Posts Tagged ‘Vocation’

Lather….Rinse… Repeat !

July 1, 2017

“See what love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God !
Yet that it what we are. The reason the world does not recognize us is that it never recognized the Son. Dearly beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall later be has not yet come to light. We know that when it comes to light, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope based on Him keeps himself pure, as He is pure.” ( 1 John 3: 1-3 )

Some of you who might not be aware, 1st John, ( also second, and third ), come near the end of the New Testament and is not part and parcel of the 4th Gospel. This letter, written by John, was written during a time when the church was going through a period of heresy. Particularly Gnosticism, which denied the humanity of Jesus. or Docetism. In the docetistic heresy, the followers believe that Jesus was purely divine, his body made almost ghostly and so his passion death and resurrection would have been purely appearance sake.

Today, we have a vast number of heresies and different versions of apostasy. In Johns time it was no different. there were people roaming about preaching all kinds of whacky stuff. In Johns letters, and particularly in this letter there was a certain thematic progress to them. These were meant to drive home the principles of Christian faith and life.

Sometimes we need a little reminding of the things that are important in our faith lives.
It is important that we study. It is important that we memorize our faith, our beliefs and it is vitally important that we not only BELIEVE , but that we know WHY we believe the things we do, and where those things come from.

Priests, and Deacons when they go through formation , they take classes in the practice of exegesis.
Exegesis is simply the process of reading, studying, asking questions, and then finding the answers to those questions in preparation for sharing that information with others.

This practice is not just for priests and deacons. It is something that everyone should be doing. Now, i am not saying everyone should go out and get their own interpretation of what the Bible says or anything of that sort. What I am however saying, is take a good long hard look at your faith life. Consider all the things that you believe, and then start asking the questions. Not the easy ones.. not the ones you might have learned in the Baltimore Catechism, or in some of your nursery school rhymes. Lets tackle something with a little meat on it. Let’s ask some of the hard questions that you don’t have answers for. READ and STUDY and figure things out. What you will find is that you will inevitably have MORE QUESTIONS…. When you find you do not have answers, then go and ask your pastor, or a clergy or lay person you trust.

You need to keep asking questions. My father used to say to people.. “What ever it is that you are ( meaning your faith ), then be the very best ( that faith person ) that you can be. Ask the hard questions, and keep asking them until you are satisfied with the answers.

John, is telling us in this passage, we need to realize the awesome gift that we have been given, as children of God. The reason we suffer persecution in the world is because they who are not Christian, do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God.

Further on in these letters John reminds his audience, to break from sin, to keep the commandments, to become detatched from the world ( be IN the world, but not OF the world.). and finally to be on guard against the enemies of Christ. By this he means to be weary of those who would try to lead you away from your faith.

Today, the world is in great need of saints. It is every single Christians vocation to be a great saint. It is up to us to choose to fulfill the plan that God has intended for us.

My prayer for each of you is that the Holy Spirit that dwells within your bosom be enflamed in your heart, and become a raging inferno in seeking Gods holy will and fulfilling it.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Vocations.. and what it means to us as Christians.

April 26, 2015

Vocations.. and what it means to us as Christians.

This Sunday is commonly refered to as either Good SHepherd Sunday, ( because the readings of this week all center around the theme of Jesus as the Good Shepherd), or it is also called Vocations Sunday.

For the universal church, most of the average Catholics this means a calling to either the Priesthood, or religious life.
More recently, due to the fewer number of priests, the Diaconate has come to be included in that narrower view of the average person in the pew.  There are prayers for vocations to these areas, but this is only a very narrow view of what vocations are, and what they mean for each person.

Lets take a closer look at vocations in the all encompassing view.

Vocations in the secular view, are something you do for work.  Its a job that you train for , or out of necessity you take on.  After you have spent sometime doing this job or that, it is considered that this work is your vocation, and things you do for fun or enjoyment are commonly referred to as an “avocation” or something you do not do to make your “daily bread”or pay the bills with.

Now in the Christian view, a vocation is something totally different ( although it might appear to be the same thing outwardly).

A vocation is a calling from God, to take on some type of life work or service to the church universal.   A true vocation is something that the individual person is lead to, and is then subsequently confirmed by the church ( which would include both the majisterium and the laity).

You might ask yourself why this is.  Think of it this way.  We all have had a friend, or relative who believed that they could sing very well, but pretty much everyone else would disagree and run for cover or put on headphones to get away from.   It does no  good to say to that person that they should persue a musical career as a singer, if although they may love to sing, that they are  tone deaf and everytime they being to sing that even the dogs in the neighborhood start to howl.

Vocations are as unique as each person is and each person needs to have ears to hear.

A vocation can be to the priesthood, to religious life and the diaconate.  It can also be to being single, married, and to the terciary orders.

Not everyone is called to the priesthood, and by the same token, not everyone is called to enter the sacrament of Marriage.

Like those in religious life, or priesthood, a vocation to being single means that you are free to then serve Christ through others in the world, and in your daily life.

No matter what vocation you are called to, each of us is called to bring Christ into the world, according to our vocation and state.
In particular, I would like to take a moment to talk about the Terciary Orders ( THird Orders).

I grew up in a part of the country where no one had ever heard of Third orders.  No one in my family had learned of them, and I heard about them, because of the fact that while I was on a retreat, I met a young man who was a member of the Franciscan third Order ( Secular).

Although I have not ever met him again, I often wish that I had the oppotunity to thank him for not only sharing Christ with me, but introducing me to the Franciscans, and what would become my own vocation.
The terciary orders are full of people who are lay people, who live and work in the world.  We hold down jobs, and we have our own dwellings.  Some are married, some single, some priests or deacons.   All of whom follow a rule of life, and follow the Charims of their founder.

My personal vocation is to the Franciscan Charism.  It fits me like a glove.  Your vocation should be that way.  It should feel right, it should fit who you are.

If you are interested in the Franciscan Charism, I would like to invite you to find a community near you. Come and see..
If you feel like you are being called to more than just where ever you are in your life now.  Come and see …
If you love the Lord, and the church, and feel like there is something more for you…  Come and see..

Here is a website, with all of the National listings for each country as a starting point.

http://www.ciofs.org/portal/images/Misc_docs/fraternities130927.pdf

You can also ask your local Parish priest, or call your diocesean library for assistance.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Fitness

September 30, 2009

In todays Gospel, (Luke 9: 57)  The Lord proceeds on his Journey and there are several who ask to come and join him on his journey.   One guy says, Lord, I want to go with you, but I want to go bury my father.   The Lord tells him to let the dead bury the dead.  The next guy comes along, sees the Lord and says he wants to tag along too  but first he wants to go say goodbye to his family.   The Lord says No one who sets his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God.

OK, so this sounds pretty harsh considering even today, the human inclination would be to want to say goodbye to the family, at least if you werent fighting with them this week.  What about the guy with dead father ?   One of the corporal works for mercy is to bury the dead.. even if its not your dad !

As a side note, the corporal works of Mercy  are extracted from the Gospel of Matthew.  In this case on Judgement day when you get to account for yourself to God, these are the questions he is going to ask us …  I pray we can all get the answers right !

On the outset these responses seem a bit harsh.  Every one has issues .. Your spouse asks you to take out the trash..  you say alright dear right after I get done  picking this stuff up.   It’s not that the Lord does not want the man buried, its a matter of priorities.

In our daily lives we should spend our days breath oriented towards the praise and thanksgiving to God.   Its the little things.  Everyone  prays when things go bad, and some of them even when things are really good, or their prayer was answered.

When I was a younger man than I am, I met a friend of my mothers.  He and I struck up a converation about wildlife which is one of my hobbies.  He took me out to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge , and proceded to show me all the wonderful varieties of birds that lived there.    Up to that point, they were just a bunch of different birds.  But he opened a door for me, showed me a beautiful part of God’s creation that I was unaware of and it was wonderful.  I too got to show him some of the animals and plants that I knew of, and his eyes were opened as well.

So it is with creation, and our lives within it.  Can we take a little time at different parts of the day, and thank God for the beauty and the majesty, and the simple gifts that He gives us every single day.   In the discipline and joy of that daily Thanksgiving I can promise that you will become more aware and your eyes will open to more and more of the ways within which God works in our daily life.