Tuesday, 11 June 2013
It's so good to hear that Paschal Uche, the young man who addressed the Pope on behalf of the young people of the UK during the Pope's visit to England, will be going to seminary. More and more men are courageously taking time to explore and discern a possible vocation to the priesthood ...
Please pray for them.
Saturday, 1 June 2013
I lifted this from an article I was directed to online. It is written for priests ... but, in fact, can speak to us all (try, for example, substituting the word 'Catholic' or 'Christian' for 'priest') about the value and importance of a regular interior life.
In Gift and Mystery, John Paul II’s reflection on his fifty years of priestly service, he writes: “If we take a close look at what contemporary men and women expect from priests, we will see that, in the end, they have but one great expectation: they are thirsting for Christ. Everything else – their economic, social, political needs – can be met by any number of people. From the priest they ask for Christ!” A priest’s primary mission is to bring Jesus to others, but you can only give what you have first received. If a priest is not a man of prayer, he will not be able to teach his people to pray. If a priest doesn’t know Jesus, he will not be able to lead others to Him. If a priest doesn’t know the voice of the Shepherd, how can he teach others to listen to Him? Prayer is the foundation of the priesthood. Praying the Office, praying with scripture, contemplative prayer, Eucharistic Adoration, and continuous communication throughout the day with the Triune God keeps the priest healthy and holy. Priesthood is busy; make time for prayer every day.
From this blog.
Tuesday, 28 May 2013
In A&B, we're delighted with the news that Alex, Joe and Tom will be starting at seminary in September. They will join Tristan and Edmund, who are in year two (VEC) and one (Wonersh) respectively.
Please keep praying for vocations to the priesthood.
Monday, 27 May 2013
I went today, with a couple of members of the St John Vianney Group for discerners (who happened to be free; it was all rather 'spur of the moment' stuff), on a little pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady for her month of May and to pray for vocations to the priesthood. It was fab! We travelled to the shrine of Our Lady of Consolation at West Grinstead, saying the Joyful Mysteries on the way. On arrival we visited the shrine, said Midday Prayer and the Memorare before going into the rosary garden for the Sorrowful Mysteries. Then, on the way home, we said the Glorious Mysteries. A suitably light, but festive lunch, followed. If we want vocations to the priesthood, it's Our Lady's prayers which will bear the most fruit. What good son can refuse a loving request from his mother?
Holy Mary, our Hope, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
Katherine Rickards speaks here of her faith journey with eloquence and charm ... Katherine is a member of the Alive in Christ discerners group that meets monthly at Vocations House. Let's all pray and pray and pray for vocations!
Monday, 22 April 2013
Joe offered this reflection at St Mary Magdalene's in Bexhill as part of his contribution to Vocations Sunday. Good stuff!
‘Listen to my voice’
One of the many things I’ve enjoyed during my time on placement in Bexhill is having the privilege of doing some gardening.
Different aspects of how plants grow can speak to us about vocation.
I’d like to talk about how I’ve been discerning my own vocation, and about how God is calling all of us to listen to his voice, whatever stage of life we’re at.
Over two years ago, I decided to pursue a call to the priesthood.
Before this, I’d been reluctant even to consider the idea. This reluctance was like a garden full of weeds, which needed digging up and chucking into the green waste bin. I was reluctant to follow God’s will, thinking I had better ideas. These weeds continually need digging up right to the bottom of the roots. I experience a great sense of peace when I try to listen deeper to God’s voice.
Another important step in discerning my vocation was discovering silence and stillness. Gardens are usually pretty quiet. While you can talk to your flowers if you wish, it’s normally in silence and stillness that plants grow. Other than perhaps swaying a little in the wind, plants are still and silent. Likewise, we can listen to the will of God in a very intimate way when we sit still and find a time of silence in each day. We grow in silence.
Here’s how Winnie-the-Pooh comes down the stairs each morning: ‘bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.’
We can begin our day more peacefully, in stillness, listening to the voice of God. I find this to be key in finding out more about my vocation.
And when we listen to the voice of God, what does He give us?
Well, plants need nourishing – water, compost, plant food.
God gives us himself as food and drink.
For me, a real sense of connection with the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist helps me to continue trying to follow God’s call. I believe that through the Eucharist, God nourishes each of us in our vocation and makes our lives bear fruit.
What are the fruits of this call from God? Frederick Buechner (American writer) says that ‘Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.’
I find that a good test when making a big decision is to ask, as well as challenges, does this bring me deep gladness? Am I striving to meet the needs of other people?
A fruitful garden is doing a good service to the world and fulfilling its own purpose.
I think I’ve still got a long way to go, but I hope I’m on the right path.
I believe that God wants us all to be continually listening as He has a vocation for each of us.
Each of us could repeat the words of Blessed John Henry Newman: ‘God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission.’
We can remind ourselves that it is Christ, Christ who is one with the Father, who calls us to this mission. We must listen to His voice.
Saturday, 20 April 2013
The Pope's wisdom:
"The reform that’s needed, he continued in that interview, is “neither to clericalize nor ask to be clericalized. The layperson is a layperson and has to live as a layperson with the power of baptism, which enables him to be a leaven of the love of God in society itself, to create and sow hope, to proclaim the faith, not from a pulpit but from his everyday life. And like all of us, the layperson is called to carry his daily cross — the cross of the layperson, not of the priest."
Could have been said by St Josemaria Escriva, or Bl John Henry Newman or St Francis de Sales.
Lumen Gentium speaks of the universal call to holiness for all the baptised.
Sanctify your work; in so doing sanctify yourself; in so doing sanctify those around you; in so doing sanctify the world.
It starts with me ...