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BarbaraTherese

Private Vows in The Laity/Spirituality

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BarbaraTherese

On the subject of private vows being received at Mass.  I don't know of anyone in my parish, diocese, state - nor in Australia who has done or is doing this.  It may be that they have, but are not making it public knowledge. I am 'out the closet' only on some Catholic discussion sites and to my family and close friends alone.   Certainly, I have read on the internet of it being done in other countries.  It doesn't seem to be done often however.  Receiving private vows at a Home Mass (or some other type of Mass) is certainly a possibility else I would not be where I am in my journey.  Both my director and my Archbishop are loyal to Rome and Catholic Teaching.

 

I don't think that private vows to the evangelical counsels in the lay secular state are common - but then it is at least possible that it seems to me to be uncommon because I don't hear about it.  Nor do I think that it is necessary to have private vows (or vow) received at Mass or at any other time.  It can remain secret between oneself and God.  At every point in my journey with private vows, I have sought advice including prior to actually making them.  At first, in secret is how I intended to journey and because of bipolar never anticipating where I am now.  I felt that I could not ask nor in any way expect any human being at all to understand a bipolar episode with private vows.  But I could humbly ask it of The Lord and with confidence:
 

 

Psalms 145:2 Praise the Lord, O my soul, in my life I will praise the Lord: I will sing to my God as long as I shall be. Put not your trust in princes:  In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation"

Psalms 55:5
In God I will praise my words, in God I have put my trust: I will not fear what flesh can do against me.

Isaias (Isaiah) 57:13
When thou shalt cry, let thy companies deliver thee, but the wind shall carry them all off, a breeze shall take them away, but he that putteth his trust in me, shall inherit the land, and shall possess my holy mount.

Isaias (Isaiah) 54:10
For the Lord hath called thee as woman forsaken and mourning in spirit, and as a wife cast off from her youth, said thy God.      For a, small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee.      In a moment of indignation have I hid my face a little while from thee, but with everlasting kindness have I had mercy on thee, said the Lord thy Redeemer.      This thing is to me as in the days of Noe, to whom I swore, that I would no more bring in the waters of Noe upon the earth: so have I sworn not to be angry with thee, and not to rebuke thee.       For the mountains shall be moved, and the hills shall tremble; but my mercy shall not depart from thee, and the covenant of my peace shall not be moved: said the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

 

 

Not only this, it was not until I was given a computer that I became aware of having private vows received at Mass.  Almost nothing in my journey has been a decision I made, rather it has been an unfolding in my journey that led me to a decision, or indicated a potential decision might be called for on my part.  Before I made any sort of big (or relatively big) decision, I sought advice and from someone(s) who knew me well and whom I could trust as a sound source of advice - and in a face to face appointment.  Advice I always seek, but the final decision is mine.

 

My previous director (religious sister) thought that I should have the vows received.  At that time some years back, I was still too uncertain about bipolar episodes and decided back then to leave things as they were without the vows being received in any way.  By the time I found and consulted my now priest religious director, I had become quite confident that I was probably more in control of bipolar than it was in control of me as in the past.

 

  These factors led me to speak to Father about him receiving the vows and at the same time having Bethany as residence blessed - and doing both at a Home Mass.  Father is aware I suffer bipolar and I told him at our first meeting:  "First, Father, I suffer Bipolar Disorder.  Secondly, I have made private vows".  I thought I may as well put it all out in the open from the get go and only fair to Father. At that point, I really would not have blamed Father if he suddenly remembered he had an appointment elsewhere and was very heavily committed in the future.  I would not have like it, and doubtless kicked and screamed and yelled on a few scores, but I would have understood the reasons behind his reaction.

 

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BarbaraTherese

I was reading the Prayer Request forum.  There is a prayer request for a couple who are expecting and have two children under two years of age.  They now discover they are expecting twins.  The request is for prayer for strength to handle responsibilities Joyfully.  That is absolutely real and absolute Faith, trust and Love in action marked by humility - and everyday heroism - the making of saints.  A wonderful witness and at a time of real stress I am sure.   Heroism that can occur all around us and very often goes quite unnoticed really and unremarked - no big ritual, no celebration whatsoever - just living out one's journey daily :  http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/topic/134479-prayers-for-twins/#entry2681193

There shall be great saints in Heaven of whom we have known nothing and won't until Heaven.

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BarbaraTherese

Invitations done on Word for 15th August and I like them better than what I originally had printed professionally when the date was 8th September, Birthday of Our Lady, and those invitations had to be discarded.  Father asked me to make something for him to sign at the Home Mass.  Done that too and am happy with it.

 

Ironed today as well as visitor for coffee - and tomorrow I am collecting (tin) at a shopping Centre for St Vinnies for a few hours. Next week other than Monday and Tuesday (voluntary office work), I have off unless something else cops up.  Tuesday night is the monthly meeting for St Vinnies in the parish meeting. 17th July catching up with my Carmelites here in Adelaide who will be coming to the Home Mass if nothing else unavoidable intervenes.  I am really looking forward to catching up with them and some happy chinwagging.

16th July, Op. Mem of Our Lady of Mt Carmel and I will be going offline on retreat until after the Home Mass on the Solemnity of The Assumption of Our Lady 15th. August.  Can't afford to go away, so at this point it will be a retreat in Bethany unless some dollars crop up somehow and sometimes they do.

 

 

Countdown clock

49 days, 3 hrs

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BarbaraTherese

Invitations ready to be posted.  "Thank You" cards for after the Mass done on Word ready to print.  Responses for the Mass done in booklet form.  A concise history of Bethany done to be available after The Mass for any who want it (Bethany has been a hidden way of life - with this Home Mass it is a bit more known by at least invited family and close friends).  In the booklet, I also briefly explained private vows to the evangelical counsels and how it came about in my journey.  'Certificate' for Father John to sign after the Mass done ready for printing - he asked me to prepare one.

 

Getting there - every so often it hits home and as a bit surreal and then everyday life makes demands and it goes out of memory.  Still on a see saw and roundabout - though of a very happy kind unlike my past performances.  May The Lord sustain and prop me up.  Amen.

 

Countdown now 46 days, 3hrs.

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nunsense

Invitations ready to be posted.  "Thank You" cards for after the Mass done on Word ready to print.  Responses for the Mass done in booklet form.  A concise history of Bethany done to be available after The Mass for any who want it (Bethany has been a hidden way of life - with this Home Mass it is a bit more known by at least invited family and close friends).  In the booklet, I also briefly explained private vows to the evangelical counsels and how it came about in my journey.  'Certificate' for Father John to sign after the Mass done ready for printing - he asked me to prepare one.

 

Getting there - every so often it hits home and as a bit surreal and then everyday life makes demands and it goes out of memory.  Still on a see saw and roundabout - though of a very happy kind unlike my past performances.  May The Lord sustain and prop me up.  Amen.

 

Countdown now 46 days, 3hrs.

 

 

Excellent work! Now just don't get too anxious about the whole thing. Make sure you plan some time to chill out before the event. Yes, lots of prayer and adoration of course, but also, some totally unstructured time where you can forget about all those little nagging things that might cause you worry.

 

We will all be praying for you up to and during this special event for you. :pray: You are in are thoughts. :) I will ask my community to pray for you too. 

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BarbaraTherese

Excellent work! Now just don't get too anxious about the whole thing. Make sure you plan some time to chill out before the event. Yes, lots of prayer and adoration of course, but also, some totally unstructured time where you can forget about all those little nagging things that might cause you worry.

 

We will all be praying for you up to and during this special event for you. :pray: You are in are thoughts. :) I will ask my community to pray for you too. 

 

Thanks for the sound advice, nunsense!  Me........not get anxious...........ever seen worms fly? LOL

I will be off the computer from the Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, which is also my appointment with my director.........and a time for a retreat here, including chill out time, to the date itself.  For me it is such a momentous occasion - never thought I would reach the day, short of a miracle. Not that, at this point, it strikes me as a miracle, while I have to keep telling myself that The Lord does not make mistakes.

 

Thank you very much for the prayers.  Now I have three Carmelite nun communities praying for me and an enclosed Benedictine as well as a religious order of priests and a few diocesan priests.  How can I go wrong...........knowing me, I just might figure out a way while hoping and praying for a miracle and I will cruise through it all (totally humbly honoured and grateful) and then most happily able to return to normal daily life with all its ups and downs, joys and bumps along the way.

 

Thank you again............Barb :)

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BarbaraTherese

Father John asked me to make a certificate type document re Home Mass Private Vows etc. for him to sign after Mass.  All done and ready for his approval next and final appointment (16th July) probably before the actual Mass on 15th. August.

 

Off the computer from Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel on 16th July (final appt. with Father).  Visiting my Carmelite nun pals on 17th - they are coming to the Home Mass unless something of priority intervenes.  Looks ok to now. Retreat begins on18th but off computer from 16th July until Feast of Queenship Of Our Lady on Friday 22nd August and after the Home Mass.

 

Invitations all posted with RSVP 31st July.

 

Countdown 41 days, 3 hours

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BarbaraTherese

Thank you, AL - I have caught up with it and read all posts and hope to respond to each sometime today. :)  Although I go to 6pm Vigil tonight......and I have an ironing load today, housework too + +........but I will respond at some point soon, for sure.

 

I thought I  had posted a link to my thread into the Debate Forum last night - but I can write a post and forget to click "Post" and then close off the computer.  Thank you for drawing my attention back to this thread in Open Mic.

Debate Thread  http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/topic/134619-canon-law-private-vows/#entry2684219

 

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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BarbaraTherese

Have finished a little booklet for the Home Mass explaining Private Vows and also some hidden snippets from my own journey or things not generally known.  My next door neighbour (non Catholic) did a read for me and says she can now understand re Private Vows.  And a relief! What gave me the headache, now mastered after much prayer and frustration, stamping of foot and some *** - not to mention the time it took, was actually getting the Word document to print out in 2column booklet form, with some 1column pages.  All done and I think now I can put the document aside in Word until I know how many are actually coming to the Home Mass and then print out whatever number might be needed.

 

Catering is all worked out and with very willing helpers.  Invitations RSVP is 31.7.14 when I should have a better indication on numbers attending.  Since the Mass is at 5pm we are doing savoury and sweet finger food dishes with tea and coffee for after.

 

Certificate for Father John to sign all done.  Using Mass responses on laminated sheets from the parish.

Just need to polish up my Rule of Life, which was all over the place - but Father approved it.  No changes, just make it flow more logically. :)

Have now made contact with the two Catholic persons and fellow parishioners and neighbours from my previous parish who were closest to me and unfailing encouragement and supports during my illness  - they will be coming to the Mass.  We had lost contact with each other due to telephone number changes and shift of addresses not recorded.

 

Have small vases and willing helper will buy on the actual day from Coles supermarket fresh flowers for 'the altar' which will be the kitchen servery bench, which faces the family room and dining area and proposed seating.

Will buy candles after Father John lets me know what kind at our last meeting prior the Mass - my last apt with Father is next Wed 16th July, Feast of Our Lady of Mt Camel.

Visiting my Carmelite nun pals on 17th. July - don't know for sure yet if they can come.  One of the nun's sister is very ill.  And only three nuns left in Carmel here now.

 

Working on my own Thank You cards for after the Mass in Word - just now and then.

 

Almost there organizationally - I think! (most always there can be x the unknown factor)....... 'bar the shouting' :)

 

The book I am purchasing for my retreat (which will begin in earnest on the feast of Mary Magdalene on the 22nd July) is "Faith and The Future" (Josef Ratzinger now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI).  St Mary Magdelene is often called "the apostle to the apostles" and no longer the once terrible sinner as often thought and proclaimed.   Apparently it is controversial as to whether she had never been a prostitute, or the woman "caught in adultery" etc. - but I am still researching all this - certainly Catholic Education Resources has some powerful things to state. ("Mary Magdalene" Fr Wm Saunders http://catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0665.html )
 

Pope Paul VI General Audience 14.2.07 "Women at The Service of The Gospel"

 

"It was precisely to Mary Magdalene that St Thomas Aquinas reserved the special title, "Apostle of the Apostles" (apostolorum apostola), dedicating to her this beautiful comment: "Just as a woman had announced the words of death to the first man, so also a woman was the first to announce to the Apostles the words of life" (Super Ioannem, ed. Cai, 2519).

Nor was the female presence in the sphere of the primitive Church in any way secondary. We will not insist on the four unnamed daughters of Philip the "Deacon" who lived at Caesarea; they were all endowed with the "gift of prophecy", as St Luke tells us, that is, the faculty of intervening publicly under the action of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 21: 9). The brevity of information does not permit more precise deductions.

It is rather to St Paul that we are indebted for a more ample documentation on the dignity and ecclesial role of women. He begins with the fundamental principle according to which for the baptized: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3: 28), that is, all are united in the same basic dignity, although each with specific functions (cf. I Cor 12: 27: 30).  "

 

 

Quote from "Faith & The Future" (Josef Ratzinger) 

Pope Benedict XVI: “ The Catholic Church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many of her social privileges. . . As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members. It will be hard-going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek. The process will be long and wearisome” http://www.amazon.com/dp/1586172190/?tag=theanchoress-20

 

 

Countdown 33 Days, 9hrs.........and roughly 6 days until retreat begins in earnest...........and closing up shop completely insofar as I can until the day of The Home Mass on 15.8.14, Sol. of The Assumption of Our Lady.................a retreat with some just plain ordinary chill out and relax time.

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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BarbaraTherese

Father has asked me to write my own vows.  I have worked on this, but I doubt it will take final form until during my retreat period.  I would like them short and simple yet cover what is important to me as my vows.

I am hoping Father will be able to tell me on Wed 16.7.14 next where in the Mass, or before or after, I will be renewing the life vows.  He wanted to check this point out as he thought, the Offertory - but I thought private vows could only be made before or after Mass and both are very meaningful to me.

Going to Mass tomorrow morning (Sunday) which means taxi there and back as no buses on the weekend to our Sunday Mass main parish Church.

Please say a pray for me of your generosity as I am trying to work out how I can fit at least one weekday Mass into my 'permanent'  normal weekly schedule and via bus........taxis are much to expensive.

As to any expense involved in the Home Mass and I am paying for all expenses -  and Monday night I am taking my (foster) son and his wife out to dinner for his birthday - as well as a few other expenses cropping up, my normally carefully arranged budget has gone a little crazy, to put it mildly, and so I am just trusting in The Lord to keep things running above water line.  Last night my mobile dropped heavily onto the cement floors (vinyl tile covered) here in Bethany.  With a chill I thought that that would HAVE to be the end of my poor often dropped (even in water) mobile.  Nope, it had come apart but I could put it back together............and it is still working.  Needless to say I was and am profuse in thanksgiving and indeed praise, since The Lord does take good care of even His least...........and more than one hundredfold to me!

I am so used to things going wrong that it is a conditioned 'state of mind' - slowly I am loosing that useless baggage.............very slowly........as things keep on going quite right it seems - rather than amiss as it always used to seem.  My psychiatrist too will be at the Home Mass, providing nothing else of priority is calling.  At our appointments, not at all unusual to spend the time chatting about Catholicism - of which she is not...........yet :)  Aim for above the clouds, with a reserved seat if necessary below the clouds. :).........or aim high, while man only proposes - The Lord indeed decides His Way and always the Best Way no matter how dark things seem to get.  And oh so easy to write when all is progressing as it should.....or according to one's own plans! 

 

Never loose contact in thought and mind with those who do suffer in any way whatsoever.

 

While my doc and I might chat about anything but me and my illness, I always know that as we do chat she has a professional eye on me and I trust her professional eye with good grounds to do so.  I love the fact that she talks to me as a fellow adult and I can trust her to always tell me what she understands as the truth of matters and the way she thinks is the way to go.  I don't HAVE to follow it however, while most often I CHOOSE to do so, as wisdom and prudence to me seems to dictate......at times.

 

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brandelynmarie
BT, have you thought about making a hard copy of this thread? Just to keep & reread from time to time....you have & have had such a fascinating journey. :) Please remind us when you start radio silence.

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BarbaraTherese

Nunsense - Thank you very much for the prayers.  I have never doubted that the prayers of others and especially perhaps contemplative communities have done much of the hard work "one sows, another reaps".  I sometimes have reflected that some inconspicuous novice, scrubbing convent floors has won more for me than I could ever know, this side of Heaven anyway.

 

 

Brandelynmarie  - No, I haven't thought of making a hard copy and once the Home Mass and renewal and receiving of private vows is done, it is done.  It is really all about having the private vows received. The rest is all the frills I am putting around it! I am hoping someone might take pictures with mobiles and I had better arrange this I think.  I don't know if my son and his fiancé in another state will be able to come due to work commitments and he is a photographer. That is yet to unfold closer to the date.  I am truly looking forward I think even moreso to life going back to the daily grind as strange as that might sound.  It really has been a lot of unforeseen work (I have put on myself!) that is only for a one only event and I am looking forward to going on retreat and backing off from the organizational side - I hope.  Of course, a Home Mass for Private Vows does not have to be all the trouble I am giving it.   Probably the day itself and as it draws much closer will change things on the emotional level, as it often can do.  I am not too fussed about how I am feeling - where emotions are concerned anything can happen.  I like to say that emotions are like windmills - they shift in the slightest breeze...........bipolar-ers can get used to that as an experience :)  A victory comes when such 'wind directional changes with accompanying emotional shifts' do not overly bother and one can allow the adult in oneself to stay in control without allowing emotional shifts to turn one from an objective as the prime focus. Does that make any sense? :)  I know what I mean - tired at the end of a gruelling day for me and largely at this jolly computer and no-one but myself to blame sadly :)  And I had thought after yesterday, I could get right in and do what needs to be done in the house today. Ha! Foiled again!..........and only myself to blame sadly.  And Monday a load of ironing comes in at 7am with voluntary work on Monday and Tuesday.  Appointments on Wednesday and Thursday........so ironing will have to be done whenever I can grab some time and ready for pickup on Friday.  And.....what else.....only myself to blame sadly.

 

I tend to get dates and times mixed up and really don't pay much attention to them - but if I go back through my diaries I can usually sort things out, but never much need to do so actually. 

 

Although with a bit of thought, thank you, it might be helpful to retain a hard copy. It is a step by step almost journaling of the process to the Home Mass, with more than a few diversions if memory serves.

 

Yep - will give due warning before radio silence.

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brandelynmarie
It's your wedding day :) with all of the planning & roller coaster emotions included. :) Hooray for you to have learned to let your emotional waves come & go...it is not easy for anyone, especially if one struggles with bi-polar...I've watched friends deal with it...

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BarbaraTherese

It's your wedding day :) with all of the planning & roller coaster emotions included. :) Hooray for you to have learned to let your emotional waves come & go...it is not easy for anyone, especially if one struggles with bi-polar...I've watched friends deal with it...

 

Thank you for the really beautiful thought, BM.  I guess it is a matter of different attitudes and perspectives.  And viva la difference!  I don't think of the Home Mass as my wedding day at all, rather as the day my long standing life private vows will be renewed and received and I am hoping and praying that it will be a day of blessing for me - a blessing I can experience as a happy one.  If not............then on I must go with The Lord of The Dance..........

It is the day I come 'out the closet' with family and friends, most of whom I am invited are mystified as to what I am actually doing............

I really do not mean to be flippant, and my apologies if it does seem that way, but it is just the way that I think.  Might be simplistic or whatever.........but just me. 

Re emotional waves, largely I do just let them ride themselves out without loosing prime focus  - but not always nor perfectly - far from that. One of the benefits of living alone I can 'drop clangers' to my hearts content and chuck a cup of coffee at the wall.  I can call over and burden my neighbour who is happy to share my burdens as I hers.  I am very much conscious that my vocation is NOT to religious life nor consecrated life. I have to discern a different way as it unfolds and I think too that holiness is to invest in one's humanity.  I very much doubt too that I am now experiencing those extremes of emotional polarities that I did in years gone by.  Might be wrong.  I hold that what works and is not hurtful to self or others etc.........then go with that flow and thankfully, praising the Lord............

 

If bipolar should suddenly flare into life again - then I just have to deal with it if; it happens.......and The Lord will be with me and the outcome in His Hands largely - as with all.  Mind you, if I do have an episode of bipolar I know I will NOT be thinking that way I presume and strongly from past performance...........and I will HAVE to deal with it if it happens at least once the bipolar episode has had its say and run its course - and I am back in normal everyday reality again. C'est la vie!

 

But thank you very much again for a really beautiful concept.

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BarbaraTherese

..........oh yeah, almost forgot - if the emotions threaten to get the better of me, I can always drop half an Oxazepam.  Then, if a bomb dropped on the house and I was ironing, I would smile, say "Hi!" probably and keep on ironing.  :)  Mind you a prescription of 25 tablets for 30 days can last me for several months at least. I rarely touch them.  For which I think The Lord profusely and praise His Name.

 

I am now in a far better position - and mystery - than the very many I know who suffer some form of mental illness.

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BarbaraTherese

To anyone who has sent me a PM.  It seems from dUSt (thread into Open Mic) that our PM system is disconnected permanently and hence I cannot reply to you.  My PM facility certainly is not working. Please be aware too that I am very reluctant to give personal contact details even via PM. 

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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BarbaraTherese

Bethany will be blessed prior to Mass.

Saw Father this afternoon, private vows will be renewed and received at the Offertory.  I need two readers being a Solemnity and Father would like me to write about four prayers of intercession and organise someone to read them.  Readings will be as per the Solemnity followed by Gospel and short homily.

Father will do all the prompting necessary through The Mass, although he likes to, and will, keep it very simple as a Home Mass should be and so in the main, we will remain seated.  We will receive under the one species of Bread only and those present, if not receiving the Blessed Eucharist, can come forward for a blessing with the customary crossed arms on the breast.

He prefers that I have a small table, even a coffee table, with guests arranged around same.  It will probably be my small kitchen table I think.

I am slowly preparing a document about Private Vows (which I thought I had finished!) and am deleting from it most all references to my own personal journey to keep it smaller and uncomplicated. Put me in front of a keyboard and I don't know where nor when to stop!!!  These explanations will be left on our supper table after the Mass and guests can take a copy if they wish.

My son and his fiancé do not know as yet if they can travel over from another state.  My son has to discern still if he can get the time off.

A couple of ladies will be coming early to help me with the setting up prior to Mass.  I have the week of the Mass off voluntary work. I'm only taking that week off as I know that I am needed where I am working. 

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