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Thursday, 3 January 2013

Letter to Mothers of Priests and Seminarians

CARDINAL MAURO PIACENZA WRITES TO MOTHERS OF PRIESTS, SEMINARIANS Prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy Notes Role of Family in Forming Vocations Ann Schneible ROME, January 3, 2013 ( Writing on the occasion of the solemnity of Mary Mother of God (January 1), Prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, addressed a letter to mothers of priests and seminarians. "In welcoming the Eternal Word into her immaculate womb," he wrote, "Mary Most Holy gave birth to the Eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, the only Savior of the world… By adhering to God's Will, Mary participated in a unique and unrepeatable way in the mystery of our redemption, thereby becoming the Mother of God, the Gate of Heaven and the Cause of our Joy." Cardinal Piacenza continued: "In a similar way, the entire Church looks with admiration and deep gratitude upon all mothers of priests and of those who, having received this lofty vocation, have embarked upon the path of formation." Cardinal Piacenza noted the role of the family in helping young men to be receptive to the call of the priesthood. In particular, he continued, "the participation given to mothers of priests is quite unique and special. For unique and special are the spiritual consolations which they derive from having carried in the womb one who has become Christ's minister. Indeed, every mother cannot but rejoice in seeing the life of her son not only fulfilled but also clothed with a most exceptional divine favor which embraces and transforms it for all eternity." Even though the separation between a mother and her son is more "radical than any other separation," he continued, "the Church's two thousand years of experience teaches us that when a man is ordained a priest, his mother 'receives' him an a completely new and unexpected way; so much so that she is called to see in the fruit of her own womb a "father" who by God's will is called to generate and accompany a multitude of brothers and sisters to eternal life. Every mother of a priest mysteriously becomes a 'daughter of her son.' Towards him, she may therefore also exercise a new motherhood through the discreet yet extremely efficacious and inestimably precious closeness of prayer, and by offering of her own life for the ministry of her son." "This new 'fatherhood' - for which the Seminarian is prepared, which the priest has been given, and which benefits all God's People - needs to be accompanied by assiduous prayer and personal sacrifice, in order that a priest's free adherence to the divine will may continually be renewed and strengthened, that he may never tire in the battle of faith, and that he may unite his own life ever more completely to the Sacrifice of Christ the Lord." Cardinal Piacenza concludes: "Mothers of priests and seminarians thus represent a true and veritable 'army,' which from earth offers prayers and sacrifice to heaven, and from heaven intercedes in even greater number so that every grace and blessing may be poured out upon the lives of the Church's sacred ministers."

Trust in God

Today a priest in Malta, who has never seen me before, confirmed two aspects of the call of my life which I clearly discerned while praying during those months in the monastery. It is humbling to know that the Holy Spirit moves in His holy priests in order to guide us. I gave the priest absolutely no information, and yet, he read my soul. He knew nothing of my quest in prayer, nor my writing. He spoke purely from the Holy Spirit. I have been told he is a holy priest, although young. He is more orthodox than most. My vocation is my penance for the rest of my life. Imagine being given your vocation as penance. I was so stunned, I had to ask him to repeat what he said.

 Now that I know the big overall plan, I must trust in Divine Providence to work out the details. I do not have the ability to do such. First, I am called to intense daily prayer, specifically contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer is a combination of struggling with one's humanity, the old man, and daily entering into the Love of God. This means living in strict simplicity, relying completely on Divine Providence and being not conforming. I have known this for a long time but could not see how it fit in the world.

 So far, so good. Allowing God to take one deeper into prayer is usually the call of the contemplative nun, and all of us to a certain extent, as necessary for perfection a la my long series. But, here is the second part of this call of mine.....Hosea 4:6...My people are starving for want of knowledge. This is the real reason God sent me out, as He could have given me strength for the schedule, had it been His Will. I clearly discerned before the Blessed people are starving, feed my lambs, feed my sheep. And, a stranger, a priest in Malta plus a writer, and the Holy Spirit, confirmed these inspirations. I must pray many hours of each day, write, and blog.

God will have to take care of the physical details, but at least now I can stop wasting time looking for the ministries God is not calling me to do. Prayers, please, dear readers. The where and how take great trust in God.

The Memorial of the Holy Name of Jesus

Today is the memorial of the Holy Name of Jesus. This day celebrates the Name given by the angel from God the Father.

The Word Made Flesh was given a sacred name meaning Saviour. The root is Joshua, the great warrior, strategist, leader, prophet and priest of his people.

 He was a type of Christ. Christ has both a human and sacred name. And, when we love someone, is not that person's name numinous?

 I remember being eighteen and writing the name of my favorite boyfriend over and over in calligraphy. Do we, for various rational and emotional reasons, for reasons of family, not love certain names?

 Love the Name of Jesus. Love Him above all else.

Prayers and Winter in Iowa

Today is my birthday, and the 65 wedding anniversary of my dear parents, who are alive, well, active and quite independent. I ruined my parents anniversary by coming early. I am always early for things, even today. Offer them a prayer and congratulations for being such a good couple, and for the fact that they passed down the Holy Catholic Faith to me.

Please pray for me, as a strange situation has occurred in my life here and it needs a positive resolution. Ah, but what is new?