armaghpriest
by armaghpriest.com on August 4th, 2018

​John Vianney, Good and Holy Priest O holy Priest of Ars, you lived in an age of much upheaval, in a time when men turned their backs on God. Your bishop told of a parish to which he wished to send you where there was no love. He assigned you to Ars and said that you would be the Priest who would enable the people to know the love of God. Not only did you draw these people back to God, but your saintly reputation soon spread and many people were converted to a life of holiness. You said that a good Priest, a Priest after Christʼs own heart is the greatest treasure that God can give a parish. Give us such Priests!

O great St. John Vianney, once again we are living in day of upheaval. There is much evil in the word. Obtain for Father ___ the grace to persevere in his faith and never to despair. May he walk with the Lord and trust in Him all the days of his life. Obtain through your heavenly intercession, for Father ___ the grace of modeling his life after that of Jesus Christ, that his people will know the love of God. More than ever the people need him to be able to bring the world to Christ. Pray for Father ___ and all Priests, O great Priest of Ars.

Novena Prayer:
O holy Priest of Ars, St. John Marie Vianney, you loved God and served Him faithfully as His Priest. Now you see God face to face in heaven. You never despaired but persevered in your faith until you died. Remember now the dangers, fears and anxieties that surround Father ___ and intercede for him in all his needs and troubles especially console him in his most difficult moments, grant him serenity in the midst of crisis, and protect him from evil. O St. John Vianney, I have confidence in your intercession.
Pray for Father ___ in a special way during this novena.

(​(Image from ​www.passionistnuns.org and text of novena from ​http://www.cureprayergroup.org/devotion.jsp?d=29&p=41&n=31&i=28)

by armaghpriest.com on August 4th, 2018


by armaghpriest.com on August 3rd, 2018

​St. John Vianney, Lover of Penance and Mortification O holy Priest of Ars, you led a life of detachment from worldly pleasures. Your meals consisted of a boiled potato each day; you slept a few hours each night. But you did all of this so that you would be able to serve God to the best of your ability. Your life was portrayed by the saying: We complain when we suffer. We have much more reason to complain when we do not suffer, since nothing likens us to our Lord as the bearing of His cross. 

O great St. John Vianney, in these days when we are surrounded by so many comforts and pleasures, it can be so difficult for us to do penance for our sins and live a life of detachment. I resolve to offer some sacrifice today for the expiation of Father ___’s sins and the sins of all mankind. Assist Father in accepting the cross God chooses to send him. May he embrace the life of sacrifice to which Priests are called. May he willingly offer his whole life to God! Obtain for Father ___ the grace to imitate the life of Christ by the bearing of His cross.

Novena Prayer:
O holy Priest of Ars, St. John Marie Vianney, you loved God and served Him faithfully as His Priest. Now you see God face to face in heaven. You never despaired but persevered in your faith until you died. Remember now the dangers, fears and anxieties that surround Father ___ and intercede for him in all his needs and troubles especially console him in his most difficult moments, grant him serenity in the midst of crisis, and protect him from evil. O St. John Vianney, I have confidence in your intercession.
Pray for Father ___ in a special way during this novena. 

(Image from http://tradcatknight.blogspot.com/2015/08/st-john-vianney-sermon-public-plague.html and text of novena from http://www.cureprayergroup.org/devotion.jsp?d=29&p=41&n=31&i=28)

by armaghpriest.com on August 2nd, 2018

​O holy Priest of Ars, your life was filled with humility. You wore an old cassock. You ate meager meals. You realized that before the throne of God, you were one of His creatures made to glorify God and praise Him in all things. You said that the first virtue is humility; the second, humility; and the third, humility. You counseled people to remain humble, remain simple and the more one is so, the more good he will do. Your simplicity of soul and your uncluttered way of life led you to sanctity.

O humble St. John Vianney, when Father ___ forgets he is totally dependent on God for everything, intercede for him with Almighty God, to allow him to see that without His Creator nothing is possible and that he must rely on God for everything. He is his Creator, who keeps him in existence at every moment. Obtain for Father ___ the grace of humility. May his life exemplify your humility and simplicity, a life uncluttered, a life totally dependent on God. 

Novena Prayer:
O holy Priest of Ars, St. John Marie Vianney, you loved God and served Him faithfully as His Priest. Now you see God face to face in heaven. You never despaired but persevered in your faith until you died. Remember now the dangers, fears and anxieties that surround Father ___ and intercede for him in all his needs and troubles especially console him in his most difficult moments, grant him serenity in the midst of crisis, and protect him from evil. O St. John Vianney, I have confidence in your intercession.
Pray for Father ___ in a special way during this novena. 

​(​Image from https://holycrossdallas.org/2015/07/30/announcements-for-friday-july-31-2015/;  Text from ​http://www.cureprayergroup.org/devotion.jsp?d=29&p=41&n=31&i=28)

by armaghpriest.com on August 2nd, 2018


by armaghpriest.com on August 1st, 2018

​St. John Vianney, Model of Purity O holy Priest of Ars, your life was a model of purity. Your life of chastity was a source of edification to all. You said that when a soul is pure all the court of heaven looks upon it with great joy. Today we are experiencing a great disregard for the virtue of purity; it is looked upon with ridicule by worldly standards. 

O great St. John Vianney, more than ever before, we need your prayers and help in avoiding sins of impurity. I ask you to help Father ___ to keep pure in mind and in body and give good example in his speech, conduct and in his faith. Obtain for him the strength necessary to combat temptations against the virtue of purity, which could lead him away from God. Unite your prayers with those of Mary Immaculate to implore God that Father ___ be pure in mind and heart and preserve him from those sins which are so displeasing to God.

Novena Prayer:
O holy Priest of Ars, St. John Marie Vianney, you loved God and served Him faithfully as His Priest. Now you see God face to face in heaven. You never despaired but persevered in your faith until you died. Remember now the dangers, fears and anxieties that surround Father ___ and intercede for him in all his needs and troubles especially console him in his most difficult moments, grant him serenity in the midst of crisis, and protect him from evil. O St. John Vianney, I have confidence in your intercession.
Pray for Father ___ in a special way during this novena. 

(​Text of novena from ​http://www.cureprayergroup.org/devotion.jsp?d=29&p=41&n=31&i=28)

by armaghpriest.com on July 31st, 2018

St. John Vianney, Lover of Sinners O holy Priest of Ars, you spent many long hours daily in the confessional. People came to you for forgiveness of their sins from far-off places. Although you despised sin, you always received the sinner with much love and forgiveness. 

O holy confessor of the Lord, St. John Vianney, awaken in Father ___ a sense of his sinfulness before the eyes of God. By your Priestly example, grant him a love of the reception of the Sacrament of Penance. Obtain for him the understanding that it is in confessing his sins that Godʼs mercy is poured out upon him and he draws closer to Christ. Obtain for him a deep hatred of sin and the grace to resist temptation. Teach him the value of frequent confession, where he meets Jesus, our Savior, the source of all mercy and consolation. Contrite and forgiven may all those with whom he comes in contact act with that same mercy. Pray that Father ___ always love the Sacrament of Penance. Pray that he may call sinners to repentance with his good example and lives in complete service to our Lord.

Novena Prayer:
O holy Priest of Ars, St. John Marie Vianney, you loved God and served Him faithfully as His Priest. Now you see God face to face in heaven. You never despaired but persevered in your faith until you died. Remember now the dangers, fears and anxieties that surround Father ___ and intercede for him in all his needs and troubles especially console him in his most difficult moments, grant him serenity in the midst of crisis, and protect him from evil. O St. John Vianney, I have confidence in your intercession.
Pray for Father ___ in a special way during this novena.

(Image from ​www.passionistnuns.org and text of novena from ​http://www.cureprayergroup.org/devotion.jsp?d=29&p=41&n=31&i=28)

by armaghpriest.com on July 30th, 2018

​If you're discerning the call to #priesthood, then there's now a #Facebook group that you can join to get some support and encouragement.

Thanks to http://www.vocationministry.com , you can join here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/197502367737532/?source_id=422879334528272 

by armaghpriest.com on July 30th, 2018

​St. John Vianney, Greatly Devoted to Our Blessed Mother O holy Priest of Ars, your life was consecrated to the Blessed Mother. You prayed earnestly to her, entrusting your Priesthood to her care. You begged all the faithful to pray the rosary, the favorite prayer of Mary, our Mother. You summed up the reason for your great love of our Lady by saying: We have only to turn to the Blessed Mother to be heard. Her heart is all love.

O great John Vianney, I ask you with all my heart through the merits of Jesus and the intercession of Mary, the Virgin Mother to make Father ___ʼs life patterned after that of our heavenly Mother, full of love for God and his neighbor. Obtain for him a deeper love for our Lady and a filial confidence in her. She is the person to whom he can turn in times of distress when lonely or upset or in times of temptation. Inspire Father ___ to consecrate his life to his Mother in heaven. May he know the powerful protection of Maryʼs Mantle all the days of his life.

Novena Prayer:
O holy Priest of Ars, St. John Marie Vianney, you loved God and served Him faithfully as His Priest. Now you see God face to face in heaven. You never despaired but persevered in your faith until you died. Remember now the dangers, fears and anxieties that surround Father ___ and intercede for him in all his needs and troubles especially console him in his most difficult moments, grant him serenity in the midst of crisis, and protect him from evil. O St. John Vianney, I have confidence in your intercession.
Pray for Father ___ in a special way during this novena. 

(​Image from https://holycrossdallas.org/2015/07/30/announcements-for-friday-july-31-2015/;  Text from ​http://www.cureprayergroup.org/devotion.jsp?d=29&p=41&n=31&i=28)

by armaghpriest.com on July 29th, 2018

​St. John Vianney, Adorer of the Blessed Sacrament holy Priest of Ars, you had such an overwhelming love for Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that you prayed for hours in His presence. You said that when our Lord sees them coming eagerly to visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament, He smiles upon them. They come with that simplicity which pleases Him so much.

O Saint of the Eucharist, may your example enkindle in Father ___ a deeper love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. By your prayers, never let him doubt Christʼs Real Presence, but obtain for him a firm faith rooted in the Eucharist. Help him not to be afraid to defend or preach Christʼs Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. Obtain for him the grace to approach our Lord with simplicity of heart as he lays his soulʼs innermost thoughts before Jesusʼ Sacred Heart.

Keep Father ___ under your continual protection, that he may be supported by your example and assistance and be faithfully devoted to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. May his life reflect the belief of our Lordʼs abiding presence with us. O St. John Vianney, by the power of your intercession, give us Priests devoted to the holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Novena Prayer:
O holy Priest of Ars, St. John Marie Vianney, you loved God and served Him faithfully as His Priest. Now you see God face to face in heaven. You never despaired but persevered in your faith until you died. Remember now the dangers, fears and anxieties that surround Father ___ and intercede for him in all his needs and troubles especially console him in his most difficult moments, grant him serenity in the midst of crisis, and protect him from evil. O St. John Vianney, I have confidence in your intercession. 
Pray for Father ___ in a special way during this novena. 

(Image from ​https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2018-08-04; text from ​http://www.cureprayergroup.org/devotion.jsp?d=29&p=41&n=31&i=28)

by armaghpriest.com on July 28th, 2018

​St. John Vianney, Full of Zeal for Souls O holy Priest of Ars, you taught men to pray daily: O my God, come to me, so that You may dwell in me and I may dwell in You. Your life was the very living out of this prayer. The divine life of grace abided in you. Your zeal for the salvation of souls was manifested by your total self-surrender to God, which was expressed in your selfless service to others. You gave of yourself unreservedly in the confessional, at the altar, in the classroom, in fact, in every action you performed. 

O great St. John Vianney, obtain for Father ___ the realization that God also dwells in him when he is free of sin. Remind him that the salvation of his soul is the fulfillment of his existence. Awaken in him a sense of self-giving for the salvation of souls. Obtain for Father ___ , by your intercession, a zeal for souls like your zeal. May he see that God dwells in him and in his fellow men. Obtain for him from our Lord the grace to lead all men to salvation. Let your prayer be his: If you really love God, you will greatly desire to see Him loved by all the world. 

Novena Prayer:
O holy Priest of Ars, St. John Marie Vianney, you loved God and served Him faithfully as His Priest. Now you see God face to face in heaven. You never despaired but persevered in your faith until you died. Remember now the dangers, fears and anxieties that surround Father ___ and intercede for him in all his needs and troubles especially console him in his most difficult moments, grant him serenity in the midst of crisis, and protect him from evil. O St. John Vianney, I have confidence in your intercession. 
Pray for Father ___ in a special way during this novena.

​(Image from ​www.passionistnuns.org and text of novena from ​http://www.cureprayergroup.org/devotion.jsp?d=29&p=41&n=31&i=28)

by armaghpriest.com on July 27th, 2018

Today, we begin a Novena for Priests to St. John Vianney. Please pray for priests in your life and for those discerning the call to priesthood at this time.


​St. John Vianney, Who Accepted the Cross, O holy priest of Ars, as a young seminarian you encountered many obstacles on the road to the Priesthood, but you realized that to suffer was to suffer with Christ on Calvary, and so, if following our Lord meant taking up His cross, you lovingly embraced it. Your motto in life became loving while suffering and suffering in order to love. You did not get discouraged, but your strong faith united you closer to Jesus every day of your life.

Oh great St. John Vianney, you know what is needed for Father ___ʼs salvation: a strong faith able to accept the will of God in all things. To serve Christ, he too must take up his cross and follow Him. By your prayers, obtain for him a heart full of courage and strength. Obtain for Father ___ that same courage and strength to follow Jesus wholeheartedly even if it means following Him to Calvary. Intercede for him before the Lord that he may do the will of God, obey the commandments, and loyally love the Church, the Bride of Christ.

Novena Prayer:
O holy Priest of Ars, St. John Marie Vianney, you loved God and served Him faithfully as His Priest. Now you see God face to face in heaven. You never despaired but persevered in your faith until you died. Remember now the dangers, fears and anxieties that surround Father ___ and intercede for him in all his needs and troubles especially console him in his most difficult moments, grant him serenity in the midst of crisis, and protect him from evil. O St. John Vianney, I have confidence in your intercession. 
Pray for Father ___ in a special way during this novena.

(Image from ​www.passionistnuns.org and text of novena from ​http://www.cureprayergroup.org/devotion.jsp?d=29&p=41&n=31&i=28)

by armaghpriest.com on July 24th, 2018

​The image of the shepherd with a flock of sheep refers directly to Christ the Good Shepherd. The priest becomes the shepherd of the people of God through his priestly ordination, because he acts like another Christ. He’s the instrument through whom God has wanted to act in the life of Man. This is something really important, sometimes difficult for some understand, but it’s a great gift from God to the men in his Church.

The priest looks for the lost sheep and brings them back to the flock. He loves them, brings them back, embraces them with tenderness when he finds them. A shepherd must be authentic, that is, he must let the sheep graze in calm. He watches over them, but also gives them space. The sheep know their shepherd’s voice, they don’t go just with anyone. Some years ago Pope Francis said that priests must have “the smell of the sheep,” they must get involved in their lives, be with them, and carry them when necessary. It’s not an easy mission but, trusting God’s grace, we know that it can be done with love and joy.

“I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have banished them and bring them back to their folds; there they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear or be terrified; none shall be missing” (Jer. 23:3-4).

(Original article and image appeared here: ​https://catholic-link.org/seven-hearts-of-a-priest/)

by armaghpriest.com on July 7th, 2018

Prayer of the Faithful
to Promote the Call to Priesthood
July 2018 (Year B)



1st July: Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time / Solemnity of St. Oliver Plunkett
For our young people, that the example of St. Oliver may inspire them to lives of courageous faith and may encourage those whom the Lord is calling to priesthood and religious life…

8th July: Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
That all men and women will answer the Lord with humble obedience when they are called to serve Him and His people as priests or in the consecrated life

15th July: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
That all those called to serve Christ and His Church in the priesthood and consecrated life will receive the graces and authority of their mission to the praise of God’s glory…

22nd July: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
For all the priests and religious men and women who serve our diocese, that, grateful for their calling, they will heed the Lord’s invitation to pray in restful solitude with Him…

29th July: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
That the knowledge of our unity, one body and one spirit in Christ, will heighten each person’s faithfulness to their vocation and encourage those He is calling to strengthen His bond of peace as priests and consecrated religious…

by armaghpriest.com on June 23rd, 2018

​I would say that a priest is one of the best friends one could ever have. We know that we can trust him no matter what; he will always be there when we need him, and will care because he wants the best for all of us. Above all, the priest is called to be a friend of Jesus, to make him THE friend of friends.

​It is through this special relationship that the priest is called to be a friend to others, because he has learned from Christ what true friendship is. Yes, the priest also argues with Jesus every now and then over things he cannot understand or which are difficult. However, the best comes when they reconcile: that’s how friendship works. Think about your friends, who’s never argued with them? We’ve all had arguments with our friends! This is normal because friendship doesn’t depend on the problems we have but, on the contrary, is based on selfless love.

“Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter; whoever finds one finds a treasure. Faithful friends are beyond price, no amount can balance their worth. Faithful friends are life-saving medicine; those who fear God will find them” (Sirach 6:14-16).

(Original image and article from ​https://catholic-link.org/seven-hearts-of-a-priest/)

by armaghpriest.com on June 2nd, 2018

​Prayer of the Faithful
to Promote the Call to Priesthood
June 2018

 
3rd June: The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)
For a growing trust in the presence of the Lord in His call among men and women being chosen to serve Him and His Church as priests and in the consecrated life…
 
10th June: Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
That as a Christian community we may be united in supporting those discerning the call to priesthood and religious life in our parish and in our diocese…
 
17th June: Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
That the seed of a vocation to the priesthood or religious life may be sown in many hearts and may bear fruit in the Lord’s vineyard…
 
24th June: The Nativity of St. John the Baptist
That the Lord will show favour on those discerning the call to be a prophetic voice in our times as priests or religious…
 
1st July: Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time / Solemnity of St. Oliver Plunkett
For our young people, that the example of St. Oliver may inspire them to lives of courageous faith and may encourage those whom the Lord is calling to priesthood and religious life…

(Image from ​https://stbenilde.org/prayers-for-vocations)

by armaghpriest.com on May 27th, 2018

​In the Roman Catholic Church, priests don’t get married, and this isn’t due to a form of discrimination. On the contrary, the Church, as mother and teacher, has seen it prudent, throughout the centuries, that priests remain celibate in favor of their mission. And the point is that the priest’s love pours itself out for the whole Church family. He takes on this commitment freely, and always for love. As we can read in the Gospel according to Matthew, “Not all can accept [this] word, but only those to whom that is granted” (Mt 19:11).

From the very early days in the Church, Christ has been called “the Bridegroom of the Church,” and the priest also becomes the “bridegroom” by acting in the name of God, with whom he commits to be faithful and educate his children about the faith. This is a very important dimension in the life of the priest. As a husband, the priest has responsibilities and rights. That is how he lives as part of a great family, looking after it with love and protecting it with his own life if it’s necessary.

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).

(Original article and image first appeared here: ​https://catholic-link.org/seven-hearts-of-a-priest/)

by armaghpriest.com on May 20th, 2018

​Oh, how difficult it is to be a brother! And the point is that, as Saint Francis of Assisi said, “one chooses one’s friends, but accepts one’s family.” Siblings are to be accepted with love and as they are. We always look for the best in them, we advise and help them while at the same time we let them do the same to us. It’s a mutual relationship of love that one doesn’t choose, but rather embraces.

The priest is called to be a brother to all, without any type of preferential treatment. Everyone is important to him. No matter who they are or what they do, they can be assured that in the priest they have a brother they can trust. But beware that their brother priest is not exempt from imperfections and weaknesses. On the contrary, the priest also works hard everyday to improve himself and overcome his ego. This is beautiful: to see that both, those who are priests and those who are not, must fight everyday to be a saint, and we fight this battle together supporting each other.

“But he said in reply to the one who told him, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother’” (Mt 12: 48-50).

(Article and image originally at ​https://catholic-link.org/seven-hearts-of-a-priest/)

by armaghpriest.com on May 19th, 2018

​Pope Francis met the evening of May 14, 2018, in the Vatican Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome with the bishops, priests, religious, and lay leaders of the Diocese of Rome.

The meeting concluded the course initiated by the parishes and prefectures during the Lenten Season, on “Spiritual Sicknesses.” The guiding principle of the work carried out up to now has been a set of pointers given by the Holy Father in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.

Monsignor Angelo De Donatis, Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome, welcomed the Pope on his arrival. Present among others were the Auxiliary Bishops, the priests, the men and women religious and lay representatives of the parishes, of the ecclesial realities, of the chaplaincies and of the city’s Catholic schools.

After the moment of the initial prayer, Father Paolo Asolan, Professor at the Redemptor Hominis Pontifical Pastoral Institute of the Pontifical Lateran University, presented to the Holy Father the synthesis of the works carried out by the parishes and edited by a Diocesan Commission.

Subsequently the Pope answered off-the-cuff four questions that were posed to him by H. E. Monsignor Angelo De Donatis, on behalf of those present and, immediately after, he pronounced his address.

Here is a ZENIT translation of the Holy Father’s question and answer session:
* * *
The Holy Father’s Answers to the Questions Posed to Him by H.E. Monsignor De Donatis, on Behalf of Those Present
Pope Francis:
Thank you for your work. It’s the first time I feel the success of a diocesan <”gathering”>! Thank you, you worked well. Thank you.

H.E. Monsignor De Donatis (First question)
There are some questions. The first is this:

Dearest Pope Francis, you have heard from Father Paolo a synthesis of the work that our communities carried out this year on the spiritual diseases that afflict us.  It hasn’t always been easy to recognize the deep root, namely, the spiritual: we see well the blocks that impede us from deciding and dedicating ourselves with more passion and with greater ease to evangelization. It was as if we had to recognize that, despite our efforts, even generous, something “was sick at the root,” undermining the ecclesial organism and rendering it sterile in a certain sense. As you can imagine, the temptation of frustration, of bitterness, can gain ground, and with it, a sense of impotence. It would be as if we were made to enter a mechanism that would make us go around in circles again, and we don’t want to go around in circles.  We want to start again and start well, in such a way that these diseases set in motion a process of healing . . . How is this done? Is there a basic therapy that you could prescribe for all our diseases? How does the Lord wish to heal them? And how does He want us to grow through the our experience of them?

Pope Francis:
Some words have struck me: for instance, “root.” Speaking of sin, of defects, of diseases, there is always need to go to the root, because otherwise the diseases remain and return. Then, that attitude of frustration, of bitterness when – it’s a daily experience – when I go to Confession, I always say the same things. If, when you go to Confession, that it is the usual case, stop and ask what is happening, because otherwise there is that bitterness: this doesn’t change . . . No. There is need of help there. Bitterness, frustration is when you feel that you can’t change, that you can’t heal. Stop, think. Impotence. The Lord wants to make us grow with the experience of healing: it’s no accident that in the Gospels the Lord – without being  a healer or a witch doctor, healed, healed, healed . . . It’s a sign of the redemption, a sign of what He came to do: to heal our roots. He healed us fully: grace heals in depth. It doesn’t anesthetize; it heals. And this experience of healing that we’ve seen in the Lord — in His life He healed in depth and with spiritual dialogue — we must do the same as diocesan Church.

However, how to do it? Each one must find the way. How to do it? You can’t on your own: no one can heal himself on his own, no one. It’s necessary that someone help me. The Lord is the first. . Having identified the disease, having identified the sin, having identified the defect, having identified the root – that bitter root of which the Letter to the Hebrews speaks –that bitter root having been identified, first talk with the Lord: “Behold what I have; I can’t stop, I always fall into the same thing . . .” And then, look for someone to help me, go to the “clinic,” namely, go to a good soul who has this charism of help. And it doesn’t have to be necessarily a priest: the charism of spiritual accompaniment is a lay charism that is given to us at Baptism – priests also have it, because they are baptized, thank God! –; a charism can be the community, it can be an elderly person, a young person, one’s spouse . . . In sum, to be helped by another and to talk: “Look at this . . .”

To talk with Jesus, to talk with another, to talk with the Church. And I believe this is the first step. Then, it will be helpful to read something on that argument.  There are beautiful things; there are also methods to resolve some of these diseases. Two years ago I gave the Cardinals, for Christmas greetings, a very beautiful thing that was written by Father Acquaviva: “Devices to Cure Diseases of the Soul.” It was published by Monsignor Libanori and Father Forlai … This also helps to see how diseases are: “Ah, I have this one!” – and how to heal them. I can do all this: pray, talk with another, read . . . However, the only one that can heal is the Lord – the only One.

H.E. Monsignor De Donatis:  (Second question)
There is a second <question>. We realize that the disease of individualism has also produced in our ecclesial body a certain crushing, made by as many isolations. The multiplicity and diversity of the experiences of faith and of community from which we come, although being very valid in themselves (they have generated us, they have enabled us to be here this evening!), were lived in an isolated, self-referential manner, namely, not well harmonized in the one Church, which is this diocesan Church. Because the international center of “everything” is in Rome (Movements, Associations, paths, Religious Institutes, University centers, etc.), it happens that each one takes what he likes most, or that which is most useful for his spiritual path and <journey> of faith, isolating himself or distancing himself from all the rest. With the same logic of the supermarket, which produces a faithful-consumer: except that here the product that is offered is “spiritual well-being,” detached from communion with others. Lost thus is belonging to the People of God; one no longer understands why the Church is necessary, why others are necessary: in particular this Church, which the diocese is. How can one recover this communion with the diocese? How can one rediscover the taste of being the holy people of God? How can we go beyond exclusive and reassuring memberships of our group?

Pope Francis:
This is a very important question here in Rome, where there are so many ways . . . in Rome one finds everything: here one learns the “I can know everything.” One can do everything; everything is in abundance here. This hurts the stomach and doesn’t let one digest the things of which one is in need.

This individualism, which causes crushing, the isolated self-referential conscience, is always a “gazing of one’s navel.” Those persons that look at themselves and look for – this is a great danger – a personal menu: not the one of which they are in need, the one the doctors points out to one, no, but the one that one likes. Or they look for novelty. Those that look for novelties, that are anxious for novelties – I’m speaking of good Christians, who want to give themselves something to do but feel this, that the other . . . novelties. One who seeks novelty needs a realistic voice that says: “But look, stop. Stop and go to the essential.  Look for what can heal you, not novelties — one after the other.” I have two anecdotes that might help, both on the Spiritual Exercises. One is the fact that it became fashionable some years ago in Buenos Aires, to do the first week of the [Ignatian] Exercises, the one of self-knowledge, of sins, of repentance, with somewhat Oriental psychological techniques, strange . . . ; and there were people that went for that novelty, and they served for nothing, because <although> they <found> the novelty they didn’t change. They only sought novelties. And the other anecdote on the Exercises tells us that these novelties are “chosen” only with a good dose of realism, that with this anxiety it’s necessary that someone give me a slap to wake me up. They were Exercises for women religious and the priest who was giving the Exercises  was a person who had a special doctrine of spirituality, also in consonance with the world, with the cosmos; in sum, things of that sort . . .

And there was a Sister – about 60 – who was in hospital for 40 years, a Spaniard, of those good ones. It was the period she had for the Exercises and she registered there. However, this priest had a somewhat Oriental method of doing the Exercises; for instance, he advised the Sisters: “the first thing you must do in the morning is have a bath, a vital shower,” all rather strange things . . . He made the Sisters sit in a circle, some twenty Sisters, and he began to say: “relax, let yourselves go . . .” That Spanish Sister was sat down . . . However, after the second meditation she got up and said: “Father, I came to do the Exercises, not gymnastics. Thank you so much and goodbye,” and she left. Sometimes one wants people that give one a slap, when we are looking for novelties: wanting the cream without the cake.

We must seek that which renders us Church, the food that makes us grow as Church. And the danger in this case is one of the two pointed out in the Exhortation on Holiness: Gnosticism, which makes one seeks things but without incarnation, without entering in one’s incarnate life. And thus one becomes more individualistic, more isolated, with one’s Gnosticism. And when there are people like this, or when the majority is like this, or a good number that has influence is like this, the diocese falls into that description of a Gnostic Church: “A God without Christ, a Christ without the Church, a Church without people.” And when there is a Church without people, there are these perhaps very exquisite liturgical services but without force: the people of God are not there. A month ago a Bishop said to me, speaking more or less of the people of God, that the piety of the people of God, incarnated so, is the Church’s “immune system.” Speaking of diseases, the immune system is that popular piety that always acts in community. As Blessed Paul VI says in no. 48 of Evangelii Nuntiandi, it’s true that it has its defects, but it has so many virtues. The defects must heal, but the virtues must grow. Always value the holy people of God, which in its totality is infallible in credendo (Cf. Lumen Gentium, 12).

“How can we go beyond the exclusive and reassuring memberships of our group? It’s always necessary to examine this: “Do I go with the people of God?  Improving, certainly, but do I always want a people with the Church, a Church with Jesus Christ incarnate, a Jesus Christ with God?” That is the inverse path; it’s the only way: the community that heals, communal spirituality heals us.

H.E. Monsignor De Donatis (Third question)
The third <question>: A certain tiredness is diffused among us, a loss of tension and passion that has seized all: priests, Religious, laity. The life of a post-Conciliar parish in Rome (in general large parishes in a large city) is very demanding. It seems that the time is never enough to do all that is given us to do, to reach all the objectives, that there is never enough <time>. The ordinary life of parishes “eats” all our time, so that not much is left to cultivate a spiritual life, to think, to plan, to undertake new things. We don’t hide from you, Pope Francis, that sometimes, when a new initiative is launched in the diocese, it’s received more with suspicion if not downright annoyance, than with enthusiasm. We feel the need for you to help us to identify some prospects on which to concentrate our strength in the coming years in Rome — not many: two or three. Our Magna Carta is Evangelii Gaudium, certainly, but we feel the need for you to help us to translate it into “Romanesque,” with an horizon and a clearer and shared direction, so that time acquires a different rhythm, less frantic, that makes us live participating in depth in the <life> we live.

Pope Francis:
This is true: it can happen sometimes that the apostolic work of a parish is thought as the sum of initiatives, of works . . . And it’s difficult, there, to carry forward something of the sort — this and that and the other . . . to add without harmonizing. The question, in this Novena of the Holy Spirit, is on harmony. How is parish harmony doing? How is diocesan harmony doing? How is family harmony doing? The Holy Spirit is harmony – says Saint Basil in his treatise on the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the One that creates the confusion and brings about the harmony! Because He is in fact a champion in creating confusion; suffice it to read the Acts of the Apostles. All that confusion He made at the beginning of the Apostolic Church . . . but He also creates harmony. And it’s the same in your life: He creates confusion in parish life, which always goes together with harmony, when He does it.  And when confusion, that is, the quantity of things that are done are of the Spirit, it always becomes harmonious, and this doesn’t tire, this doesn’t exhaust.

Discernment goes in that direction: the harmony of the Spirit. The harmony of the Spirit is one of the things that we must always seek, but always with that variety. He is capable of uniting many different things, which He Himself has created. This is in fact the point to resolve this difficulty: how does the Holy Spirit create harmony in me, in my diocese? <It’s necessary to> question oneself on harmony, which is not the same as “order,” no. Order can be static; the harmony of the Spirit is something dynamic: it’s always on the way.
“But how can I do it?” I’ll mention three concrete points that can help to find this harmony: first, the Person of the Lord, Christ, the Gospel in hand. We must habituate ourselves to read a passage of the Gospel every day: every day a passage of the Gospel, to be able to know Christ better. Second: prayer, to engage in dialogue with Him, brief <dialogue> . . . And third, the works of mercy. With these three points I believe this sense of annoyance disappears and we move toward harmony, which is so great. However, it’s always necessary to ask for the grace of harmony in one’s life, in one’s community and in one’s diocese.

H.E. Monsignor De Donatis (Fourth question)
We haven’t forgotten the reflections we made last year on young people, on the occasion of the diocesan Congress, or the commitment made not to leave them alone — the youngsters and their families. Your words have made us understand that, as a Christian community, we must “wake up” from our sleep and our laziness and rediscover our maternal vocation to accompany youngsters in life and in the path of faith, paying attention to what they have experienced, to their world, putting ourselves in dialogue with them and taking up their life questions . . . In Rome, we are only at the beginning of a re-thinking of the youth pastoral: there are generous experiences going around, in the parishes and in the Associations, but there is still so much disorientation and uncertainty in the world of adults; hence the impression that exists, which has not yet been truly put into play. In order to re-launch our reflection on this point, we would like to ask you: what impressions did you receive from the pre-Synod with young people, held in March in the Vatican? If there is a cry that issued from the world of youth today, what is it? To what in particular should we pay attention?

Pope Francis:
I had a good impression of the pre-Synod, of the pre-Synodal assembly of young people. In the beginning, I spent a whole half day with them, the day of Saint Joseph, and then they continued to work.  They were numbered 315 more or less, linked with 30,000. They were young people of the whole world, Christians, non-Christians, non-believers, well selected so that they would be courageous in speaking. And they worked seriously. The secretaries of the Synod told me — the Salesian and the Jesuit that worked with them, Father Sala and Father Costa — who were up until four at night working on the Document in the last days, taking the document seriously. The young people truly wanted to speak seriously. In the beginning they asked me questions – like these, but they were more educated! – but then among themselves they were encouraged to say what they felt and it went well. The Document they did is very beautiful, it’s strong . . . You can request it from the Synod’s Secretariat because it’s interesting. This is the impression I received.

What is the cry of young people? The cry of young people isn’t always conscious. I link it with one of the gravest problems, which is the problem of drugs. The cry is: “save us from drugs,” but not only from material drugs, but also from alienating drugs, from cultural alienation.  They are in fact an easy prey for cultural alienation: the proposals made to young people are all alienating, all alienating — those that society makes to young people. Alienating of values, alienating from insertion in the society, alienating even from society: they propose a fantasy of life. It worries me that they communicate and live in the virtual world.  They live like this, communicating so, they don’t have their feet on the ground . . . On Friday I went to the closing of a course of Scholas Occurrentes with young people: they were from Colombia, from Argentina, from Mozambique, from Brazil, from Paraguay and other countries; some fifty young people who had had a course here on bullying. They were all there waiting for me. When I arrived they made a din, as young people do. I approached them to greet them and few shook my hand. The majority were with their mobile phone taking photos, photos, photos . . . selfies.  I saw that that was their reality, that’s the real world, not human contact. And this is grave. They are “virtualized” young people. The world of virtual communications is a good thing, but when it becomes alienating it makes one forget to shake hands. They greet with the mobile phone – almost all <do>! They were happy to see me, to tell me things . . . And they expressed their authenticity thus. They greeted one thus. We must make young people “land” in the real world, touch the reality, without destroying the good things that there can be in the virtual world, because they are useful. This is important: the reality, the concreteness. Therefore, I go back to something I said earlier on another question: the works of mercy help young people a lot. To do something for others, because this makes them concrete, makes them “land.” And they enter into a social relationship.

Then, what I said last year: they are “uprooted” young people, because if one lives in a virtual world, one loses one’s roots. They must rediscover their roots, through dialogue with old people, with the elderly, because their parents are of a generation whose roots were not very solid. However, one can go to dialogue with the old, with the elderly. Let’s not forget what the poet said: “All that the tree has flowering, comes from what is under the earth’: go to the roots. In my judgment, one of the more difficult problems of young people today is this: that they are uprooted. They must rediscover their roots, without going back: they must rediscover them to go forward.

(Original article and image credit are here: ​https://zenit.org/articles/popes-q-a-with-diocese-of-rome-full-dialogue/)

by armaghpriest.com on May 18th, 2018

​Please pray with us for those discerning the call to priesthood at this time. Today, using the prayer below, you might pray the 1st Sorrowful Mystery for them?