Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
This just happens to be a very common symptom in the seminary. We get everything we could possibly need, food, housing, entertainment, prayer, brotherhood, financial support, and we somehow still find the time to complain. I am probably the number one offender here. :)
But it is a bad sign for our humility and a challenge for us to move beyond ourselves. As my spiritual director always says, we have to stop feeding that ego of ours that wants what we want it, when we want it, how we want it, and on and on. If you want to grow in your discernment, try putting the kabosh on your complaining. It sure is not the easiest for me.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
"There are those who think that in today’s culture what we need is a sort of efficient ‘Catholic Church in Ireland Incorporated’, with its own CEO and with management structures administered efficiently from the top right down to the lowest level. The Church can benefit from appropriate management structures, but renewal will always be the work of prophets rather than management consultants. The message of Jesus Christ is lived in localized faith communities not in national bureaucracies...
...The Catholic Church in Ireland, as I said, will have to find its place in a very different, much more secularized culture, at times even in a hostile culture. It will have to find that place by being authentic and faithful to the person and the message of Jesus Christ. The agenda for change in the Church must be one that comes from its message and not from pressure from outside and from people who do not have the true good of the Church at heart. We all have reasons to be discouraged and to be angry. There is a sense, however, in which true reform of the Church will spring only from those who love the Church, with a love like that of Jesus which is prepared also to suffer for the Church and to give oneself for the Church."
I have started to get a sense of the disillusion myself with my hospital visits. People are confused, weary, no longer interested. What is needed, deep down, are saints. Holy priests, holy sisters, holy lay faithful, holy everyone. Perhaps it is most challenging to be a priest right now because of the scandal and the many struggles we continue to face. But as I told a couple ladies from the south, that is stateside, it is also an amazingly exciting time to be a priest. There is much to be done and much grace there to do it with.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Scripture tells us the hairs on our heads are all numbered, and not a single sparrow falls from the sky without God knowing of it. For that reason, I don't believe there's really such a thing as a coincidence in our Blessed Lord's divine providence. Looking back on my own life, it's still amazing to me that I, someone who wasn't even born a Catholic, am now studying to be a priest. At the same time though I have to believe that if it is indeed God's will that I be a priest, He would have known that from all eternity before I was even conceived. God arranged things to happen in my life to 1) bring me into His Church and admit me to His sacraments, and 2) inspire me to apply to our diocese and the seminary.
Our Holy Father is currently engaged in a pilgrimage to Fatima for the anniversary of Our Lady's appearances to the children there ninety-three years ago. He just delivered an awesome sermon which touches on Our Lady's message of prayer, repentance, and conversion. Pray the Rosary for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and for peace in the world.
Monday, May 10, 2010
This is another seminarian symptom I think. We want to be already there, ordained priests, but we are not even close. What I have come to realize recently is that seminary is not something to be endured. I know I should already know that. But it has finally become something interior to me, that it is good to be here, and this time in itself is blessed
Pope Benedict reflecting on life in the seminary said "The seminary is not so much a place but a significant time in the life of the follower of Jesus (Cologne, Aug. 19, 2005)." That is how we too need to see it.
And Mother Adela, superior of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary said "The seminary is a time of formation, of communion, of intimate dialogue with Christ, of preparation for the mission. It seems to me that we could call the seminary the time of Nazareth."
The challenge is to love where we are. The challenge I think is to abandon ourselves to Divine Providence and rejoice in whatever the Lord has for us and asks of us each day. Jesus did that despite perhaps an eagerness to start his own saving mission for all humanity. He waited until the time was right. We've got to put in our time too.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
In light of the recent explosive news of sexual abuse by priests in Europe, many in the media are wondering again if celibacy leads to abuse. Can you be healthy and celibate?
The irony is that some of history’s most loving and generous persons — those that even nonbelievers admire — were chaste. Think of St. Francis of Assisi or Mother Teresa. Would anyone say that they were not loving? Or somehow sick?
Better yet, think of Jesus of Nazareth who, most serious Scripture scholars agree, never married. Does anyone doubt that Jesus was not a loving person? Was he sick?Click here for more.