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In Lisieux, St.Therese was grateful to God, in every circumstance. We cannot dictate to God about when we will experience His love, and His glory, in earthly life. What is important is that we do His Will; and He who is good always trains His friends - and rewards them. A person like St.Therese who lived much of her life in spiritual darkness had a special vocation to show out naked faith, as well as love.
The Lord has a plan for every life: an invitation which, when heard and accepted, enables each one to love and serve Him and to find true happiness, both in this world, even amidst differences, and in life after death.
Every priest needs a charitable heart. God the Father, like Jesus, knows what a man is like. He sees each man's soul and personality, gifts and background and attitudes. He calls to the Sacred Priesthood only men who are suitable for that special vocation.
It is claimed that an abortion is an event that pertains only to the mother who carries a tiny child, and that no-one else need be affected by her decision. Sad-to-say, several abortions in one family show out the truth: that several generations can be horribly altered by these deaths, and that babies who might have been parents or become priests or religious have been sacrificed and slain.
Abortion in the UK kills hundreds of babies each day, and corrupts doctors, whose vocation is to heal and not to kill
The Lord chooses all sorts of men, to serve as priests. They bring their own weaknesses with them. The sacraments they confer are valid, despite their sins; yet priests are sometimes mistaken in their personal opinions. The best priests are those who believe in all that the Church teaches, lead humble and chaste lives, fervent in love for the Saviour and His Church, and charitable towards everyone, though unafraid to speak the truth, in charity.
It saddens Christ when Catholics pour scorn on Traditional prayers and devotions, or on those traditional clothes worn by the Clergy in honour of the Sacred vocation they have as Ministers of the altar and members of the Hierarchy.
We are engaged in spiritual warfare. When a general in the army chooses a soldier for a special mission he does not choose the tallest man, or the most handsome, but the one most likely to persevere through every difficulty; and Christ, in choosing a person for specially-needed tasks in different times, might choose not a theologian or a public-speaker, but a lay-person with experience in fighting a determined enemy.
We do not need countless new, expensive projects, to achieve renewal. All that is necessary for renewal in the Church is for the Faith handed on through the ages to be preached in its fullness by the Bishops and other Clergy, so that people repent of their sins and are reconciled in Confession and live their faith fully. Then, when people are strengthened by Mass and Communion, there will be a real renewal, and many more vocations.
When the Catholic Faith is taught in its fullness, and is practiced, there are plenty of vocations; and a great fire of praise soars up to Heaven. Where only half a gospel is preached, and where there is lukewarm faith, with much dissent, there are few vocations. Such an area is like a patch of gangrene on healthy tissue, and emits a bad smell before Heaven.
People forget that the vows or promises they have made in church, in either marriage or religious life or Priesthood, are vows made to almighty God. To break those vows selfishly is to act against God. A special vocation cannot be treated as a merry-go-round, on which people enjoy themselves for a while, but leave when they are bored, or dislike the music or the same views at each turn.
When a man or woman selfishly deserts the vocation to which he or she had freely consented, that person turns away from Christ, Who had called that person, and Who was willing to help that person through every difficulty. It is a dreadful matter to desert a spouse or to abandon one's own children.
We can picture Christ in His earthly life as He prays to His Father: "I want men who will act for me" - as He thinks about His future Church; and the Father tells Him: "Choose men. Anoint them. Set them apart. Let them look to me every day, as you do, as intercessors and mediators for sinners, opening the way to Heaven. They will offer your Sacrifice through all the ages, until you come back to Your People on earth.
Whenever new priests have been ordained, and have devoted themselves to Christ, their Saviour in Heaven is praying to His Father with outstretched hands, praising the Father for His goodness in giving priests to the Church Christ founded. Christ is full of joy - yet longing for more men to hear His call to the Sacred Ministry and to respond.
People wonder why certain persons have been chosen to do certain wonderful works for Christ; yet He cannot call anyone to undertake special missions in life if he or she has already said "no" to Christ about obeying His instructions about everyday matters of faith and morals.
Each Catholic priest should be aware of what is necessary for renewal in the vocation which he freely accepted. His feet should be those of a person who brings Good News: of God's love, and forgiveness brought through Christ. His heart should be full of compassion for sinners. His mind should be fixed on Christ, and Heavenly things. His hands should be clean - as when they were anointed, for the offering of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Although brave or ambitious people might travel to the moon, or explore the whole world, in dangerous conditions, or record the world's flora or fauna, it is the work of the Saints that endures. They have received unparalleled Power: the power of God, in the Sacred Host in Holy Communion. Through prayer and the sacraments they are transformed, and empowered to do the Work of God, which affects the Church and the world.
Christ's friends live as if within a bight cloud, of God's love. When we live in union with God in everyday life, nourished by the Sacraments, forgiven and in a state of grace, we do not need to see the path ahead, before we can love and serve God well. We don't need to picture the future. Even if we are uncertain of His plans for us, or unsure of our vocation, we should be confident that here, from moment to moment, we can delight Him by doing His Will, in our ordinary circumstances.
When difficult things are asked of us, which form parts of our duty in following our vocations, we should turn to God in Heaven, and ask for the qualities or virtues we lack. He is so generous that we should picture Him not as a miser who might be persuaded to give an occasional gift but as a farmer who scatters seed-grain lavishly, confident of a good crop.
Whether we are single or married, called to the lay state, or single and called to Priesthood or the Religious Life, we are invited by God to have firm faith in His power to help us. It's as if He has arms full of gifts such as courage, hope, greater faith, and love and humility. If we ask for them, He will lavish them upon us, so that we can be good and obedient like Christ.
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