The Church, Mother of Vocations

The Church, mother of vocations: theme of the Pope’s message for the 53rd World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Vatican City, 7 December 2015 (VIS) – “The Church, mother of vocations” is the theme of the 53rd World Day of Prayer for Vocations, to be held on 17 April 2016, the fourth Sunday of Easter. In the text, signed in Vatican City on 29 November, first Sunday of Advent, the Holy Father comments that every vocation in the Church originates with Jesus’ compassionate gaze, and he emphasised that the call of God is heard through community mediation. The vocational path

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is my great hope that, during the course of this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, all the baptised may experience the joy of belonging to the Church and rediscover that the Christian vocation, just like every particular vocation, is born from within the People of God, and is a gift of divine mercy. The Church is the house of mercy, and it is the ‘soil’ where vocations take root, mature and bear fruit.

“For this reason, on the occasion of the 53rd World Day of Prayer for Vocations, I invite all of you to reflect upon the apostolic community, and to give thanks for the role of the community in each person’s vocational journey. In the Bull of Indiction for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, I recalled the words of the venerable Bede, describing the call of Saint Matthew: ‘Miserando atque eligendo’. The Lord’s merciful action forgives our sins and opens us to the new life which takes shape in the call to discipleship and mission. Each vocation in the Church has its origin in the compassionate gaze of Jesus. Conversion and vocation are two sides of the same coin, and continually remain interconnected throughout the whole of the missionary disciple’s life.

Blessed Paul VI, in his exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, described various steps in the process of evangelisation. One of these steps is belonging to the Christian community, that community from which we first received the witness of faith and the clear proclamation of the Lord’s mercy. This incorporation into the Christian community brings with it all the richness of ecclesial life, particularly the sacraments. Indeed, the Church is not only a place in which we believe, but it is also an object of our faith; it is for this reason that we profess in the Creed: ‘I believe in the Church’.

The call of God comes to us by means of a mediation which is communal. God calls us to become a part of the Church and, after we have reached a certain maturity within it, He bestows on us a specific vocation. The vocational journey is undertaken together with the brothers and sisters whom the Lord has given to us: it is a con-vocation. The ecclesial dynamism of the call is an antidote to indifference and to individualism. It establishes the communion in which indifference is vanquished by love, because it demands that we go beyond ourselves and place our lives at the service of God’s plan, embracing the historical circumstances of His holy people.

On this day dedicated to prayer for vocations, I urge all the faithful to assume their responsibility for the care and discernment of vocations. When the Apostles sought someone to take the place of Judas Iscariot, St. Peter brought together one hundred and twenty of the brethren; and in order to chose seven deacons, a group of disciples was gathered. St. Paul gave Titus specific criteria for the selection of presbyters. Still today, the Christian community is always present in the discernment of vocations, in their formation and in their perseverance.

Vocations are born within the Church. From the moment a vocation begins to become evident, it is necessary to have an adequate ‘sense’ of the Church. No one is called exclusively for a particular region, or for a group or for an ecclesial movement, but rather for the Church and for the world. ‘A sure sign of the authenticity of a charism is its ecclesial character, its ability to be integrated harmoniously into the life of God’s holy and faithful people for the good of all’. In responding to God’s call, young people see their own ecclesial horizon expand; they are able to consider various charisms and to undertake a more objective discernment. In this way, the community becomes the home and the family where vocations are born. Candidates gratefully contemplate this mediation of the community as an essential element for their future. They learn to know and to love their brothers and sisters who pursue paths different from their own; and these bonds strengthen in everyone the communion which they share.

Vocations grow within the Church. In the course of formation, candidates for various vocations need to grow in their knowledge of the ecclesial community, overcoming the limited perspectives that we all have at the beginning. To that end, it is helpful to undertake some apostolic experience together with other members of the community, for example: in the company of a good catechist, to communicate the Christian message; together with a religious community, to experience the evangelisation of the peripheries sharing in the life of the cloister, to discover the treasure of contemplation; in contact with missionaries, to know more closely the mission ad gentes; and in the company of diocesan priests, to deepen one’s experience of pastoral life in the parish and in the diocese. For those who are already in formation, the ecclesial community always remains the fundamental formational environment, towards which one should feel a sense of gratitude.

Vocations are sustained by the Church. After definitive commitment, our vocational journey within the Church does not come to an end, but it continues in our willingness to serve, our perseverance and our ongoing formation. The one who has consecrated his life to the Lord is willing to serve the Church wherever it has need. The mission of Paul and Barnabas is a good example of this readiness to serve the Church. Sent on mission by the Holy Spirit and by the community of Antioch, they returned to that same community and described what the Lord had worked through them. Missionaries are accompanied and sustained by the Christian community, which always remains a vital point of reference, just as a visible homeland offers security to all who are on pilgrimage towards eternal life.

Among those involved in pastoral activity, priests are especially important.In their ministry, they fulfil the words of Jesus, Who said: ‘I am the gate of the sheepfold … I am the good shepherd’. The pastoral care of vocations is a fundamental part of their ministry. Priests accompany those who are discerning a vocation, as well as those who have already dedicated their lives to the service of God and of the community.

All the faithful are called to appreciate the ecclesial dynamism of vocations, so that communities of faith can become, after the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, like a mother’s womb which welcomes the gift of the Holy Spirit. The motherhood of the Church finds expression in constant prayer for vocations and in the work of educating and accompanying all those who perceive God’s call. This motherhood is also expressed through a careful selection of candidates for the ordained ministry and for the consecrated life. Finally, the Church is the mother of vocations in her continual support of those who have dedicated their lives to the service of others.

We ask the Lord to grant to all those who are on a vocational journey a deep sense of belonging to the Church; and that the Holy Spirit may strengthen among Pastors, and all of the faithful, a deeper sense of communion, discernment and spiritual fatherhood and motherhood.

Father of mercy, Who gave Your Son for our salvation and Who strengthens us always with the gifts of Your Spirit, grant us Christian communities which are alive, fervent and joyous, which are fonts of fraternal life, and which nurture in the young the desire to consecrate themselves to You and to the work of evangelisation. Sustain these communities in their commitment to offer appropriate vocational catechesis and ways of proceeding towards each one’s particular consecration. Grant the wisdom needed for vocational discernment, so that in all things the greatness of Your merciful love may shine forth. May Mary, Mother and guide of Jesus, intercede for each Christian community, so that, made fruitful by the Holy Spirit, it may be a source of true vocations for the service of the holy People of God”.

Per ulteriori informazioni consultare: Libra Esva ha rilevato un possibile tentativo di phishing da “www.visnews-ita.blogspot.com” www.visnews.org
Il servizio del VIS viene inviato soltanto agli indirizzi di posta elettronica che ne fanno richiesta.
Per cambiamenti di indirizzo, cancellazione dell’invio ed altri commenti cliccare qui.
Le notizie contenute nei servizi del Vatican Information Service possono essere riprodotte parzialmente o totalmente citando la fonte:
V.I. S. – Vatican Information Service – www.visnews.org
Copyright © VIS – Vatican Information Service – 00120 Città del Vaticano

Share on Facebook

The Pope canonises four new saints and appeals for peace in the Holy Land

Vatican City, 18 October 2015 (VIS) – This Sunday in St. Peter’s Square the Pope celebrated Holy Mass for the canonisation of Blesseds Vincenzo Grossi (1845-1917), diocesan priest and founder of the Institute of the Daughters of the Oratory; Maria Isabel Salvat Romero (Mary of the Immaculate Conception), (1926-1998), superior general of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Company of the Cross; and the spouses Louis Martin (1823-1894) and Zelie Guerin (1831-1877).

In his homily, Pope Francis emphasised that “service is the way for authority to be exercised in the Christian community. Those who serve others and lack real prestige exercise genuine authority in the Church. Jesus calls us to see things differently, to pass from the thirst for power to the joy of quiet service, to suppress our instinctive desire to exercise power over others, and instead to exercise the virtue of humility. … By imitating the Master, the community gains a new outlook on life: ‘The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’”.

“In the biblical tradition, the Son of Man is the one Who receives from God ‘dominion, glory and kingship’”, the Holy Father affirmed. Jesus fills this image with new meaning. He shows us that He enjoys dominion because He is a servant, glory because He is capable of abasement, kingship because He is fully prepared to lay down His life. By His passion and death, He takes the lowest place, attains the heights of grandeur in service, and bestows this upon His Church. There can be no compatibility between a worldly understanding of power and the humble service which must characterise authority according to Jesus’ teaching and example. Ambition and careerism are incompatible with Christian discipleship; honour, success, fame and worldly triumphs are incompatible with the logic of Christ crucified”.

Instead, he continued, “compatibility exists between Jesus, ‘the man of sorrows’, and our suffering. … Jesus knows our difficulties at first hand, He knows from within our human condition; the fact that He is without sin does not prevent Him from understanding sinners. His glory is not that born of ambition or the thirst for power; it is the glory of one Who loves men and women, Who accepts them and shares in their weakness, Who offers them the grace which heals and restores, and accompanies them with infinite tenderness amid their tribulations”.

“The men and women canonised today unfailingly served their brothers and sisters with outstanding humility and charity, in imitation of the divine Master. … The radiant witness of these new saints inspires us to persevere in joyful service to our brothers and sisters, trusting in the help of God and the maternal protection of Mary. From heaven may they now watch over us and sustain us by their powerful intercession”.

Following Mass and before the Sunday Angelus prayer, the Pope spoke about the situation of tension and violence that continues to afflict the Holy Land. “At this time, there is a need for great courage and fortitude to reject hatred and revenge and to make gestures of peace”; he remarked. “We pray that God may reinforce in all, governors and citizens alike, the courage to oppose the violence and to take concrete steps towards pacification. In the current context of the Middle East, it is crucial, more than ever, that there be peace in the Holy Land: God and the good of humanity demand this of us”.

Share on Facebook

Listening and hearing

Despite what many have interpreted the Holy Father as saying, he was not telling the lawmakers how to make laws or not to have immigration laws or enforcement. What he counseled was compassion, hear their stories and treat the person with respect. As Catholics, as citizens, that is what we should expect. Maybe we do need to build a wall but we need a compassionate treatment for those that wish to enter. If we build a wall, we need to build a door as well and have a way to open the door. We have the Statue of Liberty which greets the “huddled masses” who enter, we need a greeter at the door.

“Inscription on the Statue of Liberty”

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Author: Emma Lazarus

Posted from WordPress for Android

Share on Facebook

Planned Parenthood De-funding

I was unfriended by a family member on Facebook over a disagreement about De-funding Planned Parenthood. I think it’s important to address this rather emotional issue.
To the claim that De-funding PP would hurt women’s access to health care such as check ups, food, medecine and even relaxing by booking at https://tranquilme.com/booking-page/ for a good parenting you need to relax and avoid too much stress. I point out that, in Tulsa, OK, there are 13 free clinics for women, only one of which is PP. Of these 12, all provide all the services PP claims to provide, including PAP, STD testing, and mammograms. The only service not included is abortions.
To the claim that there would be children being born into unwanted situations, I point out that, after 40 years and over 55 million abortions later, we still have children in foster care and abused. Abortion has not proven to solve these sad situations.

Then, in Margaret Sangar’s own words, the reason for the existence of Planned Parenthood.

“The third group [of society] are those irresponsible and reckless ones having little regard for the consequences of their acts, or whose religious scruples prevent their exercising control over their numbers. Many of this group are diseased, feeble-minded, and are of the pauper element dependent upon the normal and fit members of society for their support. There is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the procreation of this group should be stopped.”
Speech quoted in “Birth Control: What It Is, How It Works, What It Will Do.” The Proceedings of the First American Birth Control Conference. Held at the Hotel Plaza, New York City.

Finally, the challenge must be addressed of: “you pro-lifers want to make a woman have an unwanted child then don’t want to help them support it”. The response is two-fold. First, we have to challenge our citizens to be responsible. We can’t treat people like animals, with no responsibility to control their urges or the consequences of their actions. This completely diminishes the dignity of a human being. Second, treating these people as dignified human beings, we must provide with a leg up, with programs aimed at making them self-sufficient, not more dependent. Provide support that encourages the parents to make their own way, not rely on the government to support them.

Instead of continuing to support programs that are proven to fail over and over, were must provide support which enables our citizens to be productive.

We have to provide support and compassion without claiming innocent lives in the process. Murder cannot be compassion.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Share on Facebook

Mother or Child’s Life? Seriously?

I read an article yesterday regarding some of the questions asked at the Republican Debate. If you saw the debate, of course you are aware of the questions asked of Donald Trump but that is not why I am addressing it. The question asked of several candidates pertains to Abortion. Would you support abortion in a case that the mother’s life is in danger?

The subject of rape, incest and life of the mother as exceptions to bans on abortion came up at last night’s GOP presidential debate, and moderator Megyn Kelly proved to be dangerously wrong on this issue.

Kelly was aghast that anyone would have any hesitation about approving an abortion to save the life of the mother. She spoke of this choice as if were one that commonly and frequently must be made.

The reality, however, is that an abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother. This is, quite simply, a choice that a mother and her doctor never have to make, and Ms. Kelly has contributed to the already widespread ignorance on this subject. (AFA.net, By: Bryan Fischer Posted: Friday, August 7, 2015 11:20 AM)

This is one of those questions that is often asked and, if one replies that it is never alright to murder a children, then one is automatically labeled as someone that is somehow against women. What this article very clearly points out is the obvious that has been before us all this time. If a woman is clearly in a situation where the death of either her or her child is imminent, an Abortion Clinic is not where she would go. Abortion Clinics are not in a position to treat in an emergency situation. Recent legal challenges have proven this as well. Several states have passed or are debating laws such as one hotly contested legislation in Texas. In Texas, which has lost nine clinics, lawmakers have slashed family planning funding in the state budget, required abortion clinics to become ambulatory surgical centers and required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

What strikes me as interesting is the fact that there is such an outcry over legislation such as this. By having admitting privileges, a doctor at an abortion clinic would be empowered to treat a woman that actually might be in danger of losing her life because of her pregnancy. Though this is a stated argument, it isn’t the aim of abortion supporters, abortion clinics, or Planned Parenthood. They are not in the business of actually caring for the lives of women, only in supporting their agenda.

If, indeed, a woman were in a situation where there might be a choice made to save one or the other, an abortion is not the prescription for her care. The doctor treating her and the child would do everything in his power as a physician to save both of his or her patients, mother and child. If the unfortunate situation took place under a doctor’s care, that one survives in spite of all the best efforts, that is a tragedy. If the child died during treatment, even if it was a choice made to save the mother and the child died, it would still not be abortion.

Abortion is a term and distinction like that between murder and accidental death. Abortion is always clearly with the intent of ending a human life, it is no accident and is not a treatment any more than euthanasia is a ‘treatment’ for illness. The loss of life while at a qualified treatment hospital in the attempt to save a life is not the same as going to an Abortion Clinic with the expressed purpose of ending a life. There is no chance of saving a life in an abortion clinic.

The question asked of a Pro-Life candidate to “take a stand for women’s rights but allowing an exception regarding the life of the mother” is a trick question. The situation does not exist, one cannot allow for it legislatively because it isn’t reality. Abortion supporters know this or they would not be fighting legislation in states that make their facilities legal health care facilities. If, as in the State of Texas, an Abortion Clinic follows the law, roid’s position would be to care for the health of the mother AND the health of the unborn child as well. In that case, they could be placed in a position where they would have to abandon their mission of taking a human life and be forced to save it instead.
Marijuana or weeds can cure diseases, there is a legit and legal way to purchase marijuana and serve as a medicine to sick people who needs it. You can get advice and tips from houseofcannabis if you want to order and purchase online.

Dr. Benjamin G. Swartout is a fellowship trained in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and has a separate facial cosmetic surgery practice located at his facility. He is board certified in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and performs reconstructive surgery on the face related to skin cancer, trauma, congenital and other deformities.

In the meantime, our politicians need to answer the question factually and throw it back on the person asking the question. Can you give me one instance where a woman has ‘checked into’ an abortion clinic in an emergency situation where the life of the mother was at stake? Though you might say that woman are in those situations all the time, accidents, cancer, etc., they are not treated at an Abortion Clinic and, if the baby is lost during treatment, they were not lost because of a treatment plan that had an abortion as the treatment.

Dr. Matthew Galumbeck is a plastic surgeon that offers medical service for those who needs to undergo physical treatment such as reconstruction of physical appearance.

Share on Facebook

1984? DoubleThink and 2015

In his essay “Politics and the English Language“, George Orwell observes that political language serves to distort and obfuscate reality. Orwell’s description of political speech is extremely similar to the contemporary definition of doublespeak;

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible… Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness… the great enemy of clear language is insincerity. Where there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, …[9]

Today, we are faced with such opposites and asked to believe them on face value, the language of the day. “Tolerance” is used to brow beat those that disagree so that those that do not hold those same views are “intolerant” and “haters”.

“Choice” is used to justify completely taking away choice from children and those that believe that abortion is murder are advocating taking away a woman’s right to choose.  Now we learn that a group that has made a campaign on describing the unborn child as no more than tissue are making money by selling the children’s organs as human tissue.

“Love” has been twisted into meaning whatever our carnal desires dictate rather than a life long commitment to raise children teaching the commitment to God, our spouse, and our children in a loving home. To disagree or to point out that an interpretation is wrong is not the same as hating another person.

I can tell you that a friend or family member is doing something that I believe is wrong without hating him or her. I have a family member that is an alcoholic, I do not condone the behavior, I do not condone the lifestyle. I may even chose not to be around that person. I do love that person and still try to be there as much as reasonable. I will not be around when they are drinking, which may be most of the time. But, despite that behavior, that person is stilled loved and will remain in my heart though I will not tell them that they have my approval.

Though the behavior is displayed more than I would like to admit, alcoholism is not WHO that person is. I do not define the person by their sins, I define them by who they are. I believe that is what God is calling me to do. I will accept a sinner into my home, just as Jesus did. However, I do not believe that Jesus defined his Apostles and disciples by their sins. He told the Magdalene, “Is there no one left to condemn you?… Nor do I. Go and sin no more.”

I condemn no one, that is not my place. I condemn behavior which I know is wrong. I taught my children what was wrong. Sometimes they chose do what I had taught them was wrong. I do not, nor can I, accept words on face value that have meanings that go well beyond what they say. I cannot believe that “Compassion” is taking someone’s life through Euthanasia, or that a “choice” is taking another life who cannot defend himself. I do not believe that “Love” can be gained by using acts rooted in hate or that disagreement is the same as “hate”.

I will proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord! Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

Share on Facebook

Baron and Thoughts

Well, Baron is on his last day of medication and he’s healing rather quickly. He’s still moving slowly but his limp is much less pronounced.

With the rain, we’re sure the colder weather must be causing some discomfort. All in all, he’s doing better and we’re past that scare.

Share on Facebook

Hit and Run

I don’t know what kind of person runs down a dog and drives off. Witnesses saw it happen and came to Baron’s aid.
The poor baby slept in the living room last night. He is pretty badly bruised but, by the Grace of God, will probably pull through.

image

image

image

Share on Facebook

Summer is Approaching

Well, the deck is looking ready for summer, the pinion wood has begun to smell up the yard and the pool is working. Last weekend, Alec has his 10th birthday celebration at the house. They had a wonderful time in the pool, which finally was warm enough to avoid the Popsicle effect!
Happy Summer!

image
Enjoying the pool.
Share on Facebook

Before the Resurrection, Darkness FALLS

Today is Good Friday, Jesus gave us His Body and Blood last night, God was made present to us in a manner which, 2000 years later, we still struggle to understand.

This week we go through the highest of highs as we welcome Jesus into Jerusalem with Palms, we eat his last meal and he makes his own Flesh and Blood, then, at 3 PM today, his brutal execution comes to an, almost, anticlimactic end. There is no Body of Christ after we venerate the Cross this evening. What makes our Church a Church is the Real Presence, it is consumed and the Altars are stripped bare. For the Church, our Sacred Spaces are stripped bare of all that makes then sacred. Until the Resurrection, there is no Church. Like the Disciples dispersing, like the Temple tapestry torn asunder, the Church is just a collection of empty buildings with nothing to make it Holy.

But, despair not! We already know the end of this story! He Lives! When we return to the barren tomb of our Church, the Altar will be redressed in splendor, bread and wine will be offered up, we will be fed with his Risen Flesh and Blood.

Happy Easter, He Is Lord!

Share on Facebook