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BarbaraTherese

Private Vows in The Laity/Spirituality

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BarbaraTherese

Spot on to my mind, nunsense :)

God's Permissive Will does not ask that one always surrender to the negativity involved and every time - the very good God intends to come about may well be that one not so much 'fight against negativity' as to surrender to what one intuits as God's Will in the situation and this may mean the struggle against this negativity - as with sickness or injury for example.  The Permissive Will of God does not ask passivity and I have said this before in other threads, I just neglected it (wrongly) in this thread reflecting and focused only on my own experiences of God's Permissive Will in my own life - and yet, I did struggle against that negativity for one with the onset of Bipolar. My director and confessor at that time (priest theologian) visited me on a psyche ward and I said to him "Well, if God wants me ill and in hospital then I am content to be here" He replied: "One thing I can tell you for sure, girl, is that God does not want you ill and in hospital".  At that point, I began the struggle.  Years later, many years later, I came across the theology of God's Permissive Will and understood why Father was so confident of what he said.  God NEVER wants our difficulty or suffering small or great, He might however permit it and does not ask passivity for sure and passivity is not Catholic teaching.

 

Thanks again and congratulations once more   :woot:- in a way I really holy envy you, until I put myself realistically into your situation now  -  and know that I would be packing my suitcase by my own choice, and in tears.  Carmel is  a beautiful vocation and one that is highly valued in The Church for good reason.  I recall in college that the nun who taught me said that only the cream of Catholic Catholicism are accepted into Carmel.   She had me pegged for a Dominican noviciate - and that told me something about myself and her insight of me - which I struggled against clinging to the fact that God can and does perform miracles.  That miracle never happened. I do not and have never had those qualities inherent to a Carmelite vocation. You go, girl!   :)

 

 

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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BarbaraTherese

Note: Woops again.  It is not only in illness and in injury (God's Permissive Will) that the response is not of necessity surrender to that negativity - struggle against negativity might apply to any negative situation and what one intuits as God's Will for one in that particular situation.

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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nunsense

Spot on to my mind, nunsense :)
God's Permissive Will does not ask that one always surrender to the negativity involved and every time - the very good God intends to come about may well be that one not so much 'fight against negativity' as to surrender to what one intuits as God's Will in the situation and this may mean the struggle against this negativity - as with sickness or injury for example.  The Permissive Will of God does not ask passivity and I have said this before in other threads, I just neglected it (wrongly) in this thread reflecting and focused only on my own experiences of God's Permissive Will in my own life - and yet, I did struggle against that negativity for one with the onset of Bipolar. My director and confessor at that time (priest theologian) visited me on a psyche ward and I said to him "Well, if God wants me ill and in hospital then I am content to be here" He replied: "One thing I can tell you for sure, girl, is that God does not want you ill and in hospital".  At that point, I began the struggle.  Years later, many years later, I came across the theology of God's Permissive Will and understood why Father was so confident of what he said.  God NEVER wants our difficulty or suffering small or great, He might however permit it and does not ask passivity for sure and passivity is not Catholic teaching.
 
Thanks again and congratulations once more   :woot:- in a way I really holy envy you, until I put myself realistically into your situation now  -  and know that I would be packing my suitcase by my own choice, and in tears.  Carmel is  a beautiful vocation and one that is highly valued in The Church for good reason.  I recall in college that the nun who taught me said that only the cream of Catholic Catholicism are accepted into Carmel.   She had me pegged for a Dominican noviciate - and that told me something about myself and her insight of me - which I struggled against clinging to the fact that God can and does perform miracles.  That miracle never happened. I do not and have never had those qualities inherent to a Carmelite vocation. You go, girl!   :)

 
Barb - you are a good example of someone who has struggled against adversity for many years. Your direction hasn't really altered course, because it has always been focused on God, but you may have had to dodge a few dangerous coral reefs or sandbars. As for 'holy envy' - rubbish. You know your life is perfect for you and mine is perfect for me.I couldn't have endured the things that you have, and I doubt that you could have endured my trials. God permits for each of us just what we need to come closer to him. The danger (in my opinion) is that one always has free will to turn away and give up.That's why persistence is so important.
 
And when persistence and patience and perseverance have died in me (which they have from time to time), I have found that getting really angry at God helps.That might sound ridiculous - but for me it's a bit like Job - he didn't say 'My life is so horrible, there must be no God.' He said, 'Hey God! What are you doing to me and why - you aren't playing fair!' 
 
The last time I had to leave a convent, I walked across France and Spain for 200 kms, screaming at God almost all the way. I went to one confession (in Pamplona) but I don't think the priest really understood my English and I didn't understand the penance he gave me in Spanish! lol  So I went back to screaming at God whenever I was alone on the path (I knew I was crazy but there was no need to share that information with the other pilgrims was there?)
 
It has taken nearly a year to deal with the issues that this last 'failure' has raised in me - almost unbearable agony of heart and soul and shredded self-esteem. There were small moments when it seemed I might be able to get a glimmer of understanding but in the long run, I was Job, in a heap of ashes and dung, wondering how a God of love could allow such things to happen to someone who loved Him and tried to give herself to Him. As far as I was concerned, the vocation fire had been extinguished (in hindsight, I think God had only banked it).
 
What I didn't see happening, because it was being done on such a microcosmic scale, was the healing. I began a correspondence with a Carmelite nun that lasted nearly a year. There was no agenda for me, and at first we talked about gardening and weather and things of no deep significance whatsoever. Slowly, over time, I told her about my life, all of it, and of all the disappointments I had experienced trying to become a nun. There was no judgment, no criticism, no advice. She just accepted the things I wrote and her continued friendship was a source of comfort and support for me. 
 
When she suggested I visit her convent early this year, I nearly had a panic attack because of the pain of all my previous attempts at religious life. I made excuses. I delayed. I told God that the ball was in His court - I was having nothing at all to do with this new attempt. I had no money, no job and no way to make it all happen. I had accepted, like Job, that God was in charge and could do what He wanted to do, but I had already done my best and had nothing left to offer and wanted nothing more. My main thought was 'Just leave me alone, God. I finally have some sense of balance in my life and I don't need anything else. I'm an old lady. I've had a life that would kill a rhinoceros with all its hardship, and the last 7 years of humiliations trying to be a nun on top of it all. Just let me live out my life in peace and then fade away. There's nothing left for me to do; I've done it all.' I think I felt a little like Charlie Brown  whenever Lucy would offer to hold the football for him to kick. Every time she would promise not to pull it out, but every time she did, and Charlie Brown would end up in the dirt, on his back. I wasn't going to let God do that to me again. No, thank you.
 
But my dear, non-Catholic, sister (as always) encouraged me to visit ('What do you have to lose?' she said to me). There was no way I could explain to her just how much I had to lose by giving up my precarious emotional balance and very small, but growing, self-esteem that had been torn to shreds by my last convent experience. I knew I just couldn't face any more rejections and humiliations and failures,and that I would simply rather not try. But the banked fires were starting to heat up a little and events conspired (as they often do) to make the visit almost inevitable so I did go. And the result is that yes, I am trying again. Will the football be yanked out yet again? There is no way of knowing. So the focus for me now is day by day, just like that song from Godspell. And that is such a neat thing too because Day by Day is an adaptation of a prayer by Richard Chichester (whose feast day is the same as my birthday)...
 
Day by day,
Dear Lord, of thee three things I pray:
To see thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
Follow thee more nearly,
Day by Day.
 
As for '... only the cream of Catholic Catholicism are accepted into Carmel'  I really don't like that expression and I don't believe it either. It's not my personal experience and it's elitist and full of spiritual pride. I know that you are meaning it as a compliment - but it serves no purpose in my mind to place anyone on a pedestal or to elevate them higher than anyone else. We are all equally the cream of God's creation, but each of us flawed in our own unique ways. And Carmel is not one entity, each and every community is autonomous and unique in its expression of living the evangelical counsels. The nun who said that to you obviously valued the prayers of contemplatives, but comparisons between religious communities is odious IMO. And to carry it even further, I hate it when the conversation turns to the superiority of religious life over lay life - mainly because humans have a hard time understanding the concept of 'objective superiority' so it becomes a sort of 'competition' of holiness. "I must be holier than you are because I'm a nun." or "You must be holier than I am because you are a nun!" I shudder at things like this because I have witnessed so much in so many convents and I know lay people whose shoelaces I am not fit to tie in terms of their holiness. Some of the  most honestly and truly HUMBLE people in my life were not religious! The religious life itself may be objectively superior but that means nothing if the people who enter religious life don't live it.  And there is nothing stopping a lay person from being as holy and humble as any saint in heaven.

 

The fact that your private vows are being given a home Mass shows that you have the support of those around you, who value your prayers and good works. Remember when Jesus said that the widow gave more than all the rich people - because she gave everything that she had. Well? Aren't you doing the same thing with your life? None of us know just how much a person is giving because we don't know if they are giving from abundance or poverty. Who can know just how much you inspire others around you simply because of the life you have lived and are continuing to live?

 

Rejoice in God's calling to you and in the gifts He is showering upon you with this Home Mass. I don't know any other lay people who has been given this opportunity to renew private vows at a Home Mass. Pretty special stuff happening to you. Enjoy it! 

 

 

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BarbaraTherese

Thank you for the beautiful post - beautiful in every way.  I got another one of those pressing days, just commenting here on a few things only.

First, about anger with God.  Nunsense in my past I used to say to God "I hope you do have big shoulders, mate, because here I come again!" (furious!) and let out all my frustrations and anger.  I think I may have told a few times the true story related to me by a priest about a seminarian having a really hard time in the seminary. He prayed ardently daily about it with absolute no response whatsoever.  Finally, one day really cheesed off once more he went to the chapel, knelt down and really let it all out to God (anger) and included some quite common Aussie cussing, telling God if God did not help him wth some reprieve from all his problems, he was outta the place so fast no one would see him for dust.  Suddenly he woke up that he was furious with God and cussing at Him to boot.  Overcome with sorrow and fear he went off to the seminary chaplain and confessed the situation including the cussing and in the Presence of The Blessed Sacrament in the chapel.  Father replied "Congratulations, my son, you have probably really prayed for the first time in your life."  That seminarian was ordained though the seminary remained very hard yakka - and he went on to be dedicated and faithful priest.

God is our Loving Father and the best of Fathers - and all understanding, compassion and mercy.  Anger is a human reaction in many situations in life.  And I know and I am sure you do along with many others what repressing anger can do.  I tend to think when I am angry and let God know, He smiles and is quite happy that at least I am letting it out and where I feel safest to do so.  That is a compliment to Him I think. 

 

The other thing I will comment on here is about Sister B OP telling me only the cream of Catholicism was accepted into Carmel.  I think it was more about trying to turn me off Carmel and on to the Domincans than anything - and with some pretty accurate insight into who I was and am.  I have always been a free spirit and worn the phrase from more than one in my journey.  Sister B OP used to say to me rather regularly "You are as bold as brass and as brazen as you are bold".

  Back pre V2 however in my college years, spirituality was still rather dark and demanding and Sister had been I know at times a victim of that type of spirituality and it tended to prevail rather heavily in in most all religious life I suspect.  Also back pre V2, recruiting for religious life was sometimes almost 'below the belt'.  One went into religious life absolutely blind and unknowing about what was ahead and one went immediately into postulancy.  To even hint that one might have a religious vocation was to find oneself (not always of course) in postulancy before one could think too much. To leave was an absolute disgrace including very often by one's own family.  It was equivalent I think to heresy in seriousness back then not in our theology of course, but in Catholic cultural thought.  That was my experience however.

Having entered religious life twice myself, I have experienced that life behind the walls is not all incense and holiness - in places, it did exist absolutely, but not in everyone.  And I know the interior struggles that can present and not in a situation where one can chuck one's coffee at the wall! :)

 

I have followed your journey with no little awe and in your disappointments (never failures and I am glad you put that word in inverted commas), I felt disappointed too.  I read your blog everytime you posted and in awe again.  I thought when you went on the pilgrimage and I followed you, probably you might be working off a whole heap of energy and I could not blame you if it was anger-energy.  I have prayed for you every single day and mentioning you personally.  Suddenly you were absent from Phatmass and I hoped and I prayed.  Alleluia!  You are back!

 

You go, girl!  And you go wherever The Lord leads, which I know you will.

 

I will come back to your post above whenever I can and comment more.  But all to me spot on again - and thank you very much for sharing of yourself and your journey again!  Catcha later.

 

Welcome back!

 

Warm regards............Barb :)

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BarbaraTherese

 
Barb - you are a good example of someone who has struggled against adversity for many years. Your direction hasn't really altered course, because it has always been focused on God, but you may have had to dodge a few dangerous coral reefs or sandbars. As for 'holy envy' - rubbish. You know your life is perfect for you and mine is perfect for me.I couldn't have endured the things that you have, and I doubt that you could have endured my trials. God permits for each of us just what we need to come closer to him. The danger (in my opinion) is that one always has free will to turn away and give up.That's why persistence is so important.

 

Hi again nunsense - Actually, I think I fell right into a few very dangerous coral reefs and sandbars.  I think I have always been focused on God but if I related some of my understandings while ill of Who I thought God actually is, most would be inclined to think I had either joined some weird cult, or was going to start one  :)

I do holy envy you!  I realize that God made us all unique and each has their own vocation and who they are within that vocational journey - and in every vocation and journey no matter it's content, I hold that The Lord supplies all that is necessary to make great saints of us all, dependant on our responses within our journey.  Yep, the temptation comes along to give up and chuck in the towel and even (for me) to tell The Lord "Ok, this is it, I just can't take it any more".  Then for me a good night's sleep and I am wondering what on earth got into me last night. :)  - then night rolls on and tiredness with it round about 4pm for me, and I am 'at it' again.  LOL  Not always, I admit.
 
And when persistence and patience and perseverance have died in me (which they have from time to time), I have found that getting really angry at God helps.That might sound ridiculous - but for me it's a bit like Job - he didn't say 'My life is so horrible, there must be no God.' He said, 'Hey God! What are you doing to me and why - you aren't playing fair!' 

The book of Job has been a huge consolation for me in difficulty especially.  Most (not all) consolation in my journey I think for me has come from via theology however.
 
The last time I had to leave a convent, I walked across France and Spain for 200 kms, screaming at God almost all the way. I went to one confession (in Pamplona) but I don't think the priest really understood my English and I didn't understand the penance he gave me in Spanish! lol  So I went back to screaming at God whenever I was alone on the path (I knew I was crazy but there was no need to share that information with the other pilgrims was there?)

Laughing heaps!  I don't think I am game enough to share my psychotic experiences...........ok here is one that is  mild compared with my best,I think, and ran something like this :

Psyche nurse (male) and a great friend walks over to me "Barb, the hospital is not going to be attacked I assure you!"

Me "The phones are disconnected, just check them"

Him "The phones are fine"

Me "They ARE NOT!"

Him "Do you want ME to put you in the Security Ward"

Me "No!  Please check the phones"

Him "OK, come with me"

I pick up the phone "Oh It is connected ok!"

Him "Now go upstairs and go to sleep"

Me "But..........."

Him "No but's or it is the Security Ward"

Me "Terrified I climb the stairs to the mezzanine and my room"  I drift off at some point scared silly. I am amazed that I wake up the next morning and the hospital is fine...........and sounds coming into my room tell me everyone is fine!"
 
It has taken nearly a year to deal with the issues that this last 'failure' has raised in me - almost unbearable agony of heart and soul and shredded self-esteem. There were small moments when it seemed I might be able to get a glimmer of understanding but in the long run, I was Job, in a heap of ashes and dung, wondering how a God of love could allow such things to happen to someone who loved Him and tried to give herself to Him. As far as I was concerned, the vocation fire had been extinguished (in hindsight, I think God had only banked it).

It is amazing how thought can go awry when one is under pressure.
 
What I didn't see happening, because it was being done on such a microcosmic scale, was the healing. I began a correspondence with a Carmelite nun that lasted nearly a year. There was no agenda for me, and at first we talked about gardening and weather and things of no deep significance whatsoever. Slowly, over time, I told her about my life, all of it, and of all the disappointments I had experienced trying to become a nun. There was no judgment, no criticism, no advice. She just accepted the things I wrote and her continued friendship was a source of comfort and support for me. 
 
When she suggested I visit her convent early this year, I nearly had a panic attack because of the pain of all my previous attempts at religious life. I made excuses. I delayed. I told God that the ball was in His court - I was having nothing at all to do with this new attempt. I had no money, no job and no way to make it all happen. I had accepted, like Job, that God was in charge and could do what He wanted to do, but I had already done my best and had nothing left to offer and wanted nothing more. My main thought was 'Just leave me alone, God. I finally have some sense of balance in my life and I don't need anything else. I'm an old lady. I've had a life that would kill a rhinoceros with all its hardship, and the last 7 years of humiliations trying to be a nun on top of it all. Just let me live out my life in peace and then fade away. There's nothing left for me to do; I've done it all.' I think I felt a little like Charlie Brown  whenever Lucy would offer to hold the football for him to kick. Every time she would promise not to pull it out, but every time she did, and Charlie Brown would end up in the dirt, on his back. I wasn't going to let God do that to me again. No, thank you.
 
But my dear, non-Catholic, sister (as always) encouraged me to visit ('What do you have to lose?' she said to me). There was no way I could explain to her just how much I had to lose by giving up my precarious emotional balance and very small, but growing, self-esteem that had been torn to shreds by my last convent experience. I knew I just couldn't face any more rejections and humiliations and failures,and that I would simply rather not try. But the banked fires were starting to heat up a little and events conspired (as they often do) to make the visit almost inevitable so I did go. And the result is that yes, I am trying again. Will the football be yanked out yet again? There is no way of knowing. So the focus for me now is day by day, just like that song from Godspell. And that is such a neat thing too because Day by Day is an adaptation of a prayer by Richard Chichester (whose feast day is the same as my birthday)...

First praise The Lord for your Carmelite nun and for your non-Catholic sister.  I am constantly amazed just how much ( in some instances) The Holy Spirit is not at all 'the snob'.  Reminds me of a joke.  An Islamic man and a Jewish man go to Heaven.  Jesus is showing them around explaining all the rooms.  Suddenly they come to huge very long wall that seems to go on endlessly and Jesus falls very silent strangely.  The Islamic man can take it no longer and says "Scuse me, Jesus - what is the wall all about?" "Shhhh" replies Jesus "They Catholics are in there and they think they are the only one's here"

Amazing too how The Lord leads through the bleak darkness of dark and confused emotions and thoughts.  But it is only in the light (and hindsight as you mentioned somewhere) that one can look back and see one was being carried.  I like that sentence in the Psalms "Truly, You are a God who lies hidden".
 
Day by day,
Dear Lord, of thee three things I pray:
To see thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
Follow thee more nearly,
Day by Day.

I remember "Godspell" well.  I went to see "Jesus Christ Superstar" too just to see what all the shocked hoo ha was about and yelling loudly about heresy.  I was impressed by Jesus Christ Superstar - it wasn't Catholic Teaching for sure, but I thought it had things to say of value and things that needed to be heard and especially at times in the unfolding of JCS by we who claim Jesus and strive to follow Him.  I saw the stage version and John English played Judas - he had a magnificent voice and his range was absolutely stunning.  Just as well it was in the open otherwise I think a roof would lift.
 
As for '... only the cream of Catholic Catholicism are accepted into Carmel'  I really don't like that expression and I don't believe it either. It's not my personal experience and it's elitist and full of spiritual pride. I know that you are meaning it as a compliment - but it serves no purpose in my mind to place anyone on a pedestal or to elevate them higher than anyone else. We are all equally the cream of God's creation, but each of us flawed in our own unique ways. And Carmel is not one entity, each and every community is autonomous and unique in its expression of living the evangelical counsels. The nun who said that to you obviously valued the prayers of contemplatives, but comparisons between religious communities is odious IMO. And to carry it even further, I hate it when the conversation turns to the superiority of religious life over lay life - mainly because humans have a hard time understanding the concept of 'objective superiority' so it becomes a sort of 'competition' of holiness. "I must be holier than you are because I'm a nun." or "You must be holier than I am because you are a nun!" I shudder at things like this because I have witnessed so much in so many convents and I know lay people whose shoelaces I am not fit to tie in terms of their holiness. Some of the  most honestly and truly HUMBLE people in my life were not religious! The religious life itself may be objectively superior but that means nothing if the people who enter religious life don't live it.  And there is nothing stopping a lay person from being as holy and humble as any saint in heaven.

I must admit, I wrestled with theological objective determination and subjective experience for quite a while until the penny dropped.  As I said above, no matter one's call and vocation in life (I can't remember the name of our saint who was a beggar and died that way) The Lord provides in absolutely every journey all that is necessary to achieve great holiness.  There are those who have led quite sinful lives (St Augustine and also St Angela of Foiigno) come to mind.  They responded to the Grace of conversion in a positive manner (although Angela, like St Francis of Assisi indulged in some very very weird behaviour initially).  St Augustine became a great theologian and mystic and St Angela a truly amazing mystic.

 

One might be in the state of perfection and called to it, which does not mean that one is perfect.  Took me a while for that penny to drop.  In fact I have reasoned (laughing again here at my lopsided 'theology') perhaps God calls certain people to the state of perfection because they need an extra boost to achieve holiness. LOL  I have another story. I have the distinction, the great distinction, of being called a heretic by an ex Archbishop while I was in college!  I am full of stories! LOL
 

 

The fact that your private vows are being given a home Mass shows that you have the support of those around you, who value your prayers and good works. Remember when Jesus said that the widow gave more than all the rich people - because she gave everything that she had. Well? Aren't you doing the same thing with your life? None of us know just how much a person is giving because we don't know if they are giving from abundance or poverty. Who can know just how much you inspire others around you simply because of the life you have lived and are continuing to live?

Laughing here.   I keep seeing His Grace at his files one day and coming across mine - reading it for the first time and then reaching for the phone to Fr John and 'pulling the plug' in much distress.  :)

I don't think too much or reflect much on what I might be doing or not doing.  I just do what I think I should  and need to be doing in each day nowadays.  Back to the Psalms again - our is to labour, The Lord grants the increase (gift). "Lord, grant success to the work of our hands, oh grant success to the work of our hands".  I am very grateful for Fr John as director and confessor.  He was a novice master and so has much experience in the inexperienced.  Just what I needed and prayed for: a priest religious.  I think too one can reflect on and about oneself too much.  I used to be a great navel gazer! :)  not so much nowadays - just now and then.

Walking with my original director and confessor (priest theologian) one day in his garden.

Me "Father, what exactly IS contemplation?"

Him "I can promise you this, girl, IT IS NOT navel gazing!" Ahhh those were the days when I was an expert in the craft.

 

Rejoice in God's calling to you and in the gifts He is showering upon you with this Home Mass. I don't know any other lay people who has been given this opportunity to renew private vows at a Home Mass. Pretty special stuff happening to you. Enjoy it! 

 

Thanks nunsense.  Now and then I get flutters and a bit nervous. I was absolutely over the moon when Father told me I had approval.  I was totally prepared for the opposite.  I wanted that emotional high to settle before the actual event and so asked Father to delay it for a few months.  It gives me time to prepare and in emotional equanimity I hope.  And that mental picture that keeps flashing into my mind of His Grace holding a file and yelling into the phone at Fr John keeps me laughing.  I hold that two things can relieve stress and anxiety - sexual activity or laughter.  And then there is St. Teresa of Avila "Lord, spare me your sour faced saints" St Teresa is an absolute treasure!

The Lord has blessed me richly and far far more than I deserve - but He does this many times in all journeys, endlessly in fact.  He is Generous and Loving to a fault.  We are His weakness.  "I must carry you I that created you............why I have cut your image into the palms of My Hands"  I love what He said to St Faustina "The greatest sinner has the most right to My Mercy"...........who on earth are we? (St Paul)

 

Truth is, I think I will be a pack of nerves at the Home Mass.  But who know's.  Expectation exists in imagination only - reality often contradicts it.

 

God bless, nunsense - and really great to know where you are and that you are out and about on Phatmass again.

 

Warm regards.............Barb

Gosh! 8.21pm here.  Pills and bedtime.  Where has the day gone for goodness sake!

 

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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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