An Ordination and four Gentle Giants

Three men, brave and determined men, took that
final leap into a new life; complete with new titles, responsibilities, and new homes today….never to be the same again. But they prepared for this over a  seven year-span, immersed in the spiritual, biblical, and examples of those around them. They definitely had the support from family and friends, and the diocese, the church was packed!

My family came to know then Deacon Ryan last summer after the bishop appointed the newly ordained temporary deacons to posts at different parishes around the diocese.  The good deacon filled in at different events and study groups over the next several weeks.  Lucky me, I was taking the current bible study offering of the parish, Exodus, and the deacon filled in as the facilitator for a couple of sessions.  We had a blast talking with him, asking him questions and gleaning from his knowledge of the bible and all things Catholic.  Being a younger man of 27, the teens of the parish also got to know him and felt a special bond with him. Our daughters and family friend Bryan decided that they were determined to attend the ordination of their new friend when the date was set.  I agreed, so when the day came, we all got up early and headed to the big, and certainly long awaited, day’s event.

This may sound very strange coming from me, if you are a long-time reader of the “Pillars”, but this was my first ordination.  Yes, yes, I know, where have I been, what is the matter with me for not taking the time to attend such an amazing and important event as this in my Church, I have no excuse, other than the fact that it never occurred to me to attend one.

Anyway enough of the confession, this has been an experience that I will never forget.  All the pomp and circumstance and ceremonial traditions were beautiful and very comforting to be perfectly honest.  Our bishop was overjoyed since he had not ordained as many as 3 new priests at one time before, just one a few years ago and then last year 2 young men.  Our prayers are being answered, we are growing more and more priests!

My heart skipped a beat as the procession came down the aisle lead by the acolytes carrying candles, incense, and the crucifix; followed the seminarians along side the priests of the diocese.  It was quite a showing, a presence, so dynamic and spiritual! 

During the ceremony there were two times when all the priests present are called to show their support for these three, the first time each priest came forward and laying hands on the men individually, prayed over them and the second time by giving them each a sign of peace. This was a beautiful sign of support and approval for the ordinates.  Of course their families and friends were present also, but there cannot be a more meaningful gesture than the support of those in the frontlines already.

We are not alone, not one of us, and watching these three new ordinates receive the support of the priests, the Holy Spirit, and the holy saints, prostrated in front of the altar while the church sang the litany saints; it was clear to me.  They made some solemn promises of obedience, received great gifts from the Holy Spirit, and accepted tall responsibilities as new shepherds during this ceremony, of which, without the help and support of the Church and all of those around them, their tasks could be unbearable, if not impossible.

The Catholic Church continues to grow and lead as Jesus Christ to the world and it is starkly obvious how important my role is, both as a mom and wife, but also as a parishioner of a parish, and a fellow Catholic Christian along side her priests and religious.  I have a responsibility to support and pray for these gentle giants in a world so cluttered with evil and darkness.  There is no other way to say this but, if WE don’t take care of these men and women, who will.  They are rarely thanked, ignored, and just simply taken for granted.  If we don’t have priests, we don’t have a Church!  If we don’t have a Church, we don’t have the support of the sacraments to keep us on the path to righteousness and glory.


Pray, and pray hard for all the priests in your diocese and around the world.  Bring them food, cards, and money.  Smile and shake their hands, give them a hug (if they allow that…ask first), and always, ALWAYS make sure they are happy, taken care of, and loved.

Our family felt so blessed to be a part of Fr. Ryan’s ordination and we look forward to getting to know Fr. Nick as he takes on the role of Spiritual Director for our high school students and our daughters.  They will remain in our prayers always along with the other priests in our diocese. 

We. Are. So. Blessed!

Joy of Nine9, The Cloistered Heart, Rose’s Supposes, Campfires and Cleats and For Better or Worse: Big Click Award Winners for May 2013

Welcome to the
2013 Catholic Blogger Link-Up Blitz.
Announcing the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers
for May 2013!
In the category of…

Readings and Reflections,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is:
Joy of Nine9 for the post
Mothers, Do You Act Like a Holy vacuum Cleaner?

Catechism and Apologetics,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is
The Cloistered Heart for the post
The Cloistered Heart
 
Liturgical Calendar Crafts and Homeschooling,
the Big Clicks Catholic Blogger is:
Rose’s Supposes for the post
Rosary Flipbook

Catholic Family Journal and Random Ramblings,
the Big Clicks Catholic Bloggers are
Campfires and Cleats for the post
Always Hope: Soldier in the Snapshot
and For Better or Worse for the post
Yes, We’re Scared

Spread the word!! Let your friends know about these popular posts on the Catholic Bloggers Network
and help promote Catholic Bloggers!

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Monica is a wife, Mom of 5+ kids, a designer, an architecture school survivor, an author and a crafter who thinks it’s cool to be Catholic! Check out the Arma Dei Shoppe for solid Catholic, fun teaching tools and gifts to celebrate and teach the Catholic Faith and subscribe to Equipping Catholic Families for family-building and Faith-centered crafts!

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What is detachment in the Catholic spiritual life?

File:John of the Cross crucifixion sketch.jpg

Among Carmelite saints, John of the Cross, co-founder of the Discalced Carmelites with Teresa of Avila, is not the most popular. Why not? He insisted that detachment was necessary for holiness. Many Catholics, misunderstanding his teaching, think it too hard and too dull. On first reading his Ascent of Mt. Carmel, they might be tempted to settle for luke-warmness.

On the other hand, nearly everyone loves St. Therese of Lisieux. The irony is that Therese was a true daughter of John, embracing all that he taught. If we reject John, we implicitly reject Therese as well.

Misconceptions about attachment Let’s examine some of the misconceptions about detachment.

First of all, the detachment John of the Cross speaks of is not aloofness. We should have proper affection for our family and friends.  It’s nonsensical to be cold towards your spouse due to a supposed love for God.

Detachment doesn’t mean denying the good that is in the material world. Rather, it means viewing temporal goods as temporal, gifts from God meant to lead us to Him. Unlike some religions, where the physical world is seen as evil, Christianity does not teach asceticism for its own sake. We give up our desires for things in order to make room in our hearts for God.  Detachment is a means, not an end.

Continue reading about detachment.

An Interview with Elizabeth Scalia

One of the awesome things about being a book reviewer is being able to touch base with the authors of the books I review. Yesterday I posted my review of Strange Gods : Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life. You can find that review here. I was really excited when Elizabeth Scalia, The Anchoress, agreed to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions. So without further ado….here is my latest author interview at the Catholic Book Blogger. Continue reading……..

Is love or fear the better motivator?

Last week’s post on the Final Judgment (and Mr. Darcy and St. Therese) reminded me of two opposing views I’ve read in books about homeschooling. Some authors say that loving your students is the best way to motivate them to learn. Others say a healthy fear of the teacher is more effective. Here’s my take on the love versus fear debate.

The Machiavellian argument Niccolo Machiavelli famously wrote in The Prince:

“Here a question arises: whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reverse. The answer is, of course, that it would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved.”

Focus on a child’s fear of his parent(s)–whether it is called fear, respect, or discipline–seems to me to be particularly Protestant. I mean no disrespect to my non-Catholic fellow homeschoolers, but many conservative Protestants have a somber view of humanity. Calvin taught that man was totally depraved. Fundamentalist Christians generally believe that man’s nature is bad since the Fall. Thus a child has a naturally rebellious spirit that must be tamed.

Ruth Beechick was one of the early homeschooling experts among “Bible Christians.” I gleaned much from her book Heart & Mind:What the Bible Says About Learning.  However, her works have the typical Fundamentalist shortcomings, most based on an overly literal interpretation of Scripture.  Since “[t]he fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 3:12), she believes that education must start with discipline.  Without a healthy fear (she says), children won’t be motivated to learn anything.

Read more at Contemplative Homeschool.

God, Mr. Darcy, and St. Therese

 

Are you afraid of standing before God on Judgment Day? Does the thought of facing Him make you fear death? Even if you’ve committed mortal sin in your lifetime, you only have to fear God in one circumstance–if you die unrepentant, or with no intention of confessing your sin as soon as possible. Here’s how my husband, St. Therese, and Mr. Darcy taught me to think of the Final Judgment with peace.

My husband and I met through Single Catholics Online (now Ave Maria Singles). After emailing and talking on the phone for several weeks, we decided to meet in person. As I was preparing for our first date, my hands shook from nervousness. I told myself, “There’s nothing to worry about. It’s just Dan.” We had gotten along great in our conversations. We already knew a lot about each other. We were friends. We were old enough to have been completely genuine with each other, rather than acting a part. What did I have to fear? If it wasn’t God’s will for our relationship to deepen, it wouldn’t happen, but I knew Dan would not reject me as a person. Most (I’ll admit–not all) of my nervousness disappeared at these thoughts.

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.

Catholic Homeschool Support Groups on Facebook

Get connected to other Catholic homeschoolers on Facebook. There are a variety of groups.

I am seeing much more activity in the Catholic homeschool Facebook groups than I am seeing in the yahoogroup emails. If you are looking for support and Catholic homeschool info please consider these links to active groups. These communities are helpful and connect us to others like us across the map. 

+ Catholic Homeschool Moms https://www.facebook.com/groups/24164460379/ over 1,000 members

+ Catholic Homeschoolers of NorthEast (PA, NJ,DE,MD) https://www.facebook.com/groups/115513477358/ over 70

+ MODG Moms https://www.facebook.com/groups/29412108736/ almost 200

+ Mater Amabalis(for Catholic Charlotte Mason approach) https://www.facebook.com/groups/materamabilis/ almost 200

+ Catholic Homeschooling Resources https://www.facebook.com/pages/Catholic-Homeschooling-Resources/137231707453 almost 700

+ Totus Tuus Family & Catholic Homeschool FB page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Totus-Tuus-Family-Catholic-Homeschool/285307812834?fref=ts over 700

Did I miss any? Please add to comments.