Mary, who gave birth to Jesus and stood at the foot of
the cross until his death, we too must go all the way to the
cross. Pain and suffering are salvific. They purify us. They
humble us. They pave the way for us to experience victory.
For us, just like Jesus and Mary, the cross is the only way.
Mary experienced victory in and through the Holy Spirit. We
have been entrusted with God’s work. How is this possible?
We are weak and sinful. Mary also asked, “How can this
be” (Lk 1:34)? The angel replied, “The holy Spirit
will come upon you” (Lk 1:35a). It is possible because
it is God’s work, we are just instruments, and it is
the Holy Spirit who anoints and empowers us. Though we are
nothing, nothing is impossible with God (Lk 1:37). In fact,
God delights in using nobodies like us. Mary herself was lowly,
but all ages would call her blessed, for the Mighty One did
great things for her (Lk 1:48-49).
in CFC-FFL are an evangelistic and missionary community. We,
as with all Christians, have been entrusted with that wonderful
gift of salvation won on the cross by Jesus. We have been
commissioned to bring that good news of salvation to the whole
world. This is our privilege. This is our responsibility.
it possible for God to use us in the power of His Spirit?
Can we become families in the Holy Spirit that will be God’s
instruments for renewing the face of the earth? Jesus has
said so, and we just need to believe and accept.
fourth, Mary believed and so was blessed. Elizabeth told her:
“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to
you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Lk 1:45). Faith
is the key. Faith unlocks God’s power. With faith, God
can move mountains through us (Mt 17:20). But we need to be
faithful. To God’s call to us. To our covenant with
God. To our life and mission in CFC-FFL. We need to walk in
the way of Jesus and grow in holiness. And we need to be committed
servants whom the Lord can use as He wills.
the midst of spiritual warfare, we rejoice. Precisely because
spiritual warfare is a consequence of our walking in the way
of Christ and doing his work, all the more we rejoice.
and sisters, our joy is in Christ. But it is more than that.
It is actually about the Father’s joy in us. Our theme
of joy for this year comes from the book of the prophet Zephaniah.
And here we see that it is our God who rejoices over us (Zep
3:17). God rejoices in our restoration. God rejoices in having
His holy remnant. God renews us in His love.
God gives us His promises through Zephaniah. “I will
remove disaster from among you, so that none may recount your
disgrace. Yes, at that time I will deal with all who oppress
you ….. and at that time I will gather you: For I will
give you renown and praise, among all the peoples of the earth,
when I bring about your restoration before your very eyes,
says the Lord.” (Zep 3:18-20).
that is great cause for rejoicing. The angel Gabriel said
to Mary: “you have found favor with God.” (Lk
1:30). “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
(Lk 1:28). With our restoration, I believe we have once again
found favor with God. And with our consecration, we have found
favor with Mary.
then our response be, just like Mary: “my spirit rejoices
in God my savior” (Lk 1:47).
joy. Let this be at the core of our very being, now and forever.
bless us all.
servant in Jesus and Mary,
download file, click on icon
Anniversary of Consecration to Mary - August 10,