Monday, May 23, 2005

discernment update

Well, on the discernment front, I finally got the report from my psych testing from Dr. Walsh. I got a copy and so did Fr. Bill Bowling, my vocation director. Friday we had our monthly Men in Black meeting which was awesome. We met at St. Bartholomew for a holy hour and evening prayer. Michael was in town! He joined us and it was awesome seeing him. Afterwards we all went out for pizza with the pastor. He's an elderly priest and it was nice hearing him talk about his early priesthood and the popes he's experienced over the years.

Fr. Bill gave me permission to begin contacting the people from the Archdiocese that I have to have an interview with. This is the last big step in the application process. I'm excited! I feel like my life is all topsy-turvy, disorganized, klutzy, and...slow... time ususally flies by for me but the days have been grinding on soooo sloooowly... and very unproductive, at least at work. I'm anxious to see if my mood changes upon recieving the final verdict from my vocation director when all this is finished.

Anyway, I've got an interview Thursday afternoon, Friday afternoon, and then two next week.

This past weekend I had spiritual direction with Fr. Paul and it was good as ususal :)

I feel like using this one again: Sacta Maria, ora pro nobis!

Priests for the Third Millennium

I'm about two chapters into a book that Fr. Paul wants me to read by the time I go to seminary: Priests for the Third Millennium by Archbishop Timothy Dolan. It's already very inspirational. He ends the introduction with:

Vergine Immacolata! Aiutateci!
("Immaculate Virgin! Help us!")

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Fr. McGivney and I

Today I've been thinking alot about being a Knight of Columbus. It may be a little late, now that I've already joined (!) but I thought I'd do some research into the history of the organization and its founder.

I found a great website about their founder, Fr. Michael J. McGivney. I noticed that I have a couple of things in common with him! He went to seminary at St. Mary's in Baltimore which is one of the seminaries that the Archdiocese uses! I also thought it was cool that his first parish was at a church called St. Mary's (in New Haven, CT). He was also very involved in young adult ministry, as I am. The site says:
Apostle to the Young

There was in Father McGivney some spark, some magnetism, that drew the young to him. He was at ease with little children and lost some of his natural reserve and formality with them. But it was to the young adults of his day that he was given a particular mission. Father McGivney was bonded to the young men and women of his flock in a mutual admiration and respect that endured even after his death in 1890. He was relatively young himself, only 25, when he began his first priestly assignment at St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Conn., and so he understood their aspirations as well as their struggles and temptations.

"Apostle" means "one who is sent. "Father McGivney was sent by God to the young people of his time to lead them along a secure path to Christian adulthood. In an age experiencing the growing despair and violence of teenagers and young adults, it is imperative that we look to models such as Father McGivney to learn the art of drawing the youth of our society to a life of moral excellence and the nobility of Christian service of God and neighbor. No stranger to adversity, Father McGivney is an apostle to those who, in our own era, struggle to find meaning and purpose in life. He is a heavenly patron for young men and women of the third millennium.

Mary, Mother of the Apostles, pray for us!

joined the Knights of Columbus

Last night I joined the Knights of Columbus! I had been wanting to join for a while and had been talking on and off about it with Joe Calvert, head of KY Right to Life who is a Knight.

I've always had a "Knightly" spirituality so to speak. Since 8th grade, when researching who my patron saint would be for Confirmation, I was greatly inspired by St. Michael the Archangel and how he lead the fight of good aganst evil.

I still find this battle inspirational to this day, especially when contemplating my own daily battles against sin.

About the Knights, my grandfather was one and they did much for him and our family when he passed away. My uncles are also Knights and one of them introduced my brothers to the Knights a couple years ago. The weekend they went home for the Ceremony I wasn't able to join them so it's been nagging me ever since that I should join. Plus they do great work in the sanctification of society by promoting and defending Catholic teaching, fighting for the Pro-Life movement, and various other community services. They also promote vocations and support seminarians. If the Lord continues to lead me down this road to seminary, I know I may need to call on my brother Knights for their assistance.

Since I've had this blog, I'm noticing more and more the Blessed Virgin's presence in my life. She seems to pop up all the time! About a month ago I went to Adoration at the chapel in Kindred Hospital. On the way out I stopped in the vestibule to look at the various holy cards and pamphlets available. I found a small handy guide to the rosary that fit nicely in my wallet. After joining the Knights of Columbus (I'm bound by secrecy as to the details of the ceremony) I was given a rosary and that same little guide! I was very happy to learn how devoted to the Blessed Virgin that the Knights are.

Mary, Mother of the Knights of Colubus, pray for us!
...I wonder if it's OK to invent all of these titles for Mary that I've given her after each post!

that they may be one...

Anglican-Catholic Commission Unites on Mary
Releases Joint Statement: "
Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ"

SEATTLE, Washington, MAY 18, 2005 ( Mary need no longer be an obstacle to union between Anglicans and Catholics, according to a document published by a joint council of the two Churches.

The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) released on Monday their latest statement, a document that is the fruit of six years of discussions on the figure of Mary, entitled "Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ."

The text was written by a mixed group of 18 Roman Catholic and Anglican theologians.

The statement was released in a celebration at the Catholic cathedral in Seattle, and attended by the ARCIC co-chairs, Roman Catholic Archbishop Alexander Brunett of Seattle and Anglican Archbishop Peter Carnley, primate of Australia.

Also called 'The Seattle Statement,' the text is not an authoritative declaration by either the Catholic or the Anglican Church, but is intended for wider discussion by both.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, commented that the statement "is a major achievement in the ongoing dialogue between Catholics and Anglicans worldwide."

It is a "considerable achievement in increasing the depth of understanding of each Church's position," he added.

Catholic Malcolm McMahon of Nottingham, also said that the section on the devotion to Mary in the Anglican tradition will help to show both Catholics and some Anglicans the importance of the Marian Anglican tradition.

"Anglican-Catholic understanding has been greatly strengthened by this dialogue," Bishop McMahon said.

"What we have done is put down a paving stone on the road to Christian unity."

The theologians, coming from 10 different countries, were appointed by the Vatican's Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Anglican Communion.

The commission, begun in 1970, has also written statements on the Eucharist, ministry authority in the Church, salvation and justification and the nature of the Church.

Mary, Mother of Unity, pray for us!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Our Lady's Mantle

Today I got a really nice e-card from my friend Schmitty for my birthday :) Along with it was the following poem:

Take shelter
under Our Lady's mantle,
and do not fear.
She will give you
all you need.
She is very rich,
and besides
is so very generous
with her children,
especially the smallest,
like you.
So take advantage
without fear
and with complete confidence,
whenever you need anything.
She loves giving.

Bl Raphalea Mary
Foundress of the Handmaids
of the Sacred Heard of Jesus

I like how it says "especially the smallest, like you."

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Lectio Divina with the LSP's

Once a month I go to a Lectio Divina for vocation discernment at the Little Sisters of the Poor with the Communion & Liberation group (CL synthesizes the conviction that the Christian event, lived in communion, is the foundation of man's genuine liberation, not to be mistaken for the crazy liberation theology we often hear of)

Anyway, in the context of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, we sing an opening hymn, read one of the major Calling passages from the Bible, then 20 minutes of quiet time to reflect on the reading. After this there is a sung response after several short prayers that we take turns reading. Then time for silent adoration, a concluding prayer, and then Night Prayer with the community who then joins us.

This particular Lectio centered around the call of Mary so I thought I'd share it here:


Reading: Luke 1:26-38 (I'll use the Douay-Rheims here) And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women: Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.

And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Because no word shall be impossible with God.

And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Time for quiet reflection (20 minutes)
Questions to think about during this time:

  • Who was Mary? Who am I?
  • What was Mary's life like when the angel was sent to her? What is my life like?
  • How did God speak to Mary? In what ways does He speak to me today?
  • How did the angel greet Mary? How did she react? How do I react to God's unexpected workings in my life?
  • Who does God put into my life to help to reveal His plan for me? How does this take place?
  • What was God's plan for Mary? How does He make it known?
  • What is God's plan for me? How does He make it known to me?
  • What was Mary's initial response to the angel? Why do we sometimes feel troubled or fearful when God makes His presence in our life known?
  • How can our fears prevent us from doing God's will? How can we overcome them?
  • How does the Holy Spirit work in Mary's life? How does He work in mine?
  • What was Mary's basic attitude in the face of God's call? What is my attitude toward God's plan for me?
  • What does it mean to be a servant? How am I called to serve?
  • How did Mary respond to her vocation? What were the results of her response? How is she a model for me?

Repeat sung response after each of the following prayers: Speak, Lord. I love to listen to your voice. See, Lord... Here I am.

Help me, Lord, to know myself

May I always listen to your voice. Prepare my heart to be open to what you ask of me.

Lord, place in my life people who can help me to know your will.

Give me the grace, Lord, to recognize you when you speak to me. May I see your providential love in all the circumstances of my life.

Lord, help me to overcome my fears and enter fully into your plan for me. Teach me that nothing is impossible with you.

Help me to promptly do whatever you ask of me and to accept your will for my life, even when it is unexpected or difficult.

Enlighten me, Lord. Show me my unique vocation.

Help me to be attentive to your Word. Give me a listening heart.

I am your servant, Lord. Let it be done to me as you say.

Silent Adoration.

Concluding Hymn.

Mary, Mother of the Word Incarnate, pray for us!

Pope Mentions My Blog!

In today's Zenit Daily Dispatch there's a brief story on our Holy Father's general audience where he mentions my blog! haha, not really, but this did put a smile on my face:

Pope Urges the Young to Learn Love of Christ From Mary

VATICAN CITY, MAY 4, 2005 ( Benedict XVI encouraged young people in particular to learn the love of Christ from Mary.
The Holy Father gave that exhortation at the end of today's general audience, the second of his pontificate, which gathered 15,000 pilgrims in St. Peter's Square.
"In this month of May, dedicated in a special way to the Mother of the Lord, I encourage you, dear young people, to enter the school of Mary to learn to love and follow Christ above all else," the Pope said with a smile.
Benedict XVI, who spent considerable time at the start of the audience greeting sick persons seated in the front rows, gave them a message too.
"May the Virgin help you, dear sick people, to contemplate with faith the mystery of pain and to understand the salvific value of every cross," he said.
Finally, the Holy Father addressed newlyweds, who arrived at the Vatican dressed in their wedding clothes.
"I commend you, dear newlyweds," he said, "to the maternal protection of the Holy Virgin, so that you will be able to live in your family the atmosphere of prayer and love of the home of Nazareth."

Yes, Father!

Mary, Teacher of Youth, pray for us!