Michael Voris graciously gave me an interview on August 4th, at 18:00 hours EDT. He is a humble and peaceful man, as well as a gentleman. I want to thank him again for his time and interest. I decided the topics, especially for my young readers. My questions and comments are in italics.
August 4th, 2014. Feasts of St. Dominic, Old Calendar and St. John Vianney, New Calendar:
First of all, thank you Michael for this interview and for all the work you do for the Church Militant. May I mention that you and I were at Notre Dame at the same time, but you were an undergraduate and I a graduate student.
Question One: I want to concentrate on a subject perhaps not discussed too much and that is the role of single people in the Church. I hope you do not mind sharing a few aspects of this tonight.
I guess two things pop to my mind. Look at this as a positive and a negative, at the sacraments which are the traditional vocations of the Church, which include graces needed to sustain those roles. (These are marriage and the priesthood.) The single life poses its own unique challenges, but is sustainable by a different application of graces of by Our Lord. Many of us are single, some of us forever.
Nuns and sisters live underneath a sacrament. However, I do believe there is an opportunity to grow in grace in a non-sacramental grace. There is a type of intimacy which can develop between a soul and our Lord, not in the traditional vocations, a non-distracted companionship. You can grow very deeply. You cannot talk about a single vocation. I do not think it is proper to talk about a vocation to the single life. A single person may be living a consecrated life, but that is not the same.
A person may not be the marrying kind. There are probably some people, lide those with same-sex attraction who would have to come to this place--how to incorporate living according to the Church's teaching in their daily spiritual lives.
Most people do not stay there (single)
Question Two: Do you see a role for single men and women in the Church?
If there is a place that you can carve out a life of intimacy with God that is not available elsewhere, yes. Well, if it were no, if it did not, I would look pretty stupid. We are talking about the life of the Church and people being available for the church on the spiritual plane.We shall take this first. You can be a single accountant, for example, and live a life according to the teaching of the Church. ....(one can) make sacrifices in this state. In the temporal plane, if you are unmarried you can make yourself available for the life of the Church--back to the St. Paul thing, the one who is not married has undivided intentions for God.
We are all doing the spiritual work of the Church in whatever state we are in. In the temporal level, it is incredibly rewarding for me, getting up every day working for the Church.
We have a broad mix of people in the apostolate here (at ChurchMilitant). We have young men come here for a while. They like swords. Every time a little tour comes though with little boys, they look at the electronics and when they see the swords, they get excited. When these young guys who come here go back home, they feel more at home at the group at ChurchMilitant. It is a whole different way of being. If anyone thinks that being single, like consecrating yourself, if anyone thinks that working in the Church will be lonely or disconnected, they are wrong. Our Lord will not diss his friends. God takes care of that. He puts you in a situation where you can thrive. The relationships here involve a great tightness and comradeship.
Question Three: How did you come to consecrate yourself to God? I assume you have made a vow to a bishop. Can you explain the road to this and the process for the readers?
It is not with a bishop, but a personal vow. It would have probably been in the fall, 2004 that I did this. I didn't know exactly what to do. I was 42 at the time and I was pretty convinced when I made it. I did not know how to do this, but I was so grateful for being back in the Church, I did not know what to do but I had to do something. It was clear to me I needed to be available for the church. I read thousands of things on the Church. It was a time in my life, a conversio.
What kicked it off was that my mother before she died told me "You need to pray a prayer to the Holy Spirit, 'Holy Spirit command me to do your will.'" I was in the local parish one day, after my mom died, a pause in my life as the old life had gone away, the new life had begun, but the form was not there yet. What should I do, I thought? I knelt down and prayed that prayer at the main altar. And, then, I went to the side altar and said "Blessed Mother I pledge my chastity to you."
Question Four: When do you think a Catholic should discern a vocation?
I would not root it in age as much as an awareness of things. When you look around the world and say WOW, is it the understanding of the amount of evil or the lack of good; and do you want to combat the evil directly; or populate the world with children? It is the manner in which you do it.
The moment is when you begin to realize the condition of the world. It is the vocation that God is calling you to...I think as you grow in a vocational awareness you need to meet people who will foster this. One can pray, "God, you put this tremendous love for your Church in me, how do I live this?"
Question Five: Do you believe in "lost vocations"? I have some men friends who wanted to be priests and left the seminarians under duress. What would you say to them?
God desires for someone to be a priest or not. He knows whether it will come and He knows what will happen... God has given us the free will to mess things up. I do not have a problem with that in principle. He may have given you a non-ministerial role in this fallen world. Does God need a specific man to be a priest in His passive will? But there are many things in His passive will that never happen.
For that man's salvation, that in the first order that is his path for salvation, is the question. That is: "Which vocation? Is this what will get me to heaven?"
A lot of Catholics view the whole vocation as "What does God want me to do from seven to seven?" The first question is that he wants me to be with him in heaven-that you make it to eternal life with him. People ask "What is my vocation? " I say, "Are you in a state of grace?" Yes? Then you are doing God's will. Now in God's will, what do you discern God wants you to do. Agonizing it over for years borders on the sin of pride.
There is a tendency in people who are looking for something perfect, mulling it over in their lives...
Question Six: Again, some older Catholic women, not that old, in their forties, want to dedicate their lives to God but cannot find an more orthodox or traditional order to accept them. Do you have any advice for them?
I think there are two things here. I think something that might be of an assistance is that if any have an inkling about this is to start there own community. You form community. You get together You begin some type of apostolic work together. We have people (at ChurchMilitant) who are married with children; we have people married without children; we have single moms and single people.
As the Irish say, "Stop yapping about it and do it".
You are never be able to create the perfect scenario and then step into it.
There are 28 people here and 5 have been here almost continually. Find people who have a like mind with a particular work and spirituality and do it.
Question Seven: Do you think your type of work and communications can spread to other countries? For example, could there be a base in Europe for Church Militant dealing with European Catholicism, or even in Latin America?
I absolutely think so, and I have been in touch with people in other countries in the Philippines, in France and in Australia to do so. It is very time consuming and it is very expensive to do TV. It is very painstaking to do something look easy. There is certainly a great desire to do this, but there has to be the right person behind it.
Question Eight: You had a lot of experience in television before setting up ChurchMilitant. Would you encourage this route for young people interested in Catholic media, or to plunge into it independently of the msm?
Years ago I would have said you have to go to the main stream media, because you are going to learn how to do this. Now I would say, come to people like us. I would say you need to do something before hand, and bring some level of experience and a great willingness to learn as you come to this.
Question Nine: Where do you think the New Evangelization should concentrate outside of America? In Europe, in Australia, the Philippines?
I think the entire internet world, whether social media is the place. How did the Faith use to be spread. It was in the home, from the pulpit, and in the schools. All three of those have fallen apart. So, the Internet pops up and provides a sense of family in the Faith there. The pulpit aspect is there. The schooling is there.
"Any port in a storm" Somewhere, the Faith has to be preserved.
Question Ten: Some good, young Catholics have fallen into cynicism. What advice can you give them to stay away from this sin, especially at university?
I think the answer to cynicism is action. Anyone can sit around and gripe. You do not get a right to complain if you have not tried to fix the problem. Take a soul to heaven....the problem with cynicism is that it thinks big--What can we do to change the Church? Take that friend who is living with her boyfriend and bring her to God.
In one sense it is incumbent on those who do know the Faith to go out save a soul. Somebody in your sphere... Enjoy the grace to be called
Thank you, Michael for your time. God bless you.
(Note from STM: apologies for spacing irregularities-Net is off and on here for hours tonight, and I have not been able to save corrections.)