Contemplatives at the Heart of the New Evangelization
Becoming a priest or a man or woman religious is not primarily our own decision…. Rather it is the response to a call and to a call of love.
—Pope Francis, Address to Seminarians and Novices, July 6, 2013
This Sunday is Consecrated Life Day. In 1997, Pope John Paul II instituted Consecrated Life Day, a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd.
Please pray for us on Consecrated Life Day!
Religious and, in particular, contemplatives are great models and therefore teachers of prayer and worship, the highest of Christian acts. And in living their vocation faithfully they aid all of society and lift it up to God, pointing to man’s true end, to serve, reverence and praise God, so as to save their souls.
– Fr. Thomas Nelson, O.Praem.
Recently a dear missionary friend of ours and fellow religious (part of a budding Oratorian community), Fr. Brad Smith, was ordained to the sacred priesthood. He is a missionary in Jamaica, West Indies. The older Sisters have known him since he was a child.
This past Sunday Fr. Brad offered a Mass of Thanksgiving in our chapel. O glorious long-awaited day! Alleluia!
A fine reception catered by our Passionist Oblates – God reward you!
Fr. Brad with his proud family – brother Michael and parents Beverly and John Paul Smith
Heartfelt congratulations Fr. Brad – our continued prayers as you return to the mission field!
Religious institutes of the contemplative and active life have up to this time played, and still play, the greatest part in the evangelization of the world. This sacred Synod willingly acknowledges their merits and thanks God for all that has been done for the glory of God and the service of souls; it exhorts them to continue untiringly in the work they have begun, since they know that the virtue of charity which they are obliged to practice more perfectly because of their vocation, impels and obliges them to a spirit and a work that is truly Catholic.
Institutes of the contemplative life, by their prayers, penances and trials are of the greatest importance in the conversion of souls since it is in answer to prayer that God sends workers into his harvest (Matthew 9:38), opens the minds of non-Christians to hear the Gospel (Acts 16:14) and makes fruitful the word of salvation their hearts (1 Cor. 3:7).
From Ad Gentes Divinitus – document on Missionary Life of the Church from the Second Vatican Council
Some links of interest:
A Contemplative’s Prayer for the New Evangelization – scroll down
Prayer to Know One’s Vocation
Lord, my God and my loving Father, you have made me to know you, to love you, to serve you, and thereby to find and to fulfill my deepest longings. I know that you are in all things, and that every path can lead me to you.
But of them all, there is one especially by which you want me to come to you. Since I will do what you want of me, I pray you, send your Holy Spirit to me: into my mind, to show me what you want of me; into my heart, to give me the determination to do it, and to do it with all my love, with all my mind, and with all of my strength right to the end. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen