Sunday, March 16, 2008

VINCENTIANS (VC) WELCOMES YOU!

Jesus is calling you: Just listen and do what he says.



video
It is a video presenting the value of a true vocation.
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This page contains some scanned information of the Marymatha Province of the Vincentian Congregation, Kerala, India। Please excuse me for the language। It is in Malayalam। Thanks.
(Please click on each picture to get it enlarged and readable)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

FOUR TYPES OF VOCATION

God's first call for every person is to simply follow Him. You were created to be in relationship with God, and that is His greatest desire for you. As your relationship with God grows, He will continue to draw you deeper into this relationship, and call you to become more like Christ, to love Him more, and to love others through service. In all these things, you will experience God calling you to a particular vocation.

The Catholic Church recognises four main vocations: Priesthood, Religious Life, Marriage and Single Life. God calls everyone to follow Him. Here is a brief outline of the four vocations:

Priesthood: A Catholic priest is a male ordained minister of the Church. Because they give their lives in total service to the Church, priests embrace the gift of celibacy and commit to a life of prayer. They proclaim the Good News, teach the Catholic faith, minister the Sacraments, work to build up their local faith community and lead their faith community in worship. Most priests will minister in a parish setting, while others may serve as chaplains to universities, hospitals, prisons, the armed forces and other industries.

Religious Life: A religious priest, brother or sister (nun) commits his or her life to sharing in the life and mission of their religious community. Religious priests, brothers and sisters embrace the call to poverty, chastity and obedience, and nurture their call through a life of celibacy, faith, prayer and service. Religious priests, brothers and sisters serve in areas such as education, health care, parish, youth ministry, aged care, spirituality, pastoral ministry, social work, amongst the poor and as a contemplative, and many will serve as missionaries in other cultures. Depending on the religious order, they may dress in 'normal' clothes or in a habit.

Marriage: A married person lives a vow of faithful love to a spouse through the sacrament of marriage. Husbands and wives share a self-giving, love-giving and life-giving relationship with their spouse, and are committed to helping their spouse grow to human and Christian maturity. They seek to form a family home, and are together the first teachers of their children in Christian faith and values. Married people may serve in their parish community or in the Church in a number of different ways.

Single Life: A person called to single life comes to believe that remaining single is the true and right way to faithfully live his or her baptismal call. Single men and women embrace the gift of celibacy while living alone, with a family or with others who are single. They are able to devote time and energy in service of others, and may serve in their parish community or in the Church in a number of different ways.

In each vocation, the person lives a life of faith and prayer to continually grow in relationship with God. The Church recognises that each vocation is equal in the sense that no vocation is better or less then any other. However, because God calls you to a particular vocation - whether marriage, priesthood, religious life or single life - that vocation is the best one for you, and the one that will 'fit' you best and make you the most happy.

PRIESTLY VOCATION

Priestly Vocation
What are the signs of Priestly Vocation?
The vocation to the priesthood is seen in 3 principal signs, St. Alphonsus tells us.

1st, Purity of Intention- the intention above all to serve God and save souls for the glory of God, and not to please men, or gain the esteem of others, for “God hath scattered the bones of them that please men: they have been confounded, because God hath despised them.” (Ps. 52:6), that is, who pleased men apart from or contrary to God’s good pleasure.

Secondly, there is need of the necessary talent and learning, a talent and learning so as to understand and communicate the faith, “For,” Holy Writ declares, “the lips of the priest shall teach knowledge, and they shall seek the law at his mouth.” (Mal 2:7). A teaching ordered toward the love of God, which aims not only at enlightening with truth but which is truly pastoral as well, exposing and condemning error, which is the ruin of souls. As Pope Pius XI said: “The first and obvious duty the priest owes to the world about him, is service to the truth, the unmasking and refutation of error in whatever form of disguise it conceals itself."

Lastly, yet most importantly there is needed goodness of character, both due to the fact that the priest must become the guide of others in the way of holiness, and, most of all, because he stands in the very Holy of Holies and holds the Body of Christ in his very hands, consecrated for this sole purpose. Thus not only his hands but his whole soul must be consecrated and set apart for god, which the Church sums up in a most beautiful phrase in the ordination rite, “Imitamini quod tractatis” Imitate what you handle; that is Sacrifice yourself as Christ sacrifices himself for the glory of God and salvation of souls. Live the Mass!

How to discern one's vocation?
The Magi (in search of Child Jesus) did not simply trust in their own discernment of the call, but rather consulted the priests. This is a very important point, for no man is a good judge of himself and we often deceive ourselves through an excessive or deficient estimation of what talents the Lord has given us, when we would simply do better to ask a priest of many years experience what is needed and to open our soul to him, and let him judge. For in the end, the call to the priesthood is one of the Church through her appointed pastors, a call which takes place even in the ordination rite itself, to which the “priest-to-be” can only respond like Samuel, “Adsum” Here I am O Lord.

The criteria
You are worthy, because God finds so! St. Pius X, says “Do we imagine that God is influenced by any inborn or acquired excellence of ours, to make use of our help for the extension of his glory? By no means; for it is written: God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things of the world God has chosen to confound the strong… the humble and contemptible things of the world God has chosen…” For by ourselves we can do nothing. But with Christ all things are possible. And thus St. Thomas says “God does not destine men to such or such a vocation without favoring them with gifts at the same time, and preparing them in such a way as to render them capable of fulfilling the duties of their vocation; for as St. Paul says, ‘Our sufficiency is from God who also hath made us fit ministers of the New Testament‘ ” (2 Cor. 3:5).”

Be true to your search of God
We must like the Magi, simply set out in faith, following the star in the midst of the dark night, uncertain where it will lead, yet confident that it is God who guides who cannot lead astray. And we must have great generosity toward God, and a prompt obedience to his calling, especially in our day for as St. Pius X said “to bring about the reign of Jesus Christ in the world, nothing is more essential than a saintly clergy who, by their example, their preaching and their learning will be the guides of the faithful; an old proverb says that the people will always be like their priests: Sicut sacerdos, sic populus.” For how they shall hear unless one is sent, as the Magi return today with the good news of salvation.

Let us promot Vocations
Since holy priestly vocations are the life of the Church, and salvation of the world it falls to each one of us to do what we can to promote them, and for young men to be generous in discerning this call. It behooves parents, especially the father, in the holiness with which they live, as one can notably observe the great benefit in formation that seminarians have received who enter the seminary from holy families. The priestly vocation must be something held in great esteem as well, and seen as the greatest honor for a family. And to the contrary, if parents discourage a priestly vocation in their son (or a religious vocation in their daughter), when they appear truly interested in it, it is a mortal sin, according to St. Alphonsus and the common teaching. St. Bernard goes so far as to call such parents murderers. The Council of Trent also condemned the opinion of Luther, who held that one should obey parents who object to their religious calling, as we must always obey God before men. May we be inspired by the very moving tradition in which a newly ordained priest gives to his mother the cloth with which his anointed hands were wrapped, and to his Father the stole of his first confession, which are placed on them at their death, that they may appear before God as the blessed parents of a priest for all eternity.

Some thing for Christ
A generosity, which is simply a response to the generosity of God, who freely chooses to save man, and to choose men to participate in his own work. “As the Father sent me (the Son of God!) so I send you,” for the salvation of the world, the ONLY end, which matters after this so-called life, which lasts but for the blink of an eye. Christ came down from heaven and died the most shameful death for love of you. What have you done for Christ, what are you doing for Christ, what will you do for Christ.