Jump to content

All Activity

This stream auto-updates     

  1. Past hour
  2. Yesterday
  3. mzkto

    One life for another?

    According to the church, there is no reason to abort a baby, even if the mother is a child herself who has been raped against her own will at the hands of a pedophile during a violent act of sex.
  4. John the Baptist, whose birth we celebrate, is unique among the saints of our calendar (apart from the Blessed Virgin Mary), in that we celebrate his birth as well as his martyrdom. From earliest times, a saint's 'heavenly birthday', was the date chosen to remember them. But John is different. In the verses before those read today, the birth of John the Baptist has been announced by the angel Gabriel to Zechariah, who was performing his duties as a priest in the Jerusalem Temple. Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, are an old couple who have never had children, in the same way that Isaac was miraculously given to Abraham and Sarah in their old age. This child is the gracious gift of God, not only to his aged parents, but to all of God’s people. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit and will prepare the way of the Lord by inspiring people to turn away from their sins and to prepare their hearts for the coming of the promised Messiah. We read today that Elizabeth's neighbours and relatives rejoice with her because God has shown her mercy in the birth of a son. But they are confused when she tells them that his name is to be John, which means “God has been gracious.” Zechariah has been unable to speak since Gabriel appeared, because, unlike Mary, he doubted the angel's word. But when he writes on a tablet “John is his name” all are amazed. People ask, “What, then, will this child be?” We now jump to the last verses of the chapter, which explain that John will become strong in spirit living in the desert until it is time to show himself to the people of Israel. It is the language of faith that sees and expresses these things. It is faith that recognizes God at work in the created order, in the calling of Israel to be God’s people. It is faith that recognizes God at work in the giving of the Law and in the words of the prophets and above all, in the Word made flesh in Jesus, God’s Son. It is faith that sees God’s hand at work throughout human history, guarding and guiding and going before us into the future. There is reason enough to declare this day a solemn feast, because it reminds us of God’s faithfulness, of God’s gracious gifts to us in the past and God’s sure promise to us for the future. But the story of John the Baptist has more to say to us. John is, before all and above all, a witness to Jesus, the Christ, and he has much to teach us about what it will mean for us to be witnesses of Christ in our own day. John is a powerful despite his unusual manner and dress. He attracts a large following, even before Jesus comes to him to be baptized. He is a charismatic figure who draws attention from the most powerful people in the land, both religious and secular. And yet he makes a profound and meaningful choice. He steps out of the limelight to accept a lesser role. He is there, not to make a name for himself, but to witness to another. His own success and popularity are unimportant to him; he wants no fame or fortune. His purpose is to testify to one who is greater than himself. Both John and Our Lady were careful always to point away from themselves and to Jesus, the heart and source of our Christian faith and relationship with God. We too are called to be voices, temporary voices which God will use to prepare the way in our generation. We are the voice for this time and for this place. Our role is temporary, but it is essential. Without the voice, people will not hear. To be a witness requires that we know what we are, and what we are not. We are not Jesus. We are simply voices, calling out to get people ready, to prepare them to meet him when he comes. Our purpose is not to draw attention to ourselves, but to him. We are to point people to Jesus. John embodies a reminder that when we examine our conduct, as Catholic Christians are called regularly to do, we should always ask whether we are acting to the glory of God and in the best interests of others, as well as properly caring for ourselves. In the current leadership of another nation we can see, almost daily, the dangers of constant self-commendation, the appropriation of others' achievements and (sometimes ludicrous) boasting, all motivated by a desperate need for approval at any cost. John reminds us that giving credit and space to others, sometimes even acknowledging that someone else might better do, or have, something we value, is a Gospel virtue. It also brings greater peace and opportunity to build our relationship with God. This feast reminds us of our role, to be witnesses to Jesus in our own day Today we remember blessed John the Baptist, who reminds us what an extraordinary calling this is.
  5. Anomaly

    One life for another?

    I'm confused, mzkto Are you saying that all life is equally valuable on a philosophical level, or is life value determined by societal usefulness, or is life valued differently based on a understanding what a God/religion says? (I’m asking to maybe discuss, I’m not a Catholic here to argue.)
  6. The Birth of John the Baptist (Isaiah 49:1-6; Acts 13:22-26; Luke 1:57-66, 80) The fact that God gave Zechariah and Elizabeth's child the name "John" is most significant. It was considered to be the father's privilege to name his child, and the fact that God Himself chose a name for this child shows that John was indeed to be, as we would say, "God's man". As you heard in the first reading from the prophet Isaiah: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth He has made mention of my name. The name ‘John’ means ‘The Lord has been gracious’ and it leads us to anticipate that, in His Providence, God would subsequently be gracious to His Chosen People through John. John’s background fostered the development of his distinctive character: he was born into a provincial priestly family and, as he came to know more and more of what went on in the side-wings, so to speak, of the priestly society in Jerusalem -- above all concerning the wealth, luxury, pride and venality of leading families -- the more indignant and alienated he felt: The child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived (by preference) in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel. In the desert we are told that: John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. (Matthew 3:4) When he did, at last, appear publicly to Israel he seems to have preached strongly against the lives of luxury, trappings of wealth, and quest for money and power which characterized the upper echelons of priestly society in Jerusalem; and equally the pride which motivated so many Scribes and Pharisees in their search for influence and public esteem. These things so disgusted John that, on noticing certain figures coming to witness or avail themselves of the baptism he was giving by the Jordan, he burst out: You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. In this respect, John was indeed the culmination of the prophets of old who had so often, over the centuries, castigated the sins of Israel; and how often would Jesus Himself have to hear His opponents claim, ‘We have Abraham as our father’! All that, however, was what John himself, as it were ‘picked up’ in the course of life, he was not directly taught such attitudes of disgust and anger. For his ‘formation’ given by his priestly father we must look at the Benedictus where St. Luke pictures for us an elderly father and priest, who has -- ever so recently – come, through suffering, to a very real and personal awareness of and reverence for the God of Israel. Moreover, this is an Israelite and a priest who has heard from his wife all about Mary and the Child she was carrying, and we can well imagine him musing in the presence of his son about the great goodness and majesty of Israel’s God, in His dealings with and purpose for His People: The oath he swore to Abraham our father, to grant us that, freed from the hand of our enemies, we might worship Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days (Luke 1: 73-75), and about his own son’s part to play in God’s plan because he, John, had been the first to experience the grace of God’s gifted Saviour when, even though being still in his mother’s womb, he had leapt for joy at his Saviour’s presence as his mother joyfully greeted Mary’s arrival. And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give His people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. (Luke 1:76-77) However, even that was not the whole of John, for though his family background and personal gifts conspired to make him both significant and remarkable, it was his subsequent vocation from God that rendered him quite unique. God did not only "make his mouth a sharp sword" against the Lord's enemies, but he was also "honoured in the eyes of the Lord" to the extent that he was called to begin to "bring back Jacob to the Lord", which is why, as we all heard in the first reading, John went about the region of the Jordan: Preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And here we must take most careful notice of John. He offered a baptism, an immersion, for the forgiveness of sins, but only to those coming forward for that baptism with the sincerity of their repentance backed up by evidence of good works done: Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Such was John’s insistence: they had to stop standing on their dignity by thinking "we have Abraham as our father" or "we are Levitical priests”, or again, “we are learned scribes or holy Pharisees"; instead they had to show the truth of their sorrow for past sins by their present efforts at righteousness. John would also give advice to those who asked him for guidance on what sort of fruit for repentance they should bring with them: “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same." Tax collectors also came to be baptized. "Teacher," they asked, "what should we do?" "Don't collect any more than you are required to," he told them. Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?" He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely, be content with your pay." (Luke 3:11-14) Only if and when they had produced fruit worthy of repentance, would John baptize them with, immerse them in, water; whereupon, they then could they go to the Temple and perform there the many cleansing ceremonies with right dispositions and so hope to receive the grace of God attached to those ritual ablutions. John however, was fully aware of the limitations of the baptism he himself was offering, and therefore, as a true forerunner of Jesus, he used to speak to those who were truly repentant about the One Who was to come: I baptize you with water. But One more powerful than I will come, the thongs of Whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. In this way, St. Luke tells us: With many other words, John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them. In his personal life style John differed greatly from Jesus. Jesus did not live in the desert, although it was in the desert where He first conquered the Devil. Jesus did not wear a garment of camel's hair, nor was His food locusts and wild honey although there were times when He had nowhere to lay His head, times when He was exhausted by lack of food and water. Jesus once referred to the obvious contrast between Himself and John saying: John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' (Luke 7:33-35) In his teaching, however, John was indeed a man after Jesus' own heart. Just as we heard God say of David in the second reading, so too it could be said of John that he was, for Jesus: A man after My own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.' It would appear that John did not mention the One who was to come to the unrepentant ‘brood of vipers’; and, in that respect, we call to mind the later words of Jesus to His disciples (Matthew 7:6): Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. We also recall the way Jesus used to speak only in parables to those who were not sufficiently well-disposed or well-prepared: This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand." In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: "'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' (Matthew 13:1015) People of God, for many in the Church today John the Baptist is unknown and unappreciated and it is a mystery to them why he has such prominence in Mother Church's liturgy for only he -- together with Peter and Paul -- of all the prophets and apostles, has both a vigil and a solemn celebratory Mass and Office. Mother Church cannot forget what God has given her to preserve for His children, given her for their future nurture, enlightenment and fulfilment. John, therefore, has a most important lesson for us children of Mother Church, a lesson and a teaching which makes him little regarded today by many who like to follow trends rather than seek truth. John was not overawed by religious authority and power because he feared God first – having learnt that from his earliest years listening to his father’s vibrant and heart-felt words -- and, as one sent on his mission by God, he demanded signs of authentic repentance, otherwise, without such signs he would not baptize the proud and prestigious, the luxurious and sinful ones, who might come to him: You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. As Mark's Gospel (1:14-15) tells us, Jesus picks up from where John left off: After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. "The time has come," He said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" Today it is popularly considered that the approach to Jesus should be made as easy as possible, with the result that His call to repentance can easily be watered down and His teaching not so much adapted as adulterated, while the Blood of Christ is splashed around like water in the ‘Asperges’ when the sacraments are given to those who gladly proffer a show of words or tears but withhold substantial obedience. This is all to Mother Church's great loss: not because harshness, rigidity, are good in themselves, but because reverence and ‘fear of the Lord’ are absolutely essential if anyone is to draw close to God. John the Baptist was providentially sent by the Father to prepare the way for His Son because God alone can show His love for and bestow His mercy on His People, not any ‘man of God’ making emotional play with human words; and God will only show His mercy and love, in and through His beloved Son, to those whom reverence prevents from abusing that love and mercy, from mocking His most-beloved, and only begotten, Son. When reverence and fear of the Lord inspire in us the discipline of good works, when -- eschewing any quick fix -- they lead us to watch and wait dutifully and humbly for the Lord, and, above all, when such dispositions gradually constrain us to seek God first and self last in all our longings and aspirations, all our endeavours and commitment, then can we hope to become true disciples of Jesus, and by His Spirit further the coming of God’s Kingdom.
  7. little2add

    Drop a word, keep a word (GIF edition)

    baby face
  8. mzkto

    One life for another?

    QUOTE: "I hold that human life from conception is not some accident flowing from human sexuality, but that human life from conception is created by God and comes from God within the context of human sexuality" Let's take a case where an 11 year old little girl is walking down the street, gets abducted, raped and becomes pregnant. This isn't some accident flowing from human sexuality??? Then it's mandatory for this innocent child to go through with a pregnancy and ruin, her life because a monster decided to force this act of violence and sin on her? Even if she gives it up, she is a CHILD who will never be looked at the same by her peers. She will always be known for this years later. Is she expected to go into hiding, give birth, and then resume childhood and forget this ever happened? There is no way I can believe that God holds her or her parents responsible if they terminate a pregnancy that would ruin lives in order to allow one, possibly one with a"bad seed" that will grow up to ruin other lives. Again, I can not find these situations in the Bible. Monsters and pedophiles have now muddied the waters and I will NEVER believe, Catholic or not, that God isn't more understanding that that!
  9. BarbaraTherese

    Private Vows in The Laity/Spirituality

    VESPERS Friday 22nd June 2018 Short Reading James 1:2-4 My brothers, you will always have your trials but, when they come, try to treat them as a happy privilege; you understand that your faith is only put to the test to make you patient, but patience too is to have its practical results so that you will become fully-developed, complete, with nothing missing.
  10. little2add

    Drop a word, keep a word

    blast off
  11. Reading 1 2 Kgs 11:1-4, 9-18, 20 When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, saw that her son was dead, she began to kill off the whole royal family. But Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash, his son, and spirited him away, along with his nurse, from the bedroom where the princes were about to be slain. She concealed him from Athaliah, and so he did not die. For six years he remained hidden in the temple of the LORD, while Athaliah ruled the land. But in the seventh year, Jehoiada summoned the captains of the Carians and of the guards. He had them come to him in the temple of the LORD, exacted from them a sworn commitment, and then showed them the king's son. The captains did just as Jehoiada the priest commanded. Each one with his men, both those going on duty for the sabbath and those going off duty that week, came to Jehoiada the priest. He gave the captains King David's spears and shields, which were in the temple of the LORD. And the guards, with drawn weapons, lined up from the southern to the northern limit of the enclosure, surrounding the altar and the temple on the king's behalf. Then Jehoiada led out the king's son and put the crown and the insignia upon him. They proclaimed him king and anointed him, clapping their hands and shouting, "Long live the king!" Athaliah heard the noise made by the people, and appeared before them in the temple of the LORD. When she saw the king standing by the pillar, as was the custom, and the captains and trumpeters near him, with all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets, she tore her garments and cried out, "Treason, treason!" Then Jehoiada the priest instructed the captains in command of the force: "Bring her outside through the ranks. If anyone follows her," he added, "let him die by the sword." He had given orders that she should not be slain in the temple of the LORD. She was led out forcibly to the horse gate of the royal palace, where she was put to death. Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD as one party and the king and the people as the other, by which they would be the LORD's people; and another covenant, between the king and the people. Thereupon all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and demolished it. They shattered its altars and images completely, and slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars. Jehoiada appointed a detachment for the temple of the LORD. All the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet, now that Athaliah had been slain with the sword at the royal palace. Responsorial Psalm Ps 132:11, 12, 13-14, 17-18 R. (13) The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling. The LORD swore to David a firm promise from which he will not withdraw: "Your own offspring I will set upon your throne." R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling. "If your sons keep my covenant and the decrees which I shall teach them, Their sons, too, forever shall sit upon your throne." R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling. For the LORD has chosen Zion; he prefers her for his dwelling. "Zion is my resting place forever; in her will I dwell, for I prefer her." R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling. "In her will I make a horn to sprout forth for David; I will place a lamp for my anointed. His enemies I will clothe with shame, but upon him my crown shall shine." R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling. Alleluia Mt 5:3 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. R. Alleluia, alleluia. Gospel Mt 6:19-23 Jesus said to his disciples: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. "The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be." - - - Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner. source
  12. JoshKicks

    Thomas Merton Bible study

    Welcome aboard! You've come to the right place.
  13. JoshKicks

    I am going to be a dad

    Congratulations, man!
  14. JoshKicks

    Drop a word, keep a word

    Leave Off
  15. BarbaraTherese

    One life for another?

    I am Catholic and coming from the Catholic Teaching. I hold that human life from conception is not some accident flowing from human sexuality, but that human life from conception is created by God and comes from God within the context of human sexuality. I think and hope I have said it right. Abortion "is unchanged and unchangeable. Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his successors . . . I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written word of God, is transmitted by the Church’s tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium. No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church" (Evangelium Vitae 62). https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae.html Murder (of the innocent in this instance) is a crime and a crime can never make for a good end. The crime itself is murder and is criminal and remains a crime and criminal and nothing can change that. Here is a spot on Catholic statement from what I thought was a rather unlikely source: "Also missing in the ends/means ethics discussion is an understanding of the Providence of God. God did not simply create the world, populate it with people, and then leave them to muddle through on their own with no oversight from Him. Rather, God has a plan and purpose for mankind which He has been bringing to pass through the centuries. Every decision made by every person in history has been supernaturally applied to that plan. He states this truth unequivocally: “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do” (Isaiah 46:10-11). God is intimately involved in and in control over His creation. Furthermore, He states that He works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). A Christian who lies on a resume or aborts a baby would be violating God’s law and denying His ability to provide for a family and preserve a mother’s life if He purposes to do so. Those who do not know God may be forced to justify their means to an end, but those who claim to be children of God have no reason whatsoever to break one of God’s commandments, deny His sovereign purpose, or bring reproach to His Name." https://www.gotquestions.org/ends-justify-means.html (The Providence of God is Catholic Doctrine)
  16. Sponsa-Christi

    Active vs Contemplative

    From outward appearances, I do have a fairly "active" life. I have a demanding full-time job that can involve a lot of pastoral interaction with the people I serve. And I try to make myself available to be of service to the diocese in other ways even outside the parameters of my day job. But, I go home to solitude, which does provide a lot of very helpful silence that I likely wouldn't have if I was a member of an apostolic religious community. So I'm not saying all CVs need a literal certain number of solitary hours per day. I was trying to compare and contrast the general character of my life vs. a life where "community" was a major emphasis. Maybe my experiences won't resonate with absolutely everyone, but I'd guess there are probably some common threads with CVs in general. And honestly, I would strongly discourage a woman who wasn't spiritually drawn to solitude on at least some level from discerning a vocation to consecrated virginity. This is for a couple of reasons: 1. a CV is going to de facto have a lot of solitude in her life almost basically no matter what, so you need to know how use it fruitfully and have it not be a routinely terrible experience; but more importantly: 2. the core of a vocation to consecrated virginity is a call to a distinctively spousal relationship with Christ, and you need a lot of quiet time with God to nurture this. Being a CV can be really, really hard! And having your prayer life in order is what will make or break a CV's vocation. It's the difference between being a fruitful spiritual mother or winding up as a lonely spinster. If a woman for whatever reason was chronically unable to find time or space in her life for a great deal of prayer and a sufficient amount of silence (however much "sufficient" truly means for her), for her own well-being it really is best she not become a CV. Like Laurie, I'm also writing these things out of sincere concern for potential future CVs--a lot of this is what I wish someone would have told me ten years ago when I was preparing for my own consecration.
  17. BarbaraTherese

    Private Vows in The Laity/Spirituality

    ______________________ It is quite valid to state that where vocation for life is concerned, God's Will is that we are free to choose. That is a generalization and a rule of thumb only, The Lord remains forever in Freedom and cannot be confined within nice tidy boundaries. But probably most often and generally speaking where vocation for life is concerned, God's Will for us is freedom to choose. Within that will for us, He May or May Not invite to a particular vocation or role in life. The invitation becomes apparent with an attraction to a certain vocation and the ability to live that vocation - these await a third aspect and that is acceptance into the life.
  18. BarbaraTherese

    Active vs Contemplative

    In the first few posts into this thread, there were a variety of contributors - but no longer. I am hoping that that might mean that interested members are quite happy to read only and arrive at their own conclusions. Prayer for all discerners
  19. BarbaraTherese

    Private Vows in The Laity/Spirituality

    All that follows are only my opinions and thoughts: Vocation is about considering who I am and the Gifts I have from God and this includes my personal circumstances. Very broadly speaking indeed, there are three indications for vocation: Attraction to the life Ability to live the life Acceptance into the life The above three are not some accident in life, they are Gifts of God. In the above, "the life" remains something God Gifts me free to choose. I then consider the various roles or vocations in The Church and choose. Acceptance into the life cannot be determined until I am actually accepted into a certain way of life by that way of life. I tend to think that sometimes God's Will is implied as something mysterious and hidden, esoteric - a complex matter in need of much labour and introspection - as against something quite simple to discern. The Good God asks us to do good and avoid evil or as in the Book of Micah: "You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah Chapter 6) Within the parameters of doing good, a particular vocation is an invitation and not a Divine Command. If I have the three very broad indications of vocation as above, I can be confident of doing good and justice to God's Gifts to me (the invitation) in the way of life or role I choose as my life commitment, my path in goodness in the footsteps of Jesus. As The Goodness of God is expressed in endless diversity and degrees, so doing good in this life can be expressed in great diversity and degrees (e.g. including in the particular vocation and call). Commitment is another very important matter. As God Faithfully Commits Himself to me in all circumstances no matter my state of soul, so in imitation of His Goodness, I commit myself to a certain way in life of goodness and in all unfolding circumstances. If I should happen to have employment or a career, I then commit myself to do good also within those parameters. For those who might be temporarily, or choose for life, celibacy in the laity: "They (laity) exercise the apostolate in fact by their activity directed to the evangelization and sanctification of men and to the penetrating and perfecting of the temporal order through the spirit of the Gospel. In this way, their temporal activity openly bears witness to Christ and promotes the salvation of men. Since the laity, in accordance with their state of life, live in the midst of the world and its concerns, they are called by God to exercise their apostolate in the world like leaven, with the ardor of the spirit of Christ." (Apostolicam actuositaten - Decree on Apostolate of The Laity)
  20. One year ago, I was consecrated with two other women in the Archdiocese of Detroit. As we've approached our first anniversary this weekend, one of my consecrated sisters, quite abruptly, lost her brother last week. His funeral was last Saturday & his burial is tomorrow. They are a very sweet & strong & faithful family. Please pray for them.
  21. Laurie

    Active vs Contemplative

    I believe you! And I 100% respect *your discernment*. What I don't support is the leap that because it was *right for you* it is indicative *of the CV vocation at large*. The vocation to consecrated virginity lived in the world exists on a spectrum. There are CVs who live very quiet, very contemplative lives. They live by themselves, don't necessarily have to work to support themselves (some eek by on social security due to serious illnesses), and spend a LOT of time in silence & prayer. This is absolutely legitimate and in conformity with the vocation. There are *also* CVs who have a strong baseline prayer structure, and solitude, and who, beyond that, are VERY active. I know one who is blessed financially. Instead of spending her time in silence and prayer, alone in her home, she opens up her (large) home to all kinds of young women (not just Catholics) who need a safe & loving place to say. That CV lives a life that is a whole lot more like an active religious. Her vocation & calling is as legitimate as a CV who lives a more contemplative life. I think if *you yourself * discerned you needed a greater degree of silence & solitude to be spiritually healthy in your vocation on a baseline level, then that was very prudent & wise of you to discern & follow. What I caution against is taking the concrete ways in which the Lord has called *you* (and X number of women you happen to know) to serve Him, and reading into that expectations for what the vocation to consecrated virginity in the world is as a whole. Anyhow, as I always say between us here, I don't think going around & around is that fruitful. I've offered my thoughts for what they are worth, mostly for discerners who pop by here & don't always know what to conclude. I'd hate for any of them to conclude, "I've never been drawn to a contemplative order, therefore I'm probably not called to be a CV in the world." Or, "I've been drawn to this or that active religious order; therefore, I guess I'm not called to be a CV in the world." Because, both of those conclusions would be absolutely unfounded. Hope that makes sense. Take care!
  22. Laurie

    Active vs Contemplative

    Of course not! My only point was that we can't conclude that *what I crave* is *what God wants from me* in any given moment, or even in a vocation as a whole. All I'm trying to point out is *in my experience* I know many holy women -- mothers, active religious sisters, consecrated virgins -- who *do crave silence* and for whatever reason, which is really His Business more than ours, the Good God has called them to something else. I think a few things, fundamentally: 1) The Lord works with our own temperaments & characters & our own talents, regarding our vocations; 2) He alone knows *who He has called us to be* and so He simultaneously doesn't spend all that much effort deferring to our temperaments & characters -- because those things are not perfected until we are united to Him in the Beatific Vision, and until then, it is His discretion regarding how and when we need to go in this direction instead of that. That is not to say that He hasn't also gifted us with certain personalities. I'm trying to steer away from an attitude of *my preference is this* so *I'll conclude my vocation is X.* I realize in your experience the CVs you know felt called to contemplative life prior to becoming CVs. That's not my experience. Here's my baseline: I think we should be careful about universalizing our own experiences. Your experience is one thing. Mine is another. Unless we've got a far larger data set than you & me, I wouldn't at all say, a woman who is drawn to solitude is more likely to be a CV or a contemplative religious sister than an active religious. It's just too far of a sweeping statement that isn't founded & might discourage discerners who aren't, in fact, drawn to contemplative life. (I myself was drawn, equally, to the Carmelites and the Missionaries of Charity, but not because one was contemplative & one was active. Rather, it was because both lay their lives down -- via different theological charisms -- for the poorest of the poor -- spiritually, in the former, and both, in the latter. But I was also drawn to being a mother. I had a great desire from a young age to adopt unwanted children, especially aids babies. Which is another variation of loving Christ's poor ones. Neither of those 3 things are, in fact, what the Lord was asking of me. But He worked out that spirituality of laying down my life for the spiritually poorest of the poor in being a CV. I am a massive introvert. What I can say is that if I *spent time in solitude* *as much as I wanted* I would be neglecting the work He has asked me to do with prisoners.) At any rate, I don't at all mean to diminish your thoughts & experience. I'm simply putting forth my own alongside them. FWIW.
  23. Sponsa-Christi

    Active vs Contemplative

    Acts of self-denial, large and small, are going to be a part of any vocation. But I don't think God would call anyone to a vocation where the fundamental duties of that state in life were experienced as white-knuckled sacrifices all the time, or even most of the time. I think when we're doing God's will for our lives, the sacrifices we have to make, even when they are difficult, are deep-down undergirded by a sense of peace and even joy. As in, there's a fundamental sense of "rightness" to them. (I'm thinking also of St. Ignatius' image of water falling on a sponge vs. water falling on a rock.)
  24. Last week
  25. mzkto

    One life for another?

    Same thing! If the mother dies, the baby and pregnancy have killed her. Tell her where The Lord said you must give your own life up!
  26. Sponsa-Christi

    Active vs Contemplative

    The house I lived in wasn't exactly a boarding house-type of situation. Of course everyone there had a different charism and their own respective community prayer practices and other customs, but the house itself was founded primarily for the purpose of giving student-Sisters as much of a "normal" convent living situation as possible. We prayed in common twice a day, observed particular house rules, celebrated special events together, and had times of recreation that were for the express purpose of fostering a sense of community. It was also a relatively small group of Sisters living there full-time, so we did all get to know each other pretty well. (And by the way...I'm not saying exactly where I lived here in public, so as to respect everyone's privacy. ) Over all, my time living there was a good experience! But somewhat to my surprise, it really did confirm for me that I was called to be a consecrated virgin and not an apostolic Sister. Living in community actually helped me realize that an independent living situation doesn't have to be less radical than a life in common. That is, a non-communal consecrated life should be just as radical, only in other ways; namely, radical in terms of a greater focus on relating to God in silence. In my personal experience, anyway, I didn't see my craving for silence as being simply about my own preferences. I mean, don't get me wrong, of course there were times when I did want peace and quiet for entirely human reasons! But ultimately, I came to an understanding that I needed a greater degree of silence and solitude just to be spiritually healthy in my vocation on a basic level. I imagine this is probably a pretty close parallel to the experience of many religious who need a vibrant community life to sustain them in their vocation. So I think it's a matter of different vocations = different gifts = different specific spiritual needs.
  27. I'm guessing someone in the past has posted this somewhere here (it's not new). Yet I consider it lovely enough to post even if it's a repeat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOZZQjD7F6U And, while I'm here, this is another one I enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9EZEAx3wKs
  28. BarbaraTherese

    One life for another?

    I think God has spoken : "Thou shalt not kill".
  1. Load more activity
×