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Archive for the ‘vocation’ Category

AdorationOfTheMagi-Da%20Fabriano

“The kings have a special meaning for us, too. Even though we already belong to the external church, an interior impulse nevertheless drove us out of the circle of inherited viewpoints and conventions. We knew God, but we felt that he desired to be sought and found by us in a new way. Therefore we wanted to open ourselves and sought for a star to show us the right way. And it arose for us in the grace of vocation. We followed it and found the divine infant. He stretched out his hand for our gifts. He wanted the pure gold of a heart detached from all earthly goods; the myrrh of a renunciation of all the happiness of this world in exchange for participation in the life and suffering of Jesus; the frankincense of a will that surrenders itself and strains upward to lose itself in the divine will. In return for these gifts, the divine child gave us himself.”

(The Hidden Life and Epiphany –from The Collected Works of Edith Stein: The Hidden Life, ICS Publications)

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Lord,
you have given to Blessed Louis and Marie Zélie
the grace to lead a life of holiness as Christian spouses and parents.
Grant that through their intercession and example
each of us may be able to love and serve you faithfully,
living worthily our own vocation.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

 

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The kings at the manger represent seekers from all lands and peoples. Grace led them before they ever belonged to the external church. There lived in them a pure longing for truth that did not stop at the boundaries of native doctrines and traditions. Because God is truth and because he wants to be found by those who see him with their whole hearts, sooner or later the star had to appear to show these wise men the way to truth. And so they now stand before the Incarnate Truth, bow down and worship it, and place their crown at its feet, because all the treasures of the world are but dust compared to it.

And the kings have a special meaning for us, too. Even though we already belong to the external church, an interior impulse nevertheless drove us out of the circle of inherited viewpoints and conventions. We knew God, but we felt that he desired to be sought and found by us in a new way. Therefore we wanted to open ourselves and sought for a star to show us the right way. And it arose for us in the grace of vocation. We followed it and found the divine infant. He stretched out his hand for our gifts. He wanted the pure gold of a heart detached from all earthly goods; the myrrh of a renunciation of all the happiness of this world in exchange for participation in the life and suffering of Jesus; the frankincense of a will that surrenders itself and strains upward to lose itself in the divine will. In return for these gifts, the divine child gave us himself.

(The Hidden Life and Epiphany –from The Collected Works of Edith Stein: The Hidden Life, ICS Publications)

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The principle aim of the reform of Carmel that St. Teresa of Jesus set out to do was to pray for sinners, but also to pray for priests. St. Therese of Lisieux had always believed priests to be “as pure as crystal” and thought that praying for their souls was a puzzling idea.

“I lived in the company of many saintly priests for a month and I learned that, though their dignity raises them above the angels, they are nevertheless weak and fragile men.”

She had come to realize, as had St. Teresa, that holy priests means holy people in a holy church. “If holy priests, whom Jesus in His Gospel calls the ‘salt of the earth,’ show in their conduct their extreme need for prayer, what is to be said of those who are tepid? Didn’t Jesus say too: ‘If the salt loses it savor, wherewith will it be salted?’ ”

Carmelites are to pray for priests. Priests need our prayers, not our criticism. “How beautiful is the vocation, O Mother, which has as its aim the preservation of the salt destined for souls! This is Carmel’s vocation since the sole purpose of our prayers and sacrifices is to be the apostle of the apostles. We are to pray for them while they are preaching to souls through their words and especially their example.” (Story of a Soul, ICS Publications p. 122)

Prayer for Priest by St. Therese
O Jesus, eternal Priest, keep your priests
within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart,
where none may touch them.
Keep unstained their anointed hands,
which daily touch Your Sacred Body.
Keep unsullied their lips,
daily purpled with Your Precious Blood.
Keep pure and unearthly their hearts,
sealed with the sublime mark
of the priesthood.
Let your holy love surround them
and shield them
from the world’s contagion.
Bless their labors with abundant fruit
and may the souls to whom they minister
be their joy and consolation
here and in heaven
their beautiful and everlasting crown.
Amen.

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