Tuesday, March 24, 2009
this past Sunday at St. Theresa's parish in briarcliff manor, we had a guest speaker at all the Masses-Bro. Columba, CFR, who spoke about the Priesthood/Religious life and the importance of praying for vocations and praying for all who are currently in the Priesthood & Religious life. Bro. Columba is currently studying at St. Joseph's Seminary in yonkers, ny, and mentioned that there are only about six being ordained as Priests this year. Bro. Columba's sharing on this topic inspired me to write this post about how important it truly is to pray for vocations and for those that we are blessed to have in these vocations already. we should not take them for granted. they give a lot of themselves day in and day out and make so many sacrifices. it's not an easy life and they need our prayers to persevere. Bro. Columba also shared the importance of perhaps planting the seeds to get vocations to the Priesthood and Religious life. one way that he suggested is to just say to someone who we might feel has a potential vocation, "hey, have you ever thought about becoming a Priest or Religious?" Bro. Columba mentioned that this is how he came to enter the seminary - someone did just that - planted a seed in him just by saying that to him. just to share some personal examples: i've seen some of the second grade children, who i've been teaching religious education to, become altar servers when they reach the fourth grade. i've been a regular altar server for quite a while, so it could be that just by my example (and prayers for them) that they, too, have followed this path. another example are the three children i care for part-time after school on weekdays, the older boy, age 13, in particular. occasionally, if a holy day falls on a weekday afternoon that i'm with them, i'll take them to church (they go to the same parish) and i've also taken them to visit Graymoor in garrison, ny, a few times. just by doing this seems to have made an impression on Matthew, so keep him in your prayers. the fact that i genuinely care about and love the children that i care for and teach also might mean a lot to them. it's important just to be a patient and understanding example to children and to let them know that they matter and are important, too. but, back to my original subject, praying for our Priests is really so important. consider what they do for us - it is through them that we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist; it is through them that we are forgiven of our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (two of our greatest Sacraments that give us so much strength and healing.) by praying for them, we can help obtain for them graces and blessings that they would otherwise not receive without our prayers. i'm reminded of "Jesus the Great High Priest," from Hebrews: "Let us, then, hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we have a great high priest who has gone into the very prescence of God-Jesus, the Son of God. Our high priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy with our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a high priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin. Let us be brave, then, and come forward to God's throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it." ~Hebrews 4:14-16~ PEACE!