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BarbaraTherese

Private Vows in The Laity/Spirituality

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BarbaraTherese

Just to finish off the quotation from Hebrews I quoted above :

 

"But now we see not as yet all things subject to him. [9] But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour: that, through the grace of God, he might taste death for all. [10] For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, who had brought many children into glory, to perfect the author of their salvation, by his passion.

 

( To perfect the author: By suffering, Christ was to enter into his glory which the apostle here calls being made perfect.)


[11] For both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one. For which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: [12] I will declare thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the church will I praise thee. [13] And again: I will put my trust in him. And again: Behold I and my children, whom God hath given me. [14] Therefore because the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner hath been partaker of the same: that, through death, he might destroy him who had the empire of death, that is to say, the devil: [15] And might deliver them, who through the fear of death were all their lifetime subject to servitude.


[16] For no where doth he take hold of the angels: but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold. [17] Wherefore it behoved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful priest before God, that he might be a propitiation for the sins of the people. [18] For in that, wherein he himself hath suffered and been tempted, he is able to succour them also that are tempted. "

 

 

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BarbaraTherese

That is exciting and it will be all in God's time!

 

:) Amen!

It is a few weeks now since I have known that approval was given for renewing and receiving my vows at a Home Mass, but I was hoping that Father would delay the actual Mass for a few months (which he did) as I wanted the first flush and high of the Joy of approval being given to fade, and for me to actually renew and have the vows received when I was not in a high emotional state.  Although I think probably at the time the excitement will abound, but by then I would have thought it all through in a quite logical and rational state of mind.

When Father told me he was seeking permission through The Archbishop and Vicar General I had resigned myself to a negative response from them.  My illness and 20 years of serious psychosis is well known in diocesan offices.  I was totally unprepared for permission to be obtained.  Hence the state of excited high emotional content when Father told me approval had been granted.

 

Since making the private vows to the evangelical counsels 30 years ago quite privately between The Lord and I, I have regarded those vows as very serious commitments.  The vows being received by Father at a Home Mass is to me one step further and the confirmed by The Lord final step in my private vows journey.

 

I am trying to keep everything in this one thread in the hope that it will be information to those who might be considering private vows to the evangelical counsels.  I do think it is an option for those who desire religious life but have impediments at least as an option to discern.  And with spiritual direction.

 

Private vows in the lay secular state is a totally different vocation to religious life, but once I did realize that the Bipolar illness I suffered would probably prove an impediment to any religious order, it did seem to me an option that I could discern.

Insofar as the vow of obedience is concerned, Father had me write my own Rule of LIfe and then approved it and I am bound under this rule - not as a matter necessarily of sin if I fail, but I do take it very seriously nevertheless.  As all lay secular people are, I am bound to obedience to my parish priest, my Archbishop and Rome as well as any legitimate authority over me, secular or religious.

 

My community is any person in my path (sighting as I do that such are there through God's Will) and this includes on Catholic Discussion Sites.  Hospitality and true friendship are marks of the Bethany Way of Life, while the Rule of Life is subheaded in each division by the phrases of the Our Father.

 

"Bethany" is both the name of my residence and also my way of life.  Bethany per se as a noun has a very long history especially in the New Testament over and above being the home of Martha, Mary and Lazurus, close friends of Jesus.  Some of the meanings of Bethany are : "house of poverty", "house of invalids", "ford in the river" (where stock and women and children also the frail can cross safely).  It's New Testament location is probably on the Mount of Olives, just outside Jerusalem.  It is felt that probably the Essenes established a house there for the sick and especially lepers and lepers had to reside a certain distance from the Temple in Jerusalem.  People who do suffer especially serious and continually overt mental illness to me are very often our 21st century lepers nowadays. People are frightened of them and tend to want to avoid them, especially making friendships with them. In the suburb in which I lived for 30 years there were many indeed such sufferers and my heart went out to them (with empathy since I was a feelow sufferer) and they were welcome in Bethany at all times, sometimes just for a cuppa, smoke and a chat - at other times for some sort of assistance.  I took in ironing 6days x 365 (week off at Christmas) to have the funds necessary at times to be of assistance to others.  But most of all, visitors to Bethany became quite close friends, pals.

 

When I was mandatorily shifted to this more affluent suburb, the way of life in Bethany in a marked manner did change - but soon a whole way of life just unfolded in my path.  Another mark of the Bethany way of life is adherence to the unfolding of Divine Providence of The Lord and His Will and in trustful confidence - as the days and hours unfold for Divine Providence and God's Will is an unfolding matter.

 

I have long longed for and prayed for a companion for this way of life.  It has never happened to date and so may The Lord's Will be praised and this has been a difficult matter for me at times.  Mind you, I never have 'advertised' really Bethany as a potential way of life for others.  At times I have rather briefly mentioned it and when no one was interested, let the subject go.  If I am meant to have a companion, then The Lord will bring me one - He needs to nudge nor help from me, other than my prayerful hope for at least one companion.  And I am a bit long in the tooth now.  I can feel at times that I am living a sort of eremitical type of life (features of) without having a vocation to such - and especially in this new suburb.  But The Lord knows best and what He is about even though it is mystery to us.
 

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BarbaraTherese

One interesting point from my long ago past life is during my much younger years, if I went out at night and most often into the city just to be able to go out and have a coffee and smoke somewhere or other for a break and different faces from the routine in Bethany - and then come home, every single time without fail when I went out, I came across someone in need.  This used to quite perplex me.  Then long ago, I learnt there is no such thing as accidental nor coincidence, it is always The Holy Spirit at work (Divine Providence) and without fail.  He who knows when a hair drops from our head is at work in every incident and circumstance in our journey, no matter how nondescript and ordinary, small and minute.  Sound Catholic theology that 'unfuddled' my perplexities and on quite a few fronts. The Lord is at work in us in all things without fail and this fits in with the theology of St Therese of Lisieux and also Jean Pierre de Caussade's work "Abandonment to Divine Providence".  The works of these two speak to each other as it were.  While the work of Fr Jean Pierre SJ is not as outstanding in it's simplicity as that of St. Therese in her autobiography.

 

 

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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BarbaraTherese

This is so beautiful...Blessed be God! :)

 

 

 

Amen!  It highlights indeed the overwhelming Gratuitous Goodness to even His most least.

 

During the years (20) when Bipolar was very active involving serious psychosis.  My Faith remained intact despite severe struggles at times.  Due to the fact that my episodes were psychotic, I did not know what was real nor unreal and hence my theology was often right off and decidedly inaccurate, but Faith itself remained intact.

I have just finished emailing a contemplative prioress I know and was speaking about the above.  I can have no guarantees after around 10 years without an episode that one will never occur again; however, I am confident that my vows being received during Mass will temper any episode to a marked degree since I know these episodes and their content quite well.  For me, the vows being received at Mass is akin to final profession for me and confirmation that I do indeed have a vocation from God to this way of life.

 

I held off having my vows received during Mass for all the years that I have done as I did not want any episode to become an embarrassment to The Church.  Not that there is anything public (iChurch terminology) about private vows received during Mass.  There is no public consecration of the person. He or she remains in every way a lay person in secular life and in no way directly connected to consecrated life.  It is a consecration of oneself to God received by a priest during Mass.  Public consecration is a consecration by The Church and in a quite public manner both in Church terminology and in general understanding of the word "public". I specifically wanted a Home Mass rather than in a Church itself and to invite only family and close friends - and for the same reason.  I suffer Bipolar and if an episode should occur again, I do not want even the remotest shadow to fall on The Church.  Of course, there is no logical reason whatsoever why it should; however, it just might do so in the eyes of the public generally, many of  whom still have inaccurate information about mental illness, and stigma still does prevail based on inaccurate information and sometimes even amongst practising Catholics - and sadly, some religious and priests.
 

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TheresaThoma

Thank you so much for sharing a bit more about your way of life. It is beatiful and obviously well thought out. Who knows, maybe God will inspire others to follow in the Bethany way.  :smile2:

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BarbaraTherese

Thank you so much for sharing a bit more about your way of life. It is beatiful and obviously well thought out. Who knows, maybe God will inspire others to follow in the Bethany way.  :smile2:

 

Thank you for your very kind thoughts, Theresa.  Your patron is surely St Therese of Lisieux, a Memorare to her in honour of Our Lady would be much appreciated.  I really would like at least one companion for this way of life, even as my teeth do grow longer.  I have thought on and off about a blog, but it seems to me that they are very time consuming.  I did start one now and then, but it seemed to me I got much too carried away and much time was indeed consumed.

I am unsure if this way of life is so much well thought out as it just unfolded in my path bit by bit - and as I went, I tried to define those 'bits' searching out for the direction The Lord may be pointing me.  Eventually, the 'bits' became a whole way of life. Undoubtedly my now SD has speeded things up by a marked degree.  I am very blest in him. 

 

Thank you again :)

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TheresaThoma

Actually my patrons are St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (aka St Edith Stien) and St Thomas Aquinas.

Though I do like St Therese as well.

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BarbaraTherese

:)

Apologies for getting your patron saint wrong - although not too distant, St Teresa Benedicta being Carmelite nun like St Therese Lisieux.  I think St Thomas Aquinas may have been a Dominican, unsure.

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Perigrina

:)

Apologies for getting your patron saint wrong - although not too distant, St Teresa Benedicta being Carmelite nun like St Therese Lisieux.  I think St Thomas Aquinas may have been a Dominican, unsure.

 

Yes, St. Thomas Aquinas was Dominican.  Also awesome.

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BarbaraTherese

69 Days -  9 Hours - 41mins to The Solemnity of The Assumption of Our Lady and Home Mass.

 

 

 

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TheresaThoma

:)

Apologies for getting your patron saint wrong - although not too distant, St Teresa Benedicta being Carmelite nun like St Therese Lisieux.  I think St Thomas Aquinas may have been a Dominican, unsure.

 

No worries, with all the Theresa/Teresas in the Church it is easy to get confused.

 

St Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican, much to his family's dismay and despite their best efforts. (They locked him in a tower at one point to try to get him to not become a Dominican).

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BarbaraTherese

No worries, with all the Theresa/Teresas in the Church it is easy to get confused.

 

St Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican, much to his family's dismay and despite their best efforts. (They locked him in a tower at one point to try to get him to not become a Dominican).

 

Thank you for your kindness.  :like3:

I owe much to my Dominican education by Dominican nuns.......very much! :)

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