Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in aeternum! Amen.
Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time
You know, I thought yesterday’s reading was just a fluke (not that God does “flukes”) but then He totally shuts that down today with today’s Gospel.
Yesterday’s first reading was:
Thus says the LORD:
I will allure her; [He’s really good at that. Remember, God does not force, He woos in the most beautiful way possible.]
I will lead her into the desert
and speak to her heart. [though I may be in the desert, God is the Oasis of Peace and Love.]
She shall respond there as in the days of her youth,
when she came up from the land of Egypt.
On that day, says the LORD,
She shall call me “My husband,” [That’s what I am working toward.]
and never again “My baal.”
I will espouse you to me forever: [*le sigh*]
I will espouse you in right and in justice,
in love and in mercy;
I will espouse you in fidelity,
and you shall know the LORD.
(Hosea 2:16, 17c-18, 21-22)
So I thought that was just one little reassurance from the Lord yesterday.
Nope. Then we had this for a Gospel today:
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. [There are some who say that these “demoniacs” were just persons with mental illnesses and that there are no such things as demons. Ha. They are playing right into the Evil One’s plan.]
The crowds were amazed and said,
“Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
But the Pharisees said,
“He drives out demons by the prince of demons.” [I think the Lord rebukes that statement either later in this Gospel or in another, I cannot recall right now. They are just jealous of Christ’s EPIC-ness.]
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.” [Okay, Lord, I get it.]
(Saint Matthew 9:32-38)
My pastor has all the Masses this week since we’re down to two priests again (having three was so nice) and our associate is up North with two priest-friends of his for the week.
I knew he was going to preach on vocations. As soon as I heard that last sentence I was all, “Wait for it … Wait for it …”
And, of course, he never disappoints.
He talks about how though we have had some vocations to the permanent diaconate and those are great and needed, he is puzzled as to why the parish has not seen many, if any, vocations to the holy priesthood and religious life. I need to remind him about consecrated life in general. Religious life is a form of consecrated life. Though he did say that there are three young men in the parish looking at the priesthood (spiritual motherhood time!).
As soon as he says that, I think, “What am I? Chopped liver on a Friday?” I may have rolled my eyes a bit at him. I think he saw because he smirked at me knowingly.
I could make a suggestion about how we could foster more vocations besides the obvious shoulder tapping and “I think you would make a great priest/sister/deacon, etc.” but I don’t think it would be taken seriously by one or another person though the reality is quite obvious. We can’t rely solely on individuals. Parishes are seed beds for vocations in what they do as well and I am not just talking about vocation homilies.
Skip to about 4:00 though he does not mention vocations until 4:30ish.
While Voris has been known to say some rather incendiary things and come off as a bit arrogant, he does make some valid points at times that some don’t want to acknowledge. This is one of those times. Though I think the way to reform Catholic school is not to pull kids out (though homeschooling is just fine) but to work toward actively reform them. And yes, there are situations where the schools are beyond reform.
Case in point, there are parishes in the AOD that are “churning out” vocations almost always have at least one thing in common: they offer the TLM regularly and they have more traditional devotional practices as part of the spirituality of the parish.
The best part? I have heard some speak condescendingly of those parishes! So much for being the Body of Christ, right? So much for showing love toward our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? Jealous much? I think so. That and perhaps a bit of pride admitting that maybe those places have something right that they themselves are lacking.
But that’s just me.
After Mass, the usual group met up in the sacristy to help with clean-up and we started to talk about vocations with the pastor.
He says that he is convinced that there are vocations in the parish. I look at him quasi-annoyed and say, “Monsignore, I am working on it!”
He smiles at me and says, “I know, Ms. Allie.”
“You know, I wasn’t planning on leaving the convent this past January. I had my reasons. I am working on it.”
“I know, Ms. Allie. It just wasn’t the right place for you.”
That killed me because I sincerely thought it was the right place for me for soooooo long and I worked soooooo much to make it work but you can’t put a square peg in a round hole no matter how nice it may seem to be if it were to work. It sucks sometimes.
He could tell that hurt me because then he says something like, “Are you still looking?”
“Of course, I am convinced that I have a vocation to consecrated life. I just need to figure out where.”
“Well, keep looking.”
“Yeah, was kinda planning on doing that. Thank for reminding me though.”
So glad I have some people always watching my back.
But I am working on it and it can be quite draining sometimes.
Did I mention I need a retreat or six?
I have a lot on my plate (I know such a martyr I am) and on my mind and I am trying keep things in line. Lord knows I have difficulties, who doesn’t?
I am convinced that all those times when I feel overwhelmed is just the Evil One trying to distract me from what I need to do, what I need to accomplish.
But then there is my own worst enemy: myself.
I can be so fixated on getting things done that I miss out on the better part.
This is where I can be such a Martha: so fixated on what I feel needs to get done that I miss the big picture. I become overly reliant on myself and my own abilities.
I need to do this, that, and another thing. My list of things to do becomes a source of anxiety and stress. The things I ought to be enjoying can sometimes become a pain.
While there are times when being a Martha can be a good thing, one also needs to be a Mary, sitting at the feet of the Lord and letting Him teach one’s heart.
I need to do that more. I try to do that when I am sitting in church praying or praying my Office in my room. I try to clear my mind and open my heart. Sometimes it’s very hard. Sometimes I fail. But I try my darnedest.
I need to make it a regular part of every aspect of my life, not just when I am in church or when I am praying. When I am doing my work around the house, when I am doing my school stuff, when I am out and about, when I am with friends, etc.
It all boils down to trust. Trust. Trust. Trust.
And, in the end, all my worrying and fretting and stressing does me no good. It only gives me neuroses and insomnia.
Add to that my impatience.
I want to figure out my vocation now. I want to get this, that, or another thing done now.
Ha. God reminds me constantly that He doesn’t work on my time. I live on His time.
Then I struggle with myself in other ways that alone would make up a whole other blog post.
-Part of me is just fine with obedience and how it can be very freeing, while the other part of me thinks that holiness is not contingent on being obedient.
-Part of me is still very attracted to religious life but with that comes not being sure of where I will go (LACK OF TRUST!!!!); while the other part of me feels a special attachment to being somehow attached to the AOD (one of the reasons why consecrated virginity looks rather good to me).
And those are JUST two of the things that have been weighing on me. I am most probably going to be writing about those soon. Lord knows you will hear about them. Will you ever.
All right. Lord knows I will post again soon.
Have a great day!