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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Questions, Answers and God

When my son was little, I used to ask him if he has any good questions to ask me concerning our curriculum for the day. Children who learn to ask questions, learn to think. If you have a child at school, when she comes home, ask her, "Did you ask any questions today?'

The same is true for us in our spiritual lives. We need to ask ourselves and our friends if we speak to them of spiritual things, "What did you ask of God today?" And, "What did God tell you?"

So many people are AFRAID to listen to God. They are so sure He is going to only list their sins and imperfections.

In this series on perfection, I am not trying to discourage anyone, but show what not only is possible, but what is required. We can give up too soon.

And, I must reiterate that success in the world does not equal spiritual success, or to put it in the opposite way, spiritual success is not seen by physical or material success. That is a heresy and one which grips America.

What will happen in a financial meltdown? Without the life of the virtues, we shall not be able to withstand the winds of despair which so many people will experience in their lives.

Someone asked me why I was so hard on myself in certain areas of my life. She is an Irish friend of mine and we were discussing things like weekly Confession, fasting, and daily examination of conscience. She said that she would not be able to walk in the light of all the pain such examination would bring. I could only say that if I was not cooperating with what the Church as deemed are aids to salvation, I could be damned forever.

I ask God to show me my sin and He does, regularly. God speaks to others as well and if we are open, we can discern the Voice of God. Not all criticisms are from God, however, and one must always take these to a Confessor or spiritual director.  This is why it is important to be real with one's self and be obedient to the Church. The Church is my shelter in the storms and more storms are coming soon. We know what these are.

Find a community or help build one. Strengthen yourself and each other. Be patient and ask the right questions of God. He will always answer you. But, you may have to be persistent, especially if you sinned greatly in your life. That is what the lives of the saints show us.

Do not be discouraged and do not give up. Be accountable. Be honest. Be the child of God you are.

And, I would like to add for two young men I know who were not recently accepted into the seminary of their choice, that they should try diocesan seminaries. Traditional communities are orders, and the secular or diocesan priests are not under the same disciplines as orders. Orders are also missionary and one could be sent anywhere, whereas diocesan priests, in most circumstances , serve the people in one area. These calls are not the same. Part of discerning your call to the priesthood is not being closed to the diocesan priesthood, where many, many young men are going to be ordained knowing and wanting to say the Latin Mass in the future. Do not be discouraged.  If a person truly has a vocation, God will find you your place in the Church.

Ask questions before you go. Learn about the seminary before you approach the order. Consult constancy with your spiritual director and if you do not have one, get one.

We need good, orthodox diocesan priests. God may be using your experiences for your own purification.