Minority - it's a term that many people in the world today view as negative, derogatory, and unsuccessful. It is something a lot of people think of as something they don't aspire to. That is because they do not understand the true meaning of what it means to live a life in the spirit of Minority, what it is to live out the Gospel with a sense of Minority in mind. Minority is not a trap you fall into or an escape or excuse for those who have "failed" in the worldly sense. To live a life with the spirit of Minority is not to be self-seeking, not to seek prestige or special status, nor to attract the attention of all those around you deliberately for self reward. We read in Scripture that we should rather "store up treasures in Heaven" (Matthew 6:19-21) instead of seek reward on Earth "where moths and rust destroy, and theives break in and steal", in the same way, we can live our lives looking only to please God in service, and not seek out to be the most well known for such service, lest we lose our heavenly reward. To live in minority is to live as a brother or sister to all those around you, including our enemies, because it is they who need us most to show them love and mercy as God has shown us, for we are all sinners. It is not an unsuccess to live in the spirit of minority, nor does it mean that we do not take care of ourselves. Quite the opposite - by showing that we can see that we are beautiful to God, and live our lives simply and with human dignity without becoming attached to material wealth or status, we can show love and make an example of our lives as children of God. This is the meaning of true evangelisation - to pass on to those the love of God by living in the Truth, always bearing in mind the desire to bring about God's kingdom. By not having the material attachment, or everything we want all the time, we release our inner hunger for God, which allows us to always keep in mind His will for us, and our duty to serve Him as our Creator.
- Kim Lee (Thérèse)
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Saturday, 21 September 2013
Tuesday, 17 September 2013
Invocation FACE 2 FACE is a one-day event that will be held on the 12th October 2013 at St. Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham. The event is for young adults between 16-30, under 18's will need a parental consent form which can be downloaded from the website. You need to register for the event, there is a suggested cost of £15 but the website states that you can still attend if you are unable to pay. See the website for more details.
Monday, 16 September 2013
I have recently added some more materials to our Marriage section, specifically some links and resources for NFP (Natural Family Planning). I always encourage discerners to deepen their understanding of the vocation to marriage (including NFP) as well as religious life. A fuller, deeper understanding of all vocations is crucial to any discernment. I also encourage all women to chart, and the links I have added give resources for both.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013
This guide serves as an accompaniment to two previously published Guides: Finding An Active Community and Finding A Contemplative Community. One of the biggest things a discerner has to discern is where they fit in terms of spirituality to find a community. There are just so many different spiritualities in the Church that it can be daunting. So this guide aims to help you figure that out. This guide is a work-in-progress, as I discover and add more. But, for now, this is the starting point to help and guide you.
Part 1: The Spiritualities
There are many different expressions of the religious life in the Church, which is one of the things that makes it so beautiful! All are consecrated to Christ, but express their consecration in different ways. The Church is made up of people who have different expressions of their love of Christ so those come through in the religious life as well. There is truly a spirituality for everyone. While some may consider this more relevant than for contemplative life than active life, it is just as important for both. The spirituality of an active community is just as important as the apostolate.
Here at The Vocation Operation we have a page dedicated to resources on different spiritualities (Spiritualities Information) so if you want to find more on a specific spirituality, then that is a good place to start. Of course I cannot possibly include every spirituality in that list, but it is a starting point. Our tag Order, Order also has posts about various spiritualities, aimed at discussing them briefly. We also have tags for various spiritualities so if you want to investigate all we have on a particular spiritality you can do so easily.
Part 2: The Saints
The simplest place to look first is at the saints. They can provide us with a concrete example of how a certain spirituality is lived and expressed. By looking at the saints we can see what it is that draws us about them.
- I recommend first thinking about your favourite saints. Make a short list, keeping to those you particularly admire or have a special devotion to. Think about what is it you admire about them. Look for similarities. If your favourite saints are St. Thérèse of Lisieux and Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, you might just be a Carmelite at heart. Look at what specifically inspires you about those saints. Again, look for a pattern. If you are inspired by their poverty, then perhaps you are a Franciscan. Here you are looking for anything in particular that inspires you about a particular religious way of life.
- I have created a document giving examples of saints from different spiritualities, you can access that document online here. Again, I cannot possibly include saints from every spirituality there is but looking at the major orders first and then narrowing down can be helpful. I have included many saints from I will continue to update it, so it is not complete (and maybe never will be!)
Part 3: You
Another thing to think about it your own personal devotions and practices. Here are some things to think about:
- Rosary - do you say a daily Rosary? What about praying the Rosary in community vs praying alone?
- Chaplets - do you say the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily? Again, praying in community vs praying alone.
- Eucharistic Adoration - perpetual Adoration, Eucharistic Holy Hours, in community vs alone.
- Any particular strong devotions you may have that you feel are an important part of your spiritual life.
Wednesday, 4 September 2013
I know I probably shouldn't be saying this, but I have said it rather a few times lately, "WHY ask ME to give my whole life? Haven't YOU got so many children, God to choose from, to ask, who want it so much more than me, who can love so much more than me, who can give so much more than me? So why, oh why, God ask me to walk this path?" and I pray, well, "enlighten me, Lord!" and this is the answer I get - the gift of wisdom to know in my heart that it's not about deserving or how much better someone is at something, or how much more virtuous they are, but about God's will and His plan for any given individual, and in that is included myself. I find the scripture verse, Matthew 16:18 at the back of my mind after reading the Gospels again, and IT WILL NOT LEAVE ME! You really don't know how much it keeps "ringing at me", like a phone off the hook! It's also this "spiritual knowing" of what God wants of me right now - you see, what I also want to know is where He is leading me, and well, I guess I'll leave the "why" til I reach the other side of the grave, and God forbid it ever be too soon! The thing is, it's like standing at a sign post saying, "London 50 miles (to use Father John's signpost analogy of London 50 miles), turn right" and if I speed down the road on the left, I find myself going round the back route and taking the short cut to "London" and getting there even faster than I could possibly imagine, maybe cutting out 20 miles or so? (where London represents the place God is trying to send me, and the road represents the path He is trying to walk with me...I say trying because I'm a stubborn child who sometimes tries to resist and then ends up giving in because I can't resist the Holy Spirit for the life of me!)...I once said to my PP, God has thrown a pie in my face and I'm trying to deny it's there! But now, I just give in - God's will be done! :P