On a different thread Br. David said, “pray for me.”
Do you pray daily for all Priests and all Religious? Do you mention them by name, or more in general?
For instance, in my intentions for one of my daily Rosaries, I pray, “for all Priests and Religious, that You nurture their Vocation, Lord, especially for…” and then I mention by name those whose names I know, the Brothers here included.
My pastor has asked me on occassion to pray for him, saying, “please pray for your priest”, but more often I pray in a more inclusive way as you mentioned here. Since you reminded me of it, I’m going to pray for him by name tonight, and try to do so more frequently.
I pray for all priests in general, but also by name. Our priests need individual prayers just like the rest of us. And especially if we know their needs. Like my priest has had problems with discs in his back, so I pray for that specifially.
For the religious, I pray that the Lord will bless them, keeping them holy, and that their prayers and the works of mercy which they do will be used for the building up of the Kingdom.
I have a litany of Priests by name for whom I pray. I think the Lord for giving them to us, since they bring our Savior to us in the Eucharist. I include all Priests worldwide in my intention, and ask the Lord to call them to unity,obedience and holiness; to breathe His Holy Spirit upon them, fanning the flames of their faith and re-igniting the flame of those whose faith is smoldering. I ask that the Lord re-invigorate them daily and that the mass will be the high point of their day. I pray this also for Bishops, Archbishops and the College of Cardinals - that the Lord will raise up strong, holy, faithful leaders from among them so that they can strengthen their brothers who may be wavering in their faith.
For our Holy Father, I ask the Lord to bless him with health of mind, of body and of spirit, so that he may faithfully lead and guide the Church through troubled waters; that he maintains a steady hand as he steers the ship that is our Church.
It would be nice if someone remembered that there are over 50,000 brothers in the Catholic Church:
monks who pray for us day and night
friars who teach, preach, serve the sick, poor, unborn, elderly, do manual labor, adore the Bl. Sacrament for our intentions, serve in foreign missions, work in chanceries, are superiors to priests in their houses, do formation work, teach in seminaries and even serve as theologians at the Vatican
lay brothers who maintain religious communities in order to allow clerics to minister to the laity
lay brothers who run schools, hospitals, and who have taught most of our priests, bishops and popes
Brother Jay, you are in there by name, as well as all Monks, Brothers and Abbots.
You want to know what gripes me as of yesterday? My rabidly pro-abortion “Catholic” US Senator, Maria Cantwell, in her email system, requires a prefix before your name, such as Mr., Mrs., etc. It is clear that certain Catholic Sisters regularly contact her. There is one major omission…
Thank you for your prayers. Moving right along, she does have Reverend on her list. Rev. can be a Catholic or Orthodox priest or a Protestant Minister. As for Brothers, well . . . let’s just say that most Catholics ignore the existence of brothers. Many Catholics think that a brother is a seminarian, one step before becoming a priest. Unfortunately, many congregations have called their seminarians, Brother. That confuses people. Then there are some (just a few) Catholics who actually have no use for brothers. As one poster said on these threads at one time, she would not waste her time promoting vocations to the consecrated life for religious brothers, because there is nothing that a brother can do for the faithful, since brothers don’t say mass or hear confessions. She was quite surprised to find out that Franciscans are all brothers and 40% of our brothers are also ordained, also my entire community takes care of men and women who are poor and are in crisis pregnancies. We take care of them for 2 years to ensure that they don’t abort their babies because of poverty. We served 331 unborn babies last year.
Oh well . . . we need to do a lot of educating, don’t we?
Pray for priests and religious as you might beg for reinforcements on a crumbling front-line in a war zone; if you’ve not been in a war zone, just stub your toe very hard against a doorpost, and imagine that feeling multiplied all over your body and soul.
Remember that not all men can be sergeants or major-rank officers. We need guides. Our King is God, our Supreme Commander is Christ the God-man, and our greatest general is St. Michael the holy Archangel. St. Gabriel administers Communications, and St. Raphael oversees logistics and medical considerations. The whole world is a grand front upon which the forces of Hell or Heaven constantly pivot. God’s end is never in question, but the individual battle-lines of each man and woman constitute a dangerous portion of the front. To pray for priests and religious is to ask God to strengthen those who give the immediate orders in proximity to your section of the line.
You must hold out at all costs, and this cannot be achieved without the officer class. Pray for them as if you’ve just run out of ammunition, have 3 wounded out of a squad of 8, and are being overwhelmed by the enemy assaults. The mercy of God shall provide you with a good leader.
It’s funny that you mention this. There is a turning of attention on the part of the Church, especially the Vatican and some bishops too. The Vatican and the bishops have been so focussed on the shortage of priests, that the local Catholic communities have not really spent much time promoting vocations to the brothers.
As a result, no one mentions them in prayer. When people speak they usually say “priests and nuns”. And some people discourage their sons from becoming brothers. The focus has been on getting more priests.
However, in a recent report that the Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life issued to the Holy Father, I believe it was in 2004 , the number of brothers around the world was about 50,000. This caused Pope John Paul grave concerns. Now Pope Benedict has picked up on the concerns and has passed them on to the bishops.
The concern of the Curia and the popes is that if all male religious are ordained, the purity of the consecrated life for men is lost forever. What people will see is not a religious. People will see a priest. The laity has not idea how a Salesian, Dominican, Marist, Carmelite or Trinitarian differ from one another. It’s only when you see the non-ordained members of these communities that you can see the differences in gifts that the Holy Spirit has poured on the Church.
Here is the point. The sacraments are the same whether the person celebrating them is a consecrated religious or a secular man. You don’t see the difference between a Selesian and a Diocesan in the confessional. However, if you you a non-ordained Salesian and a non-ordained Marist in your community, you will see the differences in the way they work, the kind of work that they do, their priorities, how they pray, how often they pray, how they relate to each other and their duties toward their respective communities and even how they live the vows.
The Church has already established that the consecrated life, without the priesthood is essential not accidental, to her existence. To the horror of Pope John Paul and now to the horror of Pope Benedict, they is a strong movement to encourage vocations of men to the religious life. Religious communities are being told to focus on recruiting for their way of life, not for the priesthood. If you visit any Franciscan site on the net, it will speak about St. Francis and the Franciscan life and about the ministry of that particular branch of the order. Then somewhere in there, they will say that there are friars who are priests. But the pitch is “Become a Franciscan”. This is true of many religious communities of men now.
Also of interest and to keep in prayer, the Holy See is now allowing the larger orders, such as Franciscans, to break-off groups of men to form smaller orders of brothers without priests. It is also allowing communities of brothers to be founded, but not ordaining any of them or only enough so they can celebrate the community mass. For example, the Missionaries of the Poor ordain 10% of their brothers. They may not be identifiable as priests. They must retain the brother’s habit and way of life. The only thing is that they are called Father. But they do the same work, wear the same habit, share the same duties and have the same rights.
In an interview, the Archbishop of NY said to Raymond Arroyo, “I always insist that the brothers be mentioned in the prayer of the faithful at the mass when I celebrate, because it’s the ‘forgotten vocation’.”
Think about the brothers. In several documents now, the last two popes have insisted that religious life is essential to the life of the Church, but it must be both, male and female and not all the males can be ordained. There must be a signficant number of them who are not ordained to preserve the charism of the religious community without blurring the lines between religious life and priesthood. Otherwise the Church will lose something that is essential to her life of grace.
Br. J.R., I had never prayed for Religious before, but your post has made me reconsider this laxity. I promise to say the glorious mysteries of the rosary every Saturday for the rest of my life, for the intention of the future glory of God through more religious brothers and sisters. If it weren’t for the Franciscans of this city, I’d never even think about becoming Catholic. Those friars did it all for me: showed burning love, taught me about charity, and showed me to correct theology.
I too came into the Catholic Church inspired by the Capuchin Franciscans. They taught me about Francis of Assisi. I fell in love with Francis. The more I read about him, the more I wanted to live as he lived, so I began to pay special attention to his faith. That was my conversion. My faith mimicked that of Francis of Assisi. But were it not for the great love and and gentleness of the sons of St. Francis, I would not have discovered Francis and then I would not have understood the Christian faith. Francis is the best of teachers.
I always say it this way. Aquinas wrote what Francis lived.
This is the great joy of Religious which seems to be lost on many people. It’s all fine and good to have the sacraments, but without a holy witness of simple men, no one would even be Christian to receive those sacraments from priests. What St. Francis’ humble Christianity imparted to you was given to me equally by the scholarly study and moral admonishes of St. Thomas. Using small avenues and roads which disappear into the vast, sweeping countryside of humanity, each one of we little children of God find a small path that leads to the grand highway of Christ. He is gathering us all together by diverse means, to see the holy Gospel.
Thomas considered himself a brother, and always despised ideas of becoming Abbot of Monte Casino. Lofty things drew him to the same sorrow that St. Francis experienced. Every saint is really the same way, if we look into his or her inner life. St. Francis is the most visible and dramatic ideal of the Fool for Christ, but sometimes a quieter type appeals to others. Franciscans I know are very joyous and full of laughter and song. Dominicans are very different, but each set of brethren exudes tremendous holiness when they are doing the will of our Lord.
One has to remember the three great differences between Franciscans and Dominicans.
Dominicans were founded to be an order of priests who would preach to the world and save it from heresy.
Franciscans were founded to be an order of brothers who would live the Gospel, together, in perfect poverty and obedience. Their mission was and still is to convert Catholics to Catholicism. We don’t worry too much about non-Catholics. That’s covered by the Dominicans and the Jesuits. We worry about Catholics.
Dominic was a Spaniard and Francis was a Franco/Italian. The Spaniards have always been very intense, just look at all of the Spanish mystics.
The Italians were intensely playful and the French wee intensely romantic. So, Francis is very different from Dominic.
The Dominicans embraced the conventual life. They lived as monks, except that they went out to preach.
The Franciscans avoided the conventual life. They wanted to pray the Divine Office as they walked. They asked the pope to give them a simpler missal so they did not have to carry so many things in order to celebrate mass. They never had the large priories that the Dominicans have. They avoided structure.
These characteristics are going to attract very different personalities.
In light of these facts, Br., it is incumbent on all of us to pray that intense, melancholic, romantic, serious, solemn, and scholarly men see their vocation in Dominican or other orders. In the same vein, we must pray that simple, joyous, childlike, innocent, and sanguine men see their vocation in Franciscan or other orders. We absolutely have to be specific! God wants us to have rightly-ordered interest in all of our neighbours, and to have the good of each human being in our heart for the glory of God. True love is willing the good of another, and the ‘other’ who really needs to experience the good right now is our holy Church’s Religious Life.
The more you say, Br. J.R., the clearer things are.
The important thing is to pray and to understand what you’re praying for, which it seems that you do. One need not mention every vocation to God or every religious and secular order. Can you imagine how long that prayer would be? :eek:
We have a daily prayer that we say for Franciscan vocations. This covers all 112 branches of the Franciscan family: male and female; regular and secular.
Brother Jay, you get double prayers: one in my intention for all religious, and again for the cross(es) you bear. As you have so ably demonstrated, we Catholics need enough ministering to, never mind our separated brothers and sisters, or even atheists!