Jump to content

Private Vows in The Laity/Spirituality

Recommended Posts



Had a real giggle with the following -

Sixteen Things the Chronically Ill Catholic Understands


When you open up about how you’re feeling, you’re almost certain to run across that one person who knows of a saint, or a laundry list of saints, who “had it so much worse.” Just because a saint, or anyone for that matter, has suffered more doesn’t mean you yourself are suffering less, or that you’re ungrateful. Illness should never be made into a game of who has out-suffered who.

In fact, it’s not “just” anything. Stress can make you feel like croutons, but maybe the reason that you seem stressed out is because you’re actually sick and it kind of smells of elderberries to feel sick all the time. There is no “just” about prolonged suffering and illness. It takes tons of time, energy, and pastoral counselling to deal with. Speaking of…

That “boom goes the dynamite” feeling when you admit to your priest that you aren’t dealing with your illness very well and he tells you “there’s a huge difference between understanding the human condition and accepting it.”

You think you alllllmost have this chronic illness thing all figured out, there’s just one more magical puzzle piece that needs to fall into place and you’ll be a Master of Living With Chronic Illness. Then your priest drops a bomb like this on you and you know you have a long way to go in uniting your sufferings with those of Jesus.

For some reason, people still seem to think that illnesses, especially mental illnesses, are caused purely by demonic possession, and one only needs to be exorcised to be cured. And these people have no qualms about telling you. However, your priest hasn’t detected any demonic activity and neither have you, so you’ll just stick with pastoral counseling, therapy, and prescribed meds for now thanks much.

Your knees and/or legs and/or energy have a knack for giving out during the Our Father and Sign of Peace, and right when you go to kneel for the Consecration. You have mastered the art of shaking hands from a sitting position, and deflecting the judgmental stares of adults and children alike.

Just knowing there’s someone in heaven who went through everything you’re going through now, and is constantly praying for you, makes even the bad days much better. Random people act like they know exactly what’s wrong with you when your doctors are totally stumped............


Through all the fatigue, pain, doctor visits, tests, hospital stays, awful med side effects, and frustration, you know that what seems overwhelming for you is child’s play for God to handle. Even in the midst of your suffering, He’s got this and has promised to turn it into something beautiful and glorious.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Change in attitude, perspective in the following:

The Affliction

George Herbert

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

"When first thou didst entice to thee my heart,
I thought the service brave;
So many joys I writ down for my part,
Besides what I might have
Out of my stock of natural delights,
Augmented with thy gracious benefits.

I looked on thy furniture so fine,
And made it fine to me;
Thy glorious household-stuff did me entwine,
And ‘tice me unto thee.
Such stars I counted mine: both heav’n and earth;
Paid me my wages in a world of mirth.

What pleasures could I want, whose King I serv’d,
Where joys my fellows were?
Thus argu’d into hopes, my thoughts reserv’d
No place for grief or fear.
Therefore my sudden soul caught at the place,
And made her youth and fierceness seek thy face.

At first thou gav’st me milk and sweetnesses;
I had my wish and way;
My days were straw’d with flow’rs and happiness;
There was no month but May.
But with my years sorrow did twist and grow,
And made a party unawares for woe.

My flesh began unto my soul in pain,
“Sicknesses cleave my bones;
Consuming agues dwell in ev’ry vein,
And tune my breath to groans.”
Sorrow was all my soul; I scarce believ’d,
Till grief did tell me roundly, that I liv’d.

When I got health, thou took’st away my life,
And more, for my friends die;
My mirth and edge was lost, a blunted knife
Was of more use than I.
Thus thin and lean without a fence or friend,
I was blown through with ev’ry storm and wind.

Whereas my birth and spirit rather took
The way that takes the town;
Thou didst betray me to a ling’ring book,
And wrap me in a gown.
I was entangled in the world of strife,
Before I had the power to change my life.

Yet, for I threaten’d oft the siege to raise,
Not simp’ring all mine age,
Thou often didst with academic praise
Melt and dissolve my rage.
I took thy sweet’ned pill, till I came where
I could not go away, nor persevere.

Yet lest perchance I should too happy be
In my unhappiness,
Turning my purge to food, thou throwest me
Into more sicknesses.
Thus doth thy power cross-bias me, not making
Thine own gift good, yet me from my ways taking.

Now I am here, what thou wilt do with me
None of my books will show;
I read, and sigh, and wish I were a tree,
For sure then I should grow
To fruit or shade: at least some bird would trust
Her household to me, and I should be just.

Yet, though thou troublest me, I must be meek;
In weakness must be stout;
Well, I will change the service, and go seek
Some other master out.
Ah my dear God! though I am clean forgot,
Let me not love thee, if I love thee not."

(Commentary: http://crossref-it.info/textguide/metaphysical-poets-selected-poems/4/885) 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites




Daily Reflection - St Vincent de Paul Society

Daily Reflection – February 17


“Love is inventive, even to infinity.”
– St. Vincent de Paul

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


I have submitted my resignation from St Vinnies in our parish - and with great regret.  I have served in St Vinnies both in Head Office and in the parish and to be honest about it, St Vinnies gave me a feeling of serving for Jesus, His Gospel and His Church.  I no longer have that feeling with my resignation and I am wondering, where to now?  My investment is in Divine Providence in a very dark great confidence that there is still a plan for me and my life that will unfold.  It is of course my health and related mobility problems that triggered reflection on whether I should resign.  I admitted to myself that I had been pushing the boundaries for quite a while.

In my previous parish and suburb now 8 years in the past, a very active way of life just unfolded in my path.........it started to do so here too, but then seemed to just fizzle out including with increasing health problems.   I did seem to see the end of the path but chose to ignore it and kept pushing those boundaries against common sense. 

At this very early point after resigning, I am in the emotional doldrums - but with Faith, Hope and Love in spirit invested heavily in Divine Providence.  I have always desired to burn out rather than rust out.............."man proposes, but God disposes" :hehe2:

In the final analysis it seems to me that there is always a life of prayer and sacrifice, hermit style - not exactly my plan but c'est la vie.  Few (if any - perhaps more spot on) I would think have their whole life unfold exactly as they had hoped.  "No Christ without His Cross".

Just at this point right now, I am not seeing a path.  All things indeed do pass.

"My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.

I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following
your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. 

                                     Thomas Merton



"While in prayer, Margaret heard the words, "What is your wish, poverella ("little poor one?"), and she replied, "I neither seek nor wish for anything but You, my Lord Jesus."




St Margaret of Cortona: HERE

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


I was reading this Post by Sr Laurel O'Neal https://notesfromstillsong.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/reexamining-earlier-suggestion-on.html

It seems to me it is a theological opinion and valid as such. 

In my own case, I have a letter in my files from my Archbishop at the time, some 30 years ago, confirming that my choice of private vows was a sound choice.  I had been advised by a Jesuit to consider public vows - but I discerned out of his opinion after submitting my application and then withdrawing it.  I had been exchanging letters with my Archbishop for some time and explained to him why I was withdrawing.  He wrote back to me on diocesan letterhead confirming my choice as a "wise and sound decision".

The references I collated back then (for the public vows application) from past parish priests, a Carmelite prioress and a neighbour were outstanding references that embarrassed me as a bar to strive towards rather than a real reflection of me it seemed.

I had rung the Vocations Director (religious sister) to advise I was withdrawing my application:

Sister: "Why?"

Me: "I do not want The Church to be responsible for me"  Back in those days I sure got into Gospel living hair raising situations rather regularly.  :) ........both connected to bipolar episodes and even to my stretches of so called normality.  I had the nickname at the local watering hole as "the flying nun" ....... and yes, I would attend the local pub at times and in the interests of The Gospel.  In fact, it was the private vows that enabled me to be present anywhere at all I chose and in any situation whatsoever.

My 2014 Home Mass to renew private vows was approved by our now Archbishop and conveyed to my priest religious confessor and spiritual director.

Hence I rather feel I have a somewhat approval of The Church for private vows renewed during Mass.............or rather, I have not done anything of which The Church would clearly disapprove.   Although, private vows made during a Mass seems to be a point of theological contention with no actual resolution stated by The Church and the latter is the authority.

There is no reason at all why one could not write to one's bishop or archbishop/make an appointment asking permission for a Mass or Home Mass for the purpose of private vows.......or ask one's spiritual director to seek permission for you.  My spiritual director never asked me - he just went ahead and asked permission.

I am unsure, but perhaps a Home Mass asks diocesan approval.

God's Blessing on wherever you might be in your own journey.


Public and private vows are canonical terms of distinction and indeed definition.  Public does not mean that the vows must be public, although they are by virtue of consecration during Mass by a bishop.  Private does not mean that the vows must be kept private.  The Church approves private vows in canon law minus any statement about private as commonly understood in secular terms.


My edit facility has timed out and much too quickly for me.:(

"Terms of distinction and indeed definition" should read "distinguishing terms with different definitions".

Edited by BarbaraTherese

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


To my way of thinking "Public Vows" means that it is an action by The Church for The Church.  "Private vows" means that it is an action by an individual, a baptised person, for The Church.  Private vows must be fulfilled under the virtue of religion.

For a lengthy read on The Virtue of Religion https://maritain.nd.edu/jmc/etext/foursq09.htm

Excerpt only " The whole of creation put together is not of the slightest use to God. When we have done all that we are commanded to do, God bids us say we are unprofitable servants (Luke xvii, 10). God has nothing to gain by us. His aims are fixed wholly beyond the category of the useful. He looks for honour, quite a different thing from utility. He need not have created either men or angels; but having created them, He looks to their paying Him honour.

But why not, to use a phrase once famous, "worship mostly of the silent sort"? Because we are men, and silence on matters that we are interested in is against our nature. What lover of country lanes in summer is silent in praise of flowers? Our work will not be mostly of the silent sort if we really care about religion"

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

In times of uncertainty, wait. Always, if you have any doubt, wait. Do not force yourself into any action. If you have a restraint in your spirit, wait until all is clear, and do not go against it.
   - Anonymous

Julian of Norwich - Fourteenth Revelation, Chapter 47

“I beheld the property of Mercy, and I beheld the property of Grace: which have two manners of working in one love “

For I beheld the property of mercy, and I beheld the property of grace: which have two manners of working in one love. Mercy is a pitiful property which belongeth to the Motherhood in tender love; and grace is a worshipful property which belongeth to the royal Lordship in the same love. Mercy worketh: keeping, suffering, quickening, and healing; and all is tenderness of love. And grace worketh: raising, rewarding, endlessly overpassing that which our longing and our travail deserveth, spreading abroad and shewing the high plenteous largess of God’s royal Lordship in His marvellous courtesy; and this is of the abundance of love. For grace worketh our dreadful failing into plenteous, endless solace; and grace worketh our shameful falling into high, worshipful rising; and grace worketh our sorrowful dying into holy, blissful life.




Reflection Guide for LENT

Excerpt only: "Compassion is pure action issuing from purity of heart. It is carried along toward others by a force of generosity that is too complete, and too fulfilling for it to worry about what it is going to get in return. Does this sound like meditation? It does, because it is meditation. When the true self is in play, everything that is thought and done is a form of meditation. Until then, we have to learn and relearn to stay centered and be simple. We have to remember when we forget.

—from Sensing God: Learning to Meditate During Lent by Laurence Freeman"


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Catechism in a Year:

84. What is the meaning of the title "Lord"?

In the Bible this title regularly designates God as Sovereign. Jesus ascribed this title to himself and revealed his divine sovereignty by his power over nature, over demons, over sin and over death, above all by his own Resurrection. The first Christian creeds proclaimed that the power, the honor, and the glory that are due to God the Father also belong to Jesus: God "has given him the name which is above every other name" (Philippians 2:9). He is the Lord of the world and of history, the only One to whom we must completely submit our personal freedom.

Further reading: CCC 446-451, 455

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great video (I hope I haven't posted it before) especially that it gives a short

and concise explanation of The Dark Night of Sense

and The Dark Night of The Soul (or Faith) 






I don't usually cotton on to Dr James Finley (his voice grates on me) and his "Path to The Palace of Nowhere" series (supposedly a commentary on Thomas Merton); however, the following video (the title piqued curiosity) to me is pretty good as things go (never throw out the baby with the bathwater :)) ..... you may need to watch the video a few times - well, I need to anyway. :) 

Dr Finley's slow paced, lower soft one key, sound of voice grates on me, much as some nuns in contemplative life did. :coffee:  Perhaps if I had persevered in the life, the bearing of such voices, might have contributed to making a saint of me as such incidents made a saint of St Therese of Lisieux.  I wasn't that good.






On another matter entirely.  I have cancelled my trip interstate until 5th March, returning on 13th March.  Buddie has diarrhoea and I cannot ask my brother to care for a little dog with diarrhoea.

More possibly at a later point.....

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Today's Gospel, The Transfiguration, revealed something new to me.  Here is The Gospel:



Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 9:2-10.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them.
As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant."




The Transfiguration is a profoundly supernatural (transcending nature) experience for Jesus and the three apostles.  Jesus is the subject of the experience, while the apostles are gifted to experience it as onlookers.  In the middle of the whole experience, Jesus reveals how at the one and same time as His Supernatural Experience, Jesus remains profoundly and intimately - totally - human i.e. "He hardly knew what to say".

The humanity of Jesus has great importance to me, it was revealed to me at 16yrs of age.  That was a time when the Divinity, Godhead and Sacredness, of Jesus was the total and absolute emphasis in Catholic cultural consciousness.


Edited by BarbaraTherese

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Buddie is now back to good health. I am leaving for interstate on 6th March, returning on 13th March; hence, from now on posting into this thread will not be much and for the period I am away, not at all.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



  Fr. J my director and confessor called in today for a cuppa and chat along with a special blessing for my travels.  I wont be around and will be interstate 5th March - 13th March.








New Letter on Salvation



(I will copy it to read on the train Monday - 7 A4 Pages and not too bad)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Quotations like the following are a real consolation and blessing:


Blessed Columba Marmion (Vatican Bio)




St Vincent de Paul Society

Daily Reflection – March 3

“God makes the interests of the afflicted his own.”
– St. Louise de Marillac


Here is the Truth in a little creed,

   Enough for all the roads we go:

In Love is all the law we need,

   In Christ is all the God we know.    

                                                                                                                                                                - Edwin Markham (1852-1940)





I am leaving for interstate at 6am tomorrow morning (7.08pm here now) and will catch up with this thread again some time after 13th March when I return.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am home from interstate but picked up a virus while over there - still coughing and have the sniffles, but I think I am at the tail end of it.





March 18, 2018 — Fifth Sunday of Lent

JER 31: 31-34; PS 51: 3-4, 12-15; HEB 5: 7-9; JN 12: 20-33

Easter Sunday is but two weeks away (April 1). In our First Reading from the prophet Jeremiah, we hear God tell us, “I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.” To affirm that forgiveness, St. Paul has this to say in the Second Reading: “He (Jesus) became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” There is a connection between these two statements which present forgiveness as the way to salvation.

The Lenten season is one of penance, reflection, prayer, almsgiving, and fasting, perhaps even in that order, so we can better prepare ourselves for Easter Sunday and beyond. Lent reminds us that God is gracious and merciful. God’s divine mercy is a central theme of Lent.

One might say that the priceless gift of God’s mercy is highlighted and celebrated in the Church in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession). That should be a key part of our Lenten journey. As mentioned only two weeks remain on that journey so getting to reconciliation is important if we have not done so already.

Sacramental confession allows God’s loving mercy and His grace-filled absolution to be confirmed to us through a priest. God sees us with love, mercy, and an abundance of forgiveness. Christ, through the priest, helps us to let go of anything that gets in the way of our relationship to God. St. Isidore wrote, “Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. All hope consists in confession. In confession there is a chance for mercy.”



What does it mean to be God’s people?

It means we recognise that everything we have and everything we are belongs to God.

We aren’t "owners" of anything, we are merely "stewards" of the gifts God has given us.

It means we are willing to use our gifts and our lives to care for our neighbours and the world, just as God cares for us.

(From the Parish Bulletin)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now