Tuesday, September 05, 2006

True love means sacrifice

We've had many recent comments about vocations, mostly concerning religious vocations. My favorite one is, "Sorry to have to tell you this but there is already major shortage of the priesthood and even worse the nunhood (is that a word?)". I hear this kind of comment every so often (by the way, sisterhood is a word, nunhood is not). I hope that the anonymous blogger who wrote this is doing his/her part to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life through prayer and fasting.

While it is true that there is a shortage of priests and nuns in the United States, it is also true that there is a lack of commitment in the other two vocations: married and single. The unfortunate and sad statistic that 50% of marriages end in divorce in this country is a major indication of that. Also, very, very few people seriously consider a permanent commitment to the single life. It's a vocations crisis across the board; a crisis in commitment.

Every one of us has a vocation. When God created the world, He had each one of us in mind. He has a Plan for all of humanity, and each one of us plays an important role in living out His Plan and doing His Will. Our job is to figure out to which vocation He is calling us: married, religious, or single. Most people are called to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, thanks be to God (we need to survive as a race!). Some are called to serve as priests or religious brothers and sisters, and some are called to give their lives in service to the Church as single men or women.

The obvious and earliest Scriptural basis for marriage as a calling from God is the Book of Genesis. God establishes the institution of marriage right away: "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body" (2:24). In Matthew 19, Jesus reaffirms Genesis and presents marriage as a vocation: "what God has joined together, no human being must separate" (v.6). A few lines later, Christ indicates that celibacy is God's Plan for some people: "Some are incapable of marriage...because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven" (v.12).

As I told the junior high students in the school last week, Christ is to be the center of every vocation. If we center our lives on Jesus Christ, especially in the Eucharist, we will know our vocations and live them out. He is Love; Love is to be the center of every marriage, every priesthood, every religious life, and every single life. True love means sacrifice. But, if we are committed to Christ and His Eucharistic Sacrifice, then we will be committed to our vocations and lay down our lives for others.

"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends" (Jn 15:13).


At Sun Sep 10, 03:07:00 PM 2006, Blogger Patrick J B said...

Fr. Greg,
How would you explain, "center your life on Jesus Christ", to a middle schooler?

Prayer for the undicerned:
Lord lead me to my vocation according Your will.
If single, let me know, religious or lay; if married, help me to find the right partner and to know the right time for marriage. Amen

patrick JB

At Wed Sep 13, 02:11:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

St. Matthew 22:1-14 (the parable of the marriage feast

When we hear the invitation to claim our membership in
God's family, it's like we've stumbled onto a Grace
Party. We can hardly believe our good fortune. The
sights and sounds of it are pure delight. Abundance
characterizes the whole shindig. The most delectable
manna is falling everywhere, and wine flows as though
from an Artesian well. Everyone is
eating and drinking endlessly yet not being harmed,
because this is not the food and wine of the world but
that of New Life.

And get this: everyone's invited! That's the really
good news. No one has to crash this party, and there's
no limit to how many of my friends I can
bring along with me. Or my enemies, for that matter.
It's such a blast that I want everyone to come - those
with wealth or not a penny to their name,
those who are down and out or who thought they had
some power. I do notice, though, that the so- called
'nobodies' seem to be having the most fun. It takes
the others awhile to lay down everything they brought
with them and start to play.

What are people doing at this party? That's the funny
thing - we're not 'doing' much at all. We're just
BEING. We're being our real selves, re

At Mon Sep 18, 10:36:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Basketball Extravaganza
Free Admission

St. Martin’s Terrors of Tours
The DC Hood

Friday, September 22, 2006
7pm to 10pm
Gaithersburg High School (main gym)

Basketball playing Priests and Seminarians!!!!!!!! (It’s possible)
Cheerleading Nuns!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Naturally Spirited)
Special Halftime ‘Entertainment’!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Not the Nuns)
Door Prizes!!!!!!!!!! (Maybe!) Sponsorship Opportunity
Game Announcer: Greg “The Mouthpiece” Jasper
Score Keeper: Principal Sr. Sharon “Boss Lady” Mihm
Lead Referee: Msgr. Mark “The Merciful” Brennan
Statistician: Fr. John “The Clairvoyant” Clark

DC Hood - Potential Roster
Rev. Carlos “Hombre” Benitez                  St. Raphael's, Potomac
Rev. John “The Cathedral” Caulfield        St. Matthew's Cathedral, NW DC
Rev. Greg “Dribbles” Coan              St. Peter's, Olney
Mr. Jose Raul “De Rookie” DeLeon            Redemptoris Mater Seminary, MD
Mr. Mark “Stork” Ivany                          Immaculate Conception Seminary, NJ
Rev. Rob “Run Run” Panke                  Director of Vocations
Mr. Jeff “Jump” Thompson                        Mount St. Mary's Seminary, MD
Rev. Javier “Have Hair” Santaballa           Our Lady of Lourdes, Bethesda
Rev. Greg “Have Ball Will Shoot” Shaffer   St. Andrew's, Silver Spring
Rev. Larry “Missing Link” Swink              St. Mary of the Mills, Laurel
Rev. Rob “Runt Wookie” Walsh                  St. Jude's, Rockville
Mr. Dave “Rev Wannabee’ Wells               Mount St. Mary's Seminary, MD
Rev. Mark “The Martyr” White                 St. Cyprian / Holy Comforter, SE DC
Rev. Larry “Yo Yo” Young   


Terrors of Tours
Coach: Deacon Larry “Shutter Bug” Bell
Assistant Coach: Deacon Ken “Pass it to one of my sons” Barrett
Team Manager: Deacon Ron “Meatball” Meyer
Water boy - Fr. Francisco “The Freshman” Tovar
Team Nurse – Therese “Tourniquet” Rodriguez
Team – The Terrors of Tours

FREE ADMISSION – DONATIONS APPRECIATED to benefit St. Martin’s faith formation activities.

DC Hood versus St Martin’s

At Thu Sep 21, 11:49:00 AM 2006, Anonymous TestUser said...

Just a test.

At Sat Sep 23, 11:34:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

are in need of donations. This collection will benefit their Home for the Aged in need. They are assisted in their work by the generosity of friends and benefactors and will be most grateful for any help that you may be able to offer. Contributions can also be mailed to: Little Sisters of the Poor, 4200 Harewood Road, NE, Washington, DC 20017

At Sun Sep 24, 09:26:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In preparation for the DVD release of “The DaVinci Code”, the Christian Formation Ministry of St. Francis will be presenting a three-part Fall Lecture Series with Jim Furilla:

The DaVinci Code: Fact, Fiction and Hoax - Sunday, October 22nd, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Constantine, the Making of the Bible, and Rise of Gnosticism - Sunday, October 29th, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Mary Magdalene and the Role of Women in Early Christianity - Sunday, November 5th, 7:00 – 9:00


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