Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jeremiah on Vocations

The Prophet Jeremiah

As I listened to last Sunday's Mass readings and Gospel I wondered if they had been written especially for discerners!

The words speak for themselves. Take a look at the First Reading from the prophet Jeremiah which I think might be of help to anyone who is intimidated by the challenge of being a Christian in a hostile environment or who has been trying to put the idea of a vocation out of their heads...

"You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped; you were too strong for me, and you triumphed. All the day I am an object of laughter; everyone mocks me.

I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more. But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.

But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph. In their failure they will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

World Youth Day success...

An aerial view of the 1.5 million who turned out for the closing Mass of World Youth Day in Madrid.

The 26th World Youth Day has come to an end. What a great success it turned out to be.

There are some lovely video clips of the ceremonies available via our Congregation homepage. Take a look here. If you have the time, take a look at some of Pope Benedict's addresses too. Always well worth reading.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

World Youth Day begins

The 26th World Youth Day opens in Madrid this evening.

Many people will tell you that they heard more clearly the voice of Christ calling them to religious life during a World Youth Day.

Let us pray that God will bless the young people gathering in Madrid, their supervisors, the organisers and our Holy Father who will arrive on Thursday.

You can listen to the World Youth Day hymn, "Firm in the Faith", below....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Vision 2012 Discernment Guide

The front cover of Vision 2012

I received in the post today Vision 2012 - the Discernment Guide published by the National Religious Vocations Conference (NRVC) in America. This publication comes out every year and is circulated across the USA and other countries. In this year's issues there is an article I wrote about my call to religious life. As I re-read it this morning, one line stood out:

"After two decades as a brother I can honestly say that this is a life of potential and promise, of excitement and adventure".

I would recommend any person discerning a vocation to get a copy and reflect on the stories of the contributors and their decision to answer the call to follow Christ. You can see the magazine here.

What is our vocation?

Mary's Assumption by Rubens

The past few days have been a reminder to me of what a true vocation is all about.

I attended the funeral mass of a husband and wife who died 48 hours apart. They were devoted to each other and their family for over 50 years - it was a true vocation. Their calling was to be a married couple. May they rest in peace.

We are all called to a vocation in life (be it married, religious/priesthood or single), but we must listen to the call of God and try to be true to it.

Vocation is a calling and we should answer this call just as the Virgin Mary did when the Angel appeared to her and told her that she would be the Mother of Jesus. How many of us listen with an open mind, an open heart and an open will to this call and follow Mary's example?

I will celebrate 24 years in religious life on the 15th August, the Feast of the Assumption, and I want to thank God and His Blessed Mother for giving me the strength and courage to continue with my vocation.

Our Lady of the Presentation, pray for us.