Religious Life & Companionship

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Jesus, encourage those You call to serve as Priests and Religious the grace to consider their intention honestly. Some Priests and Religious suffer temptation to abandon their vocations. Some lose faith in God and Church. Some regret loss of personal freedom. Some are troubled by lack of close companionship.

A lifelong sacrifice of parenthood and marital companionship requires careful reflection, remembering that compassion for Adam’s loneliness led the Spirit to breathe life into Eve. This ensured mutual companionship and means to ensure propagation of humankind. Therefore, Jesus, we pray for Your Priests and Religious who are lonely or over-extended. Help them to find loyal friendship amongst their colleagues, and appropriate support and hospitality from their communities and congregations. Let them find sufficient satisfaction in their vocations as they continue towards holiness in service of Your people.

Jesus, You were never less human than we are. In the grace and love that filled You, the prayer that nurtured You, and the penance that gave You strength against the temptations of nature, You remained the more sensitively human. You stood alone before us, sinless, and celibate in holy witness to the state to which You invite Your chosen ones.

Called to carry the cross of atonement for all human sin, You renounced self, submitting to God’s Will, obedient to the Holy Spirit in everything. You served gladly and humbly, without seeking to be served, giving Your life as ransom for all who accept Your salvation. To this sacrifice, You quietly invite those whom You call.

You invite them to set aside their right to exclusive marital companionship, so that they give unencumbered support to their sisters and brothers in Christ. Acceptance of such commitment may entail occasions of loneliness, yet isolation and struggle characterises many marriages, for each state has its blessings and its crosses.

Should anyone fail to carry their vocational cross, please bless and restore them and anyone injured by them. Let Your Priests and Religious always solicit Your strength where human frailty undermines their commitment. Give them trust that You will never abandon them to their weaknesses and failures.

You continue to offer faith, obedience, charity, perseverance, prayer and penance. If they sometimes fail to accept these, then You continue tenderly to hold out the restoring graces of rational balance and of Your compassionate forgiveness.

Grant wisdom in fraternity so that Your priests remain in Your service to truly love everyone with undivided heart. Give them compassion that leads to spiritual insight and human wholeness in accord with Your creative and redemptive purpose. Blessed is our God, who so loves His creatures! Worship Yourself in them and serve others in them!

1 comments:

Mark Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 11:56:00 PM PDT  

I was discussing loneliness and being alone with a Priest-friend recently.

We discussed finding oneself lonely and "single", and he said this. I thought I might share it with you:

'But this [being alone] does not mean loneliness. Loneliness is a state of soul, not a matter of not having a particular relationship. We become most lonely when we engage in relationships that are disordered - we become separated from the source of our joy which is Christ and therefore the loneliness becomes a burden. To be friends with Christ and with others in a well-ordered way is never "lonely".'

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