14 February 2011

My Heart's Desire

If you want to know the desire of my heart, read it here.


Anonymous said...

The desire of your heart, Father, is
beautiful and would be a blessing
to the Body of Christ. But, since
the ordained priesthood's function
is to serve the laity ("feed my
lambs"), the realization of this
vision would seem to depend on the
real, visceral hunger on the part of
the laity for the sacraments
according to the way, terms or even
limitations set forth by Christ
himself. (Umm. . . I hope at least
some of these ramblings make sense.)

So many of the laity don't seem to
know or even much care about the
grace of God, the very love of God,
imparted to the soul sacramentally.
I'm probably making this way too
simplistic and I may be wrong-
headed but, the sacramental grace
we receive through the hands of
the priest give us the ability to
live out our faith fully in the
Mystical Body of Christ--to be the
people that God created us to be.

In the two sacraments having to do
with ongoing conversion, the
Eucharist and Reconciliation, Jesus
showed the way. He buried his own
very human feelings of love towards
two who were so close to him, his
Mother and Mary Magdalene, to
spend his last meal on earth with-
out them to institute not only the
Eucharist but also the all male
ministerial Priesthood.

After his Resurrection, he appeared
to the remaining apostles except
for Thomas, breathed on them and
said, "Whose sins you forgive are
forgiven. . ." No mention is made
of his mother or other female

Beneath the Cross stood St. John
and his Mother as the symbols of
the priesthood and the laity.
St. John was the one disciple who
wasn't married. His heart was
undivided. He could give witness
to the Truth at the foot of the
Cross without fear of harm to his
family. And Mary, as the model
of true discipleship, had three
primary attributes, humility,
obedience and love of God. One or
more of these attributes seem so
greatly lacking in so many who
are Catholic.

When thinking of the great
Catholics of the 20th century (I'm
a women so excuse the fact that
those are the examples I use),
obedience to Church authority was
a given. Dorothy Day, of the
Catholic Worker Movement, said that
if the bishop said to stop her
work tomorrow, she would do it.

Edith Stein delayed entry into
the Carmelites for years though
she suffered greatly because of it
because her spiritual director
told her that she could be of
greater service to the Church as
a lay woman, teacher and speaker
and that it would be too much for
her Jewish mother at that time.

Flannery O'Connor would get
permission to read certain
books from a priest and never felt
diminished by having done so.

And as far as humility is concerned,
Mother Theresa would kiss the hand
of the Pope.

Though this seems so hard on women,
if seen in terms of graces given,
these seeming limitations are gifts.
To kneel before a man (though Jesus
works through him) and say things
I would never tell another soul is
very humbling. But there is a
strength that comes after doing so,
even when the priest is not the
ideal confessor. (And when that
happens, you can always say "At
least I got the graces.)

To obey the Church's teaching of
artificial contraception is
difficult, but never again will
this beautiful expression of love
be taken for granted. Each loving
encounter is powerful and profound.

Again, it comes back to grace
and Mary's role in our faith life.
great poet Gerard Manley Hopkins,
S.J. in one of his poems about the
Blessed Mother, explained her role
this way, "And makes, O marvelous
Nazreths in us, where she shall
yet conceive Him, morning, noon, and eve; new Bethlems, and he born there, evening, noon and morn . . .
through her we may see him made sweeter, not made dim, and her hand
leaves his light sifted to suit our sight."

If this is all wrong, just say so.

Forgive the length.

God bless you, Father.

Frog's hair said...

I guess that I should explain what I mean -- the desire for priestly community, not for its own sake but exactly to serve the laity better.

Anonymous said...

I guess what I'm trying to say is
that God will respond to the
sincere yearnings of the laity
by bringing about the priestly
community you yearn for in order
to serve them better.

Frog's hair said...