Tuesday, July 05, 2005

awesome articles

Here's some awesome discernment-related articles I've come across. Though not Marian-themed per se I think they're still very helpful.

"The Priest as Icon" from CatholicExchange: This one does an awesome job of presenting priestly identity, especially during Mass. The priest this article is about "is so reverent and concentrates so completely on the Mass that you forget about him." Nice.

"The Forgotten Vice in Seminary Formation" from the blog at FatherTodd.com: This is an alarming article but very necessary and very important for the Church today. It speaks of the often ignored "issue of effeminacy." I'd be interested to know what my seminarian readers think of this and how/if it's being addressed at their seminary.

"Signal Calling" from The Buffalo News of all places. This is an inspiring article about a star college quarterback who drops it all for seminary and the priesthood.


Un Séminariste said...

I read the second two articles. I thought the one about effeminacy was a bit overstated. Some of the things he calls effeminacy could actually be other vices - such as materialism. Also there seems to be the legalistic tendency towards wanting to have "lists" of vices - i.e. if you do X, Y, or Z, you are effeminate, period. But people can't be boxed in quite that easily. For example, a guy could have a lisp which is totally beyond his control (maybe he was born with a cleft palate which, though "repared", still hinders his speech). Anyway I thought the article was OK but it could use some polishing. Knowing the priests who give spiritual direction at my seminary, I would think that they address the issue of effeminacy with any guys in whom they perceive that vice.

Let me just say this also - I've met plenty of Latin American guys (for example) who seem effeminate (the way they talk, or their gestures) -- but many of them are manly men who are straight as arrows. In this country we seem often to hold up "machismo" as the standard for manliness (I'm not accusing Fr. Todd of this) and anything that falls short of that must indicate an effeminate or even gay man. That tendency is a little close-minded in light of the cultural expressions in other parts of the world.

The football article was inspiring - and it surely gives hope that even jocks can receive the gospel and respond to God's call ;-) (I say this in jest because I am not a jock).

God bless!

Un Séminariste said...

I should say this also - certainly many of the positive virtues that Fr. Todd points out are right on -- moderation, self-control, self-denial, and so forth. What he's basically talking about is the evangelical counsels. I've met plenty of priests who have opulent rectories and live in a way that surely seems "soft" (though we can never know what kind of inner life they have or what kind of penance they might do), yet we are reminded that diocesan priests, though they draw a salary, yet are called to live simply. Pope Benedict (then-Cardinal Ratzinger) speaks about this often throughout his works in a general way as he tells of the "renunciation" of self that a priest must make. I posted a good quote from his book A NEW SONG FOR THE LORD in April on my blog which speaks to this very point.