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Holiness

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BarbaraTherese

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”

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little2add

The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the continuation of Christ's priesthood, which He bestowed upon His Apostles. There are three levels to this sacrament of ordination: the episcopate, the priesthood, and the diaconate.

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Luigi

Priesthood is more like a state of life - I think that's what they call it. And being a priest is no guarantee of holiness. We've seen ample evidence of that in recent years.

The question is, What's the holiest thing a person can do, or you could paraphrase it to, What's the holiest thing any person can do? And not any person can be a priest.

That's why I like Barbara Therese's answer.  

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little2add
1 hour ago, Luigi said:

being a priest is no guarantee of holiness.

It’s a good start.  

 

1 hour ago, Luigi said:

not any person can be a priest.

I agree

1 hour ago, Luigi said:

Priesthood is more like a state of life

Yes, a holy state of life 

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linate
On 6/28/2018 at 8:34 AM, BarbaraTherese said:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”

what's the best expression of fulfilling these commands? or is there a best way to do this stuff?

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BarbaraTherese

Our circumstances do not come about by accident nor willy nilly.  Our circumstances come about either through God's Direct Will or His Permissive Will both under the umbrella of God's Will or Divine Providence.  Every person is going to be different.  Nothing is more perfect than God's Will and God's Will lived out in one's life.

Undoubtedly, the most perfect way of life, The Church has indicated are by vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in religious life.  That is the objective determination; however, in the Mystery of God's Will not all are called to religious life.

Discerning God's Will as the vocation and call for the whole of one's life is vital and very important.  I think it will probably be best done with spiritual direction.

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BarbaraTherese

My take: I tend to think that there can be a problem of our mentality.  We are the Mystical Body of Christ.  To refer to the words of St Paul expressed differently, the body needs eyes to see, it needs ears to hear and hands to feel.  What happens if the ears want to see and the hands to hear?  All goes awry, amiss, in the body.  So it is with the various vocations.  We are each called as we are in order, in God's Divine Providence, to build up the Body of His Son on earth.

Our primary vocation and call is at baptism.  We are all called to holiness.  The secondary or specific call and vocation is the call to the particular road one is to take to holiness and that path and calling is a building up of the Body of Christ on earth.

It is a mystery of God's Will why one person is called here, another to there.  There is a saying that God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.  Hence, because one person is called here and another there is not an indication of more or less worth, of more or less holiness.  I recall reading in my teens that God might call a person to religious life perhaps so that they will save their soul, which The Lord knew would not be achieved in the world.  It is all a mystery of God's Will, of His Divine Providence.  Ideally, we ought to rejoice in each other's specific and personal call as the Body of Christ on earth continues to be built up.  One person's advancement is our Joy and one person's fall is our grief.  We are all one in the Body of Christ.

I think perhaps The Church has shot herself in the foot by proclaiming the objective theological determinations of the various vocational calls, roles, that is without carefully explaining - and in the same breath as it were - the difference between the objective and the subjective and the role of God's Will in vocaation.  If we are to love God with our whole heart, mind and soul, then we will love His Will and determinations of His Will detached ideally from our own desires and wants.

If I desire to enter religious life in order to give my whole heart, mind and soul to God, then it might mean that I do not grasp how God's Will plays its vital role in all the vocations and how all vocations can lead one to love God with one's whole heart, mind and soul - and neighbour as oneself.

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Laurie

The recent conference in Rome on consecrated life stressed numerous times, in numerous sessions, the "equality of all vocations." It was refreshing to hear that emphasized (the talks & panels are on Youtube, for those who know Italian), and I suspect it was emphasized because it's something that some consecrated need to hear.

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fides' Jack
5 hours ago, Laurie said:

The recent conference in Rome on consecrated life stressed numerous times, in numerous sessions, the "equality of all vocations." It was refreshing to hear that emphasized (the talks & panels are on Youtube, for those who know Italian), and I suspect it was emphasized because it's something that some consecrated need to hear.

I suspect much of our problem is illustrated in the fact that far too many consecrated believe this. 

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BarbaraTherese
4 hours ago, fides' Jack said:

I suspect much of our problem is illustrated in the fact that far too many consecrated believe this. 

Believe what?  Forgive me for not grasping your meaning.

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Laurie
7 hours ago, fides' Jack said:

I suspect much of our problem is illustrated in the fact that far too many consecrated believe this. 

That depends.

1. There is a sense in which some vocations are objectively higher than others. That sense hinges on the Trinity. Some vocations, in some ways, have something about them that points to the Divinity in a very special way. In this sense, contemplative nuns are objectively higher than active sisters. The reason for this is that contemplative life creates a space to focus, like no other vocation does, on listening to & adoring God, single-heartedly, with ardor, and unceasingly.

But don't forget -- theologians have pointed out that the contemplative vocation being higher is due *to fallen human nature*. It is due to the fallen state that we mortals cannot seamlessly combine  contemplation with active apostolate. Which means the capacity to combine contemplation with active service is actually the highest vocation of all. We humans forfeited that, however, due to original sin. Therefore, the ways in which we serve God have become splintered.

The bottom line is, any sense in which any vocation is "highest" has everything to do with the Trinity and nothing to do with the individual. God calls *this person* to a "higher vocation" *for His own reasons*. Anyone who thinks he or she is "higher" for having been called to a "higher vocation" is delusional.

Hierarchies exist, for us, to offer clarity about the most important things, and the things that are crucial for our salvations, for ALL OF OUR salvations. Monastic religious don't exist for themselves. They exist to pour themselves out in silence & contemplation and to be a beacon of the heavenly kingdom. They exist to help fulfill God's grand plan of bringing His beloved people safely to shore. Their special status is not for themselves alone. They are, uniquely, a banner that leads us all to the promised land. No one else carries that banner. They are ahead of us all, they are above all of us, in that respect.

2. The sense in which all vocations are equal is only understood by flipping the scenario above, and looking at it from the point of view of a specific person. Person A is called. She fulfills her vocation. That is all God asks of her. You don't need to know for the purposes of this exposition what Person A's vocation was. She could be a monastic, an active religious, diocesan hermit, a dedicated single, a mother who has not been blessed with children, a mother of many. It doesn't matter. If she has done what God has asked of her she has fulfilled His will EQUALLY amongst all others who have also done His will.  Her vocation is 100% equal to all other vocations. She has fulfilled it, good & faithful servant. Period.

3. There are consecrated, especially in this day and age, who use numerous excuses to avoid doing what Christ asks of them. But let's not pin that on anyone else. If they want to use one truth, for example, that all vocations are equal, as a reason to half a$$ their own vocations, that's on them. Their error or grave negligence doesn't diminish the truth of the statement.

 

 

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Sponsa-Christi
22 hours ago, Laurie said:

The recent conference in Rome on consecrated life stressed numerous times, in numerous sessions, the "equality of all vocations." It was refreshing to hear that emphasized (the talks & panels are on Youtube, for those who know Italian), and I suspect it was emphasized because it's something that some consecrated need to hear.

I was present at the Rome conference. From the context of the talks, I took all the mentioning of: "all vocations being equal" as meaning: "all forms of consecrated life are equal." E.g., that a vocation to religious life wasn't higher than a call to consecrated virginity, etc. 

The conference was about the various forms of consecrated life, and how they relate to each other and the Church. So there really wasn't any discussion about comparing consecrated life to marriage or the lay state. 

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BarbaraTherese

The vocational states of life when considered objectively do have a hierarchy, but when vocation is considered for an individual(s) or subjectively, nothing can be higher than God's Will for a person(s).

Where the very ordinary lay person is concerned from my experience, the distinction is not grasped.  Because it is not grasped, there is a thinking that spirituality is for the expertise in the higher states of life - not for the rest of us who can get on with keeping the commandments and the laws of The Church and not be concerned with "all the other stuff".  To my way of thinking this is one of the cracks in The Church through which secularization is taking a hold.

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