Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Father Ignatius answers honestly


Father Ignatius’ policy with the people he met was to be as open and honest as possible when discussing matters or when giving advice or guidance. This included the youngsters he met at both Catholic schools, who, more often than not, asked direct personal questions and expected a straight answer. They were astute enough to know when someone was avoiding the question or giving them flannel.

The discussion during Catechism class was about vocations and the celibacy of priests and nuns.

Father Ignatius had been asked by a young pupil why priests and nuns are celibate.

“Let me see if I can answer this honestly and in personal terms,” said Father Ignatius. “There is, as you know a physical life which we all live right now, and a spiritual life which some people choose to follow at the same time.

“God wants us to enjoy our physical life and for us to live it in service of others so that He may be glorified by what we do. This can be done by being married and raising families and also indeed by remaining single in life.

“People who choose to follow a spiritual life, like Catholic priests and nuns, promise to remain chaste and not get married.”

“Like Jesus …” interrupted one of the 15 year-old students, “why did Jesus never marry?”

“That’s a good question.” Replied Father Ignatius, “in my opinion, I believe that Christ’s mission on earth was so important that He could not allow anything else to detract Him from His main objective.

“As you know, Jesus came to teach us about His Father’s Word; but more important than that; He came to offer Himself in sacrifice by dying on the Cross so that we may be reconciled with God.

“If, as you suggest, He would have married, and perhaps have children, this would have in many ways sidetracked His main mission on earth. But that’s only my opinion.”

“Do you think He ever wanted to get married?” asked another student innocently.

“Being human, I suspect He was not immune to the many feelings and emotions we experience. Yet, being God at the same time, His job on earth was to obey His Father and take on the ultimate sacrifice for us on the Cross.

“He always knew what his mission on earth was and how He would die on the Cross. And although He was tempted before His arrest, and He prayed to God that His ordeal may pass Him by, He knew and accepted that ultimately He had to obey His Father’s will; and that nothing should deflect Him from it.”

“Is it the same with priests,” asked Rose, “is their mission to teach about God and not get married. And to obey the Pope?”

“Father John got married,” corrected Paul, “he left the church and got married. Should he have done that Father?”

“It is not for me to judge what Father John did. Jesus told us never to judge each other,” replied Father Ignatius.

“Father John decided to leave the priesthood and to get married. I’m certain that he did not make this decision lightly. He must have agonized and soul-searched for a long time before deciding to leave his vocation as a priest. Which, I must add, he undertook in an exemplary manner in his time as a priest. Yet, eventually he decided to do what he felt was right for him at the time.”

“Have you ever wanted to get married and have children?” asked directly a pupil sitting up front.

The rest of the class gasped at what they felt was an impertinent question. Father Ignatius smiled and responded calmly.

“It would be a lie to deny it. Many people would like to have a family and raise children, especially if they are as well turned out as you.”

They smiled almost in unison.

“But when I decided to become a priest, I knew full well what I was giving up. Sharing my life with and loving another person, and raising a family, is a great privilege.

“Matrimony is a Sacrament which Christ taught about several times. It is a mission and a full commitment which married couples undertake throughout their lives together.

“However, by becoming a priest I promised and accepted that I would not get married.

“Having made that decision, God has rewarded me by making me a member of all your families here in this Parish.

“You and your parents have welcomed me in your homes as one of your family. I have been privileged to have been invited for meals with many of you at home. I have shared with your families moments of happiness and moments of sorrows too. I have seen many of you grow from little babies whom I have baptized many years ago, to who you are now.

“I am grateful to God and to you for welcoming me in your families.”

“Should everybody get married then,” asked Mark, “except for priests and nuns?”

“Married life is a Sacrament which we should take seriously and it is the best foundation in which to raise a family. But no, not everyone has to get married.

“Remember that God’s wish for you in this life is for you to be happy.

“Some people find happiness in marriage, others prefer to remain single. Celibacy can be a vocation too. Just like marriage.

“I have found that being single allows many people the time to do more for their communities and for the church. Things they would not have been able to do if married; when their main commitments should be to their families first.

“I have just returned from America as you know. I met there a young priest from Houston in Texas. He was brought up in a loving Catholic family and something he said to me still sticks in my mind,

“He said, ‘the way my parents brought me up, it was inevitable I’d become a priest!’

“His sister is a nun, whilst his other sisters are married and raising their families.

“So you see … his lovely parents created the conditions whilst raising their family that two of their children chose a vocation in the Church whilst the others are raising their children in the same Christian tradition their parents taught them.

“Whether you are married or not, a priest or a nun or not; the important thing that really matters is to live your life in the service of others and to glorify God at every opportunity.”

14 comments:

  1. A wonderful story, Victor! Your explanations on celibacy, the priesthood, and vocations are excellent!

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    1. Thank you Mary. You're so kind.

      God bless.

      Delete
  2. ((( “He said, ‘the way my parents brought me up, it was inevitable I’d become a priest!’ )))

    Victor #1 I'm sure you and Father Ignatius would agree that The Lord sure does work in mysterious ways... For example, I've never seen any angels but "My Faith" believes that they do exist... Long story short, earlier this morning, "I", i mean, my spirit and soul through sinner vic and his angels were writing about this post of yours and being like children, they were being too honest about all they spoke about and longer story short, "I" had written the truth as seen by sinner vic the god that he believes he is... don't tell any body but truth be known sinner vic is but a figment of my imagination who was created because in the seventies, a good doctor told my wife that writing would be good "Therapy" for me and so not being great at putting my thoughts down without getting myself in trouble, my spirit, soul and their angel cells believe that sinner vic who is a god could be of help so after i was reborn in the early nineties, "I" through sinner vic the god that he thinks he is started to evolve... Not funny anymore because he's starting to think that he is really a god and says that he's got cells in every human being who cares to listen to him .. I'm going to close by saying that what "I" had written was going to be longer than this post and as "I" was looking UP a Word and then came back to your post, the angels had taken "IT" all away, in other words "IT" was all gone... Yes God does work in mysterious ways because I've always told Him that if sinner vic gets carried away just give the Annoying Super Sinner what he deserves while he sits on his throne and let's just say that "Nature" did "IT" just today... let's just say that sinner vic answered "Nature's call" and leave "IT" at that for now...

    Go figure! http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester/2014/10/the-synod-is-over-for-now/

    By the way and for what it is worth, some of Mother Mary's Spiritual Cells said that this post of yours was excellent.

    Yours Sincerely,

    VS

    LOL:)

    God Bless you and yours

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  3. Very wonderful story, Victor. Nicely done.
    God bless.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Hand-Maid.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  4. You probably did more to strengthen families with this post than that silly synod the Church just held.

    By the way, I introduced your book The Priest and the Prostitute to my readers at my blog. I hope I gave it a fair presentation.

    http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-priest-and-prostitute-by-victor-s-e.html

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your very kind and generous Book Review, Manny. Your'e very supportive and encouraging. Much appreciated.

      As for the Synod ... I believe Christ is shaking His head in despair.

      God bless you and your family, Manny.

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  5. Beautifully written. Love it.
    Thanks for your prayers,Victor. God bless.

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    1. Thank you Colleen. Still praying ...

      God bless you all.

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  6. Hi Victor! What a beautiful and clear explanation of celibacy. So plain and easy to understand, great job in editing and writing my friend. I hope that all priests will feel that they are a part of their flocks families. Not all do, but when it happens, real community is created.

    I finished The Priest and the Prostitute. My favorite so far!!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Ceil for your kind words about The Priest and Prostitute. I'm so glad you liked it. Please tell others about it as (who knows) it may help someone persevere and trust in God in a moment of real need and hardship.

      Here's what one of my readers said about the book: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/the-priest-and-prostitute-by-victor-s-e.html

      As lond as I can remember, since being a child, we've always had different priests as friends and visitors in our homes. They were part of our family.

      God bless you and your family Ceil.

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    2. Awesome review! And he included your video too! You have very generous blog-friends, nothing like it :)

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    3. I am so fortunate Ceil to have really wonderful Blog friends. And I count you amongst them too.

      God bless.

      Delete

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