Sunday, April 17, 2005

Mary, Mother and Teacher

Since November, I've been reading Pastores Dabo Vobis (I Will Give You Shepherds) off and on whenever I have time. I just finished it today. The Conclusion speaks about "Mary, Mother and Teacher of our priesthood" so I thought it appropriate to post here.

Throughout the whole thing, I felt like I was constantly nodding in agreement, everything made such perfect sense. I have underlines and notes all over my copy of this wonderful exhortation. But it was the Conclusion that I found most moving, especially after our Holy Father's death. I felt like he was speaking directly to me.

He says in paragraph 82:
To today's young people I say: Be more docile to the voice of the Spirit, let the great expectations of the Church, of mankind, resound in the depths of your hearts. Do not be afraid to open your minds to Christ the Lord who is calling. Feel his loving look upon you and respod enthusiastically to Jesus when he asks you to follow him without reserve.
He then says to his "dear brother priests":
I will turn with each and every one of you in prayer to Mary, Mother and Teacher of our priesthood.
Every aspect of preistly formation can be referred to Mary, the human being who has responded better than any other to God's call. Mary became both the servant and the disciple of the Word to the point of conceiving, in her heart and in her flesh, the Word made man, so as to give him to mankind. Mary was called to educate the one eternal priest, who became docile and subject to her motherly authority. With her example and intercession the Blessed Virgin keeps vigilant watch over the growth of vocations and priestly life in the Church.
And so we priests are called to have an ever firmer and more tender devotion to the Virgin Mary and to show it by imitating her virtues and praying to her often.

O Mary,
Mother of Jesus Christ and Mother of priests,
accept this title which we bestow on you
to celebrate your motherhood
and to contemplate with you the priesthood
of your Son and of your sons,
O holy Mother of God.

O Mother of Christ,
to the Messiah-priest you gave a body of flesh
through the anointing of the Holy Spirit
for the salvation of the poor and the contrite of heart;
guard priests in your heart and in the Church,
O Mother of the Savior.

O Mother of Faith,
you accompanied to the Temple the Son of Man,
the fulfillment of the promises given to the fathers;
give to the Father for his glory
the priests of your Son,
O Ark of the Covenant.

O Mother of the Church,
in the midst of the disciples in the upper room
you prayed to the Spirit
for the new people and their shepherds;
obtain for the Order of Presbyters
a full measure of gifts,
O Queen of the Apostles.

O Mother of Jesus Christ,
you were with him at the beginning
of his life and mission,
you sought the Master among the crowd,
you stood beside him when he was lifted
up from the earth
consumed as the one eternal sacrifice,
and you had John, your son, near at hand;
accept from the beginning those
who have been called,
protect their growth,
in their life ministry accompany
your sons,
O Mother of Priests.
Amen. (emphasis mine)

I will ponder this prayer in my heart.

Mary, Mother of Priests, pray for us.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

mundelein retreat

Last week I had my two psych evaulations which went well. I actually thought it was kinda fun going through the different word, number, and picture games in order to guage whatever capacity Doc was trying to guage...I'm not really sure. I meet with him in a couple weeks to discuss the results.

This past weekend I went on an excellent retreat to Mundelein seminary North of Chicago, IL. I was very impressed! I had some conversations with some of the guys who go there and they convinced me that the formation there is top-notch. Their vocation director is a good and holy priest. He gave an excellent talk on priestly identity. Their liturgy was amazing too, complete with candle bearers in the procession, incensing of the altar, tabernacle and crucifix, incensing of the gospel and also the gifts and mostly latin responses. The reverence was very moving.

I'd be happy to go to Mundelein if I was sent there. But I also still think it would be nice to join Michael Wimsatt and Fr. Bud at St. Mary's in Baltimore. And St. Meinrad would be close to home. I'd like to visit other places that I hear so much about like Mount St. Mary's, Sacred Heart, or St. Charles Borromeo just to see what they're like, but we don't use those. But that's OK. I want nothing more than to obey the will of God expressed in the guidance of my Vocation Director through the action of the Holy Spirit.

Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis