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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

On virtues, commitment and perfection

We have a culture of priests who deny that perfection can be sought. Many singles in the confessional hear priests denying the role of discipline and obedience in the lay life. The priests' ideas reflect the aberrations of the culture. Instead of shaping the culture, they have succumbed to the falsity of individualism and selfishness.

There are so many distractions in the single world which have ZERO spiritual value. For those who choose the religious life, or the priesthood today, means that they choose a context of people praying every day, sharing 6:30 Vespers, and having a talk about the Blessed Virgin Mary afterwards over breakfast. But, one must choose that way or marriage. Marriage, if one works at it, is a way to heaven through a different spirituality.

Work for single people, run by single people leaves no spirituality or substantive recreation. 

Single people even go to work on holiday, being career-centric. This has been the case for over 100 years. Blaming the Enlightening is an excuse for the lack of spirituality. The single life is a reaction to the family. It is rebellion. This generation lives in reaction, as they have no common ground. Those single people have no common frame of reference even in pop culture.

This generation of singles is not homogeneous in any way, even in recreation.

In the past, there was a blending of single activities and married and family activities. The culture is, perhaps, in some places finding communal values, but the single people never see families-they have never seen a successful family or even a baby. Seriously, I have had young people tell me that have never held a baby.

We grew up in neighbourhoods swarming with kids. We took care of our brothers and sisters, as well as other babies from other families. 

That the culture of priests reflections the individuality of this generation at the level of accepting a false view of society is dangerous. Perfection can only be found in relationships. 

If this generation is not encouraged by priests to seek perfection in a community and not encouraged to seek holiness at all, they will not reach the level of holiness God has called them to achieve. I believe this and so do some religious, with whom I have spoken..

Think, reflect, act.


gemoftheocean said...

" Many singles in the confessional hear priests denying the role of discipline and obedience in the lay life. The priests' ideas reflect the aberrations of the culture. Instead of shaping the culture, they have succumbed to the falsity of individualism and selfishness."

By your name, I think it is safe to say you are a woman and not a priest, so may I ask, precisely how you are privy to what goes on in *other* people's Confessions? Are they broadcast over the loud speaker in your parish?

I will most likely send on this link to a friend of mine who is in her mid-60s. She never married or had children. So I'm sure she needs to see why her life was so empty, according to your lights. She grew up in a family of 7 children. Actually, had she found the right guy and the right guy had found her, she wouldn't have minded being married. However, in her generation, women certainly did not ask men for dates.

Yes. She was so unfulfilled not having a calling to the sisterhood (it IS a calling, not all are suited for) and she totally wasted her life by becoming a consecrated virgin and a 3rd order Benedictine. She totally wasted her time and talents by taking an active role in catechisis of the gospel to would be Catholic, to the point in upholding artificial contraception as wrong. Her work in this field was appreciated in many parishes, except sadly one where she was shown the door by the new Irish pastor, precisely for teaching the FULLNESS of the faith, including informing would be Catholic of the fullness of the faith, in contrast to the pastor who did not wish the classes to contain any information on the topic.

Yes, what a sad, wasted empty life my friend has had. I'm sure she'll cry on her pillow tonight, reading what you said.

To support herself, she worked as a mail carrier for years, I'm sorry that wasn't good enough for you that she did her best to exemplify the teachings of the Catholic church by having kindness and charity and standing up for the faith in the midst of her secular surroundings.

And go ahead and delete this comment - I doubt if you have the guts to print it.

Supertradmum said...

People talk about these things themselves, especially in trad groupings, where one is asking questions about how to find a good confessor. I do not know why you think this is unusual.

I am not the only one thinking the need for vows allows for a growth in spirituality. All single women at some time should consider the religious life. There is not substitute for a life of commitment to something other than themselves. Of course, I am not referring to situations where a person takes care of aged parents and sacrifices themselves for others. However, one excellent person does not take away from the fact that great heights of holiness, TO WHICH WE ARE ALL CALLED, cannot be attained usually without being in obedience to someone other than one's self. The question here is not merely what a single person has done in the Church or in her areas of influence but his or hers own personal relationship with Christ and the road to perfection.

Many saints and many spiritual directors warn serious Catholics of self-deception. However these directors are few and far between.

There are orders which take older women. You do refer to a lovely lady and I would never judge an individual, but as Catholics, we are allowed to have objective standards. I am writing, and the Mother Superior was addressing objective criteria. However, she has almost 2000 years of spiritual commentary to back up her and in addition, my point of view.

Supertradmum said...

By the way, one of the best sermons I heard from a TLM priest who challenged the young men in the Church to make a decision to either get married or enter the priesthood, or religious life.

If we had more priests like that, we would have less singles.