Category Archives: discernment

A Priest Forever

Fr. Steve MarshThis past weekend, I had the absolute honor and pleasure of attending the Ordination to the Priesthood of one of my great friends, Fr. Stephen Marsh. He was ordained this weekend with three other men. Though it was a long journey, Fr. Steve has finally arrived, and this new chapter in his life has only just begun.

While being at his Ordination Mass, I was overcome with such gratefulness for our Priests and awe for their sacred office and how God is present to us in them. However I was also saddened to know that they are so often taken for granted, and that many Priests do and have grown cold.

When we look at Salvation History, we see throughout it the great lengths that God has taken to give us this gift of Salvation, to show us his unconditional love for us, as well has His mercy and justice. We see this in a big way in scripture with the levitical priests, who offered sacrifices on our behalf. We also see this through God giving the Israelites the Manna in the desert to nourish them.

With the death and resurrection of our Lord, this did not end. It changed. With our Priests, they offer the one unbloody sacrifice of our Lord on the cross, made present at the altar, for us and with us, at Mass. This was commanded by our Lord Himself that it be done. Jesus offers Himself to the Father and also nourishes us in the Eucharist, as he is the new Manna, the Bread of the Angels. He is present in the Eucharist in His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

What a great responsibility and gift our Priests have been given, being entrusted with this sacred duty of offering us the Sacraments, without which we would not be saved. It brings me to tears, this fact that Our God loves us so deeply, so that He deigned to make real to us now, make available to us now, through his Priests, our salvation. When we sin, and put this salvation at risk, with a firm resolution to never sin again, and a good confession, we can return to our Lord. What great mercy!

Ordination this weekendSt. Francis de Sales said “O my child, bethink you that just as the bee, having gathered heaven’s dew and earth’s sweetest juices from amid the flowers, carries it to her hive; so the Priest, having taken the Saviour, God’s Own Son, Who came down from Heaven, the Son of Mary, Who sprang up as earth’s choicest flower, from the Altar, feeds you with that Bread of Sweetness and of all delight.’

We need to remember this gift always, and pray always for our Priests, that they remain good and holy, and always advancing in virtue. St. John Chrysostom said that “If priests sin, all the people are led to sin. Hence every one must render an account of his own sins; but the priests are also responsible for the sins of others.” What a great and divine duty our Priests have.

Please keep the newly Ordained Priests in your prayers, as well as all of our current Bishops, Cardinals, and Priests, that the love of God and His Church in those who have grown cold may blaze bigger than ever before, and for the rest, that their love for God and His Church would continue to strengthen and grow. May we always be grateful for our Priests, as without them, we would not have this great gift of Salvation available to us.

 

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Discerning the Whisper

The greatest glory we can give to God is to do his will in everything. – Saint Alphonsus Ligouri

Newly married and starting fresh is a struggle on its own.  In addition to this, lets add living in a new city, learning a new way of life that is filled with its own ups and downs, and learning how to love and live in a way you never have before. My life these past few months has been filled with change and I am trying to move forward as a married woman. However, all too often, I find myself asking ” What does God want me to do now?”  I think we can all relate to asking ourselves this very question and spending hours of our lives just trying to come to grips with an answer.

Quite often, the people around us are the ones we want to please most. We want our family and friends to be proud of us. We also want to make ourselves happy with the decisions we have made along the way.   There are lots of different opinions you may gather on who you should be, what you should do, and the ‘right way’ to do things. It can lead to some pretty rough internal turmoil, especially when you want to please everyone around you and also make yourself happy.

But do we pause and take a moment to ask ourselves: What would be most pleasing to God?

Trying to hear a solid answer is hard. We are hesitant and we make excuses for ourselves to try to run from the path that looks too demanding. We are faced with decisions in our career, our vocation, our friendships, and our family. Sometimes we just don’t really feel motivation to pray for help or to just listen.

Time and time again, I think of how Mary and Joseph imitate this submission and humility to the will of God. We can all recall Mary’s great “I do” to the will of God when she accepted the role of mother to the Messiah. Fatherhood was thrust upon Joseph practically overnight just as he had decided to dismiss Mary after he had found out she was pregnant. The angel came to him and told him to not be afraid and to take Mary as his wife. He show great courage in doing that, but also in fleeing to Egypt and keeping them safe there to protect Christ from Herod.

We can learn by their example that the calling for us will be great. It might be hard, and it might be nothing like we could have ever dreamed of.  God wants the very best for us. Ultimately, He wants us to be holy, happy, and to be with Him for all eternity. If we truly want to achieve what will be ultimately good for our souls then we must seek to have souls that are in tune to the will of God . In Uniformity with Gods Will, St. Alphonsus says ” Those who love God are always happy, because their whole happiness is to fulfil, even in adversity, the will of God.”

Saint-Teresa-of-Avila-Quotes-1

The other day at mass, I prayed to God so that I would know his will, and that he would give me the strength I would need. I had been frustrated, scared, and tired of waiting for a response that was direct obvious. In prayer, I said ” God, I want what you want for me. I know what I desire in my heart, but is it what You want for me? Over and over again, I heard Him in my heart say:

” My Child, why do you worry? Trust me, and do not be afraid.”

Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake;  and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.  When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.  1 Kings 19: 11-13

It can be hard to hear that voice of God sometimes. We truly need to quiet our hearts. Like children, we ask ” Are were there yet?” and “Why?” and “Where are we going?” But we must learn to be patient and to listen. We must unceasingly pray. Frequently go to confession. Go to adoration. Be with Him and listen to Him. Rest your heart in the hands of Christ. Ask of Him everyday that the will of God be done. Be ready to lay down your life for the sake of His will.

God provides for every living thing, and he will provide for us too ( Matthew 6:26). Offer to Him all your suffering and rejoice in it, for it is in redemptive suffering we are able to give our lives to God.

Love,
Catholic Ruki

Below are some resources that may aid you in discernment.

https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/954/Please_God_not_Men_Augustine.html

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/alphonsus/uniformity.toc.html

According to Saint Ignatius, we must be aware of how the spirit moves within our hearts when we reflect on the choices before us. Check this article for more information on Ignatian Spirituality and how it can help us discern the will of God.

http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/discernment.htm

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