Showing posts with label Celibacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Celibacy. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Religious Life Website

The Instistute for Religious life has just released a new webpage - check out their  Home Page!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

First Sunday of Lent

The Season of Lent is a season of self-denial and penance, when we, like Jesus Christ enter the desert of fasting and prayer. What will we find there? Perhaps a new temptation against which Christ is strengthening us; perhaps a new awareness of His love for us; it might be growth in a virtue. It might be a deeper commitment to our vocation. Whatever it is that Christ has prepared for us, let us walk boldly through this desert of Lent!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

THe Multiplication of the Loaves is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels. It contains a great power - it reveals that Jesus Christ is God, and that He provides for His people. It is a foreshadowing of the Eucharist. More importantly, though, for those who are discerning a vocation, the miracle reminds us on our own we can do nothing - not even 200 days wages would be enough! But when we give, even as little as five barley loaves and two fish, Jesus Christ makes it enough for the vast crowds.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus heals Simon Peter's mother-in-law, but knows that he came to preach in more toms that just Capernaum. He tells them that they must move on. His purpose drives His action.
When we know why God created us (certainly to know, love and serve Him) with some more clarity, it sets us on a path. We must follow Jesus's example, therefore, and spend time in prayer in asking the Father what purpose He has planted in our hearts.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Newest Edition of Vocations View

I have posted the newest volume of the Vocations View Newsletter. Click to go to the page, or Right click to download!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Third Sunday of Advent

John the Baptist cries out for the people to be prepared for the coming of the Messiah. He knows where he stands - that he is not worthy to untie the Savior's sandals - and who he is. He prepares the way through he baptism of repentance. As we prepare ourselves to receive the savor at His second coming, that message of repentance is still relevant for us. Are we prepared to receive Christ?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Vocation Boom

I want to highlight a great website for those discerning a vocation titled Vocation Boom. It provides Resources, encouragement, mentors and friends to aid in discernment of the priesthood.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Archbishop Sheehan's Document on Marriage and Cohabitation

Marriage, as a vocation, is under attack. Achbishop Sheehan of Sante Fe has released a beautifully written document on the three forms of cohabitation: Without civil marriage, married civilly, and divorced and remarried. It is worth a read; I highlight here the following:

The Church must make it clear to the faithful that these unions are not in accord with the Gospel, and to help Catholics who find themselves in these situations to do whatever they must do to make their lives pleasing to God.

First of all, we ourselves must be firmly rooted in the Gospel teaching that, when it comes to sexual union, there are only two lifestyles acceptable to Jesus Christ for His disciples: a single life of chastity, or the union of man and woman in the Sacrament of Matrimony. There is no “third way” possible for a Christian. The Bible and the Church teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman and opposes same sex unions.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Sermon on the Mount, especially the Beatitudes, form the core of what it means to follow Christ. It is in poverty of spirit that we recognize our dependance on God. In sadness, we turn to the Lord for our joy. The meek turn to the Lord for strength, the hungry to be filled by the Lord alone. Indeed, the vows and promises of the religious and priests are a means of live the Beatitudes out, and to remind others that we all live dependent on God.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Feast of the Epiphany, 2011

The Child Jesus is revealed as King of kings, and is worshipped by the wise men. Just as they did, we are to look for the signs of Christ's presence, and to come in worship and service.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Pope and the Media

I have to admit I am continually surprised, though I know that I should not be, by certain people's malformed conscience that take certain things completely out of context or ignore nuance, twisting statements of incredible clarity into a justification of their own mistaken preconceived ideas.
Now, the Media implies that the Church's stance on condom use and sexuality has shifted, that what was once immoral is now moral.
Note that it is an interview, not official Church teaching or document and is therefore not speaking from his authority as Pope, and second, he is talking in very nuanced terms. He basically said that in certain (assuming limited) circumstances, and the example he uses is suggestive of a male homosexual prostitute, the use of a condom may be a move (also implied to be one of many necessary steps) toward morality and authentic sexuality, but the use of a condom does not make the act moral. The act surrounding its use is still immoral, whether it is sex and act of fornication, adultery, homosexuality, or contraception. As the Pope is saying, the use of a condom is just the awakenings, the beginning, (in his term, "moralization") of taking responsibility for one's actions, but does not represent a full embracing of a moral sexuality, nor taking full responsibility.
This does not, therefore, represent a change in Church teaching. The use of condoms continues to remain a disordered act whether as a means of contraception or as a means of limiting infectious transfers. That said, it needs to be noted, again, that even in the prevention of pregnancy, they are only about 90% effective, and the AIDS virus is much smaller than sperm, and the condom's effectiveness is necessarily less.
The use of a condom is not the end of personal responsibility. True taking of personal responsibility for a full embracing of the moral is celibacy or marital fidelity. Their use does not make an immoral sexual act moral, though as the Pope states it is a move in the right direction as taking responsibility for one's actions. As to the guarantee protection from AIDS, only abstinence and marital continence in a marital relationship are effective.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christ the King, 2010

Jesus Christ is our eternal priest and universal king, and the time is coming when He will submit His kingdom to our Heavenly Father. When that time comes, will we be in alignment with Christ, and be submitted with the rest of creation, or stand outside, grinding and wailing our teeth. This good thief in today's Gospel provides a model - he submits himself to Christ, and while his prayer is to simply be remembered, he finds forgiveness and peace.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

In our Gospel this weekend, Jesus Christ explains that marriage is a earthly institution, that people marry here, but in Heaven it will not be so - they will be like the angels. Not a merely sentimental statement, Jesus is most likely referring to the fact that the angels exist to praise and worship our Heavenly Father, and they are not created through procreation. This helps us find 'ends' (the philosophical reason) of marriage, unititive and procreative, are for here, and helps us to understand why the Lord would call some men and women to celibacy: as a witness of the way we shall all live in heaven. As we look at the seven brothers in Maccabees, we hear of their faith in the Resurrection, knowing that to break the law to continue to live (at least for now) has eternal consequences. Let us live aware of heaven, and make our decisions in the light of eternity.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Humility marks the life of a follower of Christ. It takes humility to admit we are sinners in need of a savior, in the first place. The Lord instructs His followers to not think to much of themselves, to promote themselves to higher honors. When others come, they will make the determination of where they belong. Humility is needed to enter fully into the liturgy, too. We hear the call of the Lord to come to worship Him, and we submit ourselves to Him.

Growth in humility will help in discerning a vocation - we will more honestly see where we stand before God, with all our talents and sins, knowing we are loved and forgiven, the more we will be able to know His will.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Prayers for Pope Benedict XVI

I hesitate to say something about the recent scandals that some are using to implicate and tarnish His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. The history that they piece together (or more importantly, the pieces they leave out) is awful, and that it leaves me thinking that no honest person who has a little love for the Pope and the truth can ultimately believe much of it. But the stuff just keeps coming. That's why I will turn your attention to A Response to the New York Times given by Father Raymond J. de Souza in the National Review Online. It is a extremely well-written article, filling in the missing historical pieces.

I think part of what is happening is that those who are attacking the Pope are angry he did not do enough - if that is reason to condemn someone, then we all stand guilty! It has happened in our Church, and it is time that we say STOP - NEVER AGAIN will we allow this crime to occur, especially in our Churches and most especially by our priests. I also think it is being used to attempt to strip the Church of Her moral authority. It is used by some to promote a 'different' view of priesthood - blaming celibacy, blaming an all-male priesthood, etc. It may even be a thinly veiled attack on him as we are at his fifth anniversary as our shepherd - them trying to throw into question the outcome of the conclave, or even the presence of the Holy Spirit! As I said at the end of the Masses this weekend, the Lord promised that Gates of Hell would not conquer the Church.

Let us pray for the conversion of all abusers, and that properly punished (either through forced laicization and incarceration, or through extremely limited contact, while closely supervised, life in a care facility due to age and health issues if there has been true contrition and conversion), may repent of their sins and never commit them again. Let's pray for the conversion of those involved in promoting the scandal, but more importantly, pray for the continued strong leadership of Pope Benedict, especially as he has always been part of the strongest response to the sin of sexual abuse.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in Celibacy

In a post Ignatius Insight: The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal and Paternal Love, the author Carl Olson writes of the role of the Blessed Mother in the celibate priesthood, based on the book of the same title by Fr. John Cihak, STD.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Letter from Cardinal Hummes

The Congregation for the Clergy released a Letter from Cardinal Hummes regarding The Year of Priesthood.

The Year of Priesthood

Dear Priests,

The Year of Priesthood, announced by our beloved Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the death of the saintly Curé of Ars, St. John Mary Vianney, is drawing near. It will be inaugurated by the Holy Father on the 19th June, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests. The announcement of the Year of Priesthood has been very warmly received, especially amongst priests themselves. Everyone wants to commit themselves with determination, sincerity and fervour so that it may be a year amply celebrated in the whole world – in the Dioceses, parishes and in every local community – with the warm participation of our Catholic people who undoubtedly love their priests and want to see them happy, holy and joyous in their daily apostolic labours.

It must be a year that is both positive and forward looking in which the Church says to her priests above all, but also to all the Faithful and to wider society by means of the mass media, that she is proud of her priests, loves them, honours them, admires them and that she recognises with gratitude their pastoral work and the witness of the their life. Truthfully priests are important not only for what they do but also for who they are. Sadly, it is true that at the present time some priest have been shown to have been involved in gravely problematic and unfortunate situations. It is necessary to investigate these matters, pursue judicial processes and impose penalties accordingly. However, it is also important to keep in mind that these pertain to a very small portion of the clergy. The overwhelming majority of priests are people of great personal integrity, dedicated to the sacred ministry; men of prayer and of pastoral charity, who invest their entire existence in the fulfilment of their vocation and mission, often through great personal sacrifice, but always with an authentic love towards Jesus Christ, the Church and the people, in solidarity with the poor and the suffering. It is for this reason that the Church is proud of her priests wherever they may be found.

May this year be an occasion for a period of intense appreciation of the priestly identity, of the theology of the Catholic priesthood, and of the extraordinary meaning of the vocation and mission of priests within the Church and in society. This will require opportunities for study, days of recollection, spiritual exercises reflecting on the Priesthood, conferences and theological seminars in our ecclesiastical faculties, scientific research and respective publications.

The Holy Father, in announcing the Year in his allocution on the 16th March last to the Congregation for the Clergy during its Plenary Assembly, said that with this special year it is intended “to encourage priests in this striving for spiritual perfection on which, above all, the effectiveness of their ministry depends”. For this reason it must be, in a very special way, a year of prayer by priests, with priests and for priests, a year for the renewal of the spirituality of the presbyterate and of each priest. The Eucharist is, in this perspective, at the heart of priestly spirituality. Thus Eucharistic adoration for the sanctification of priests and the spiritual motherhood of religious women, consecrated and lay women towards priests, as previously proposed some time ago by the Congregation for the Clergy, could be further developed and would certainly bear the fruit of sanctification.

May it also be a year in which the concrete circumstances and the material sustenance of the clergy will be considered, since they live, at times, in situations of great poverty and hardship in many parts of the world.

May it be a year as well of religious and of public celebration which will bring the people – the local Catholic community – to pray, to reflect, to celebrate, and justly to give honour to their priests. In the ecclesial community a celebration is a very cordial event which expresses and nourishes Christian joy, a joy which springs from the certainty that God loves us and celebrates with us. May it therefore be an opportunity to develop the communion and friendship between priests and the communities entrusted to their care.

Many other aspects and initiatives could be mentioned that could enrich the Year of Priesthood, but here the faithful ingenuity of the local churches is called for. Thus, it would be good for every Dioceses and each parish and local community to establish, at the earliest opportunity, an effective programme for this special year. Clearly it would be important to begin the Year with some notable event. The local Churches are invited on the 19th June next, the same day on which the Holy Father will inaugurate the Year of Priesthood in Rome, to participate in the opening of the Year, ideally by some particular liturgical act and festivity. Let those who are able most surely come to Rome for the inauguration, to manifest their own participation in this happy initiative of the Pope.

God will undoubtedly bless with great love this undertaking; and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of the Clergy, will pray for each of you, dear priests.

Cláudio Cardinal Hummes
Archbishop Emeritus of São Paulo
Prefect, Congregation for the Clergy.