Concerning Lay Preaching and Such
#71
(12-29-2009, 07:50 AM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: I am glad you are blessed enough to have felt a discernment in your life.  The funny thing with discernments, however, is that it is often difficult to know which are of God, which are of common sense, of circumstance, etc

Quis, I was thinking about this, and it is soooo true.  As I stated in another post, I used to be a Baptist minister, and at that time, I felt and "discerned" a calling on my life from God to be a minister of the Gospel.  But now, after finding the True Faith, I really question that I was even hearing from God in reality.  After all, would God truly call me to publically proclaim the teachings of a false Gospel?  Of course not.  After all, the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of truth, would not lead someone to teach falsehood.  I just seems like there are many times we may truly believe in our hearts that God is calling us to a certain vocation or ministry (for whatever reason), when in reality He isn't.
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#72
(01-01-2010, 08:27 AM)ServantofMary Wrote:
(12-29-2009, 07:50 AM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: I am glad you are blessed enough to have felt a discernment in your life.  The funny thing with discernments, however, is that it is often difficult to know which are of God, which are of common sense, of circumstance, etc

Quis, I was thinking about this, and it is soooo true.  As I stated in another post, I used to be a Baptist minister, and at that time, I felt and "discerned" a calling on my life from God to be a minister of the Gospel.  But now, after finding the True Faith, I really question that I was even hearing from God in reality.  After all, would God truly call me to publically proclaim the teachings of a false Gospel?  Of course not.  After all, the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of truth, would not lead someone to teach falsehood.  I just seems like there are many times we may truly believe in our hearts that God is calling us to a certain vocation or ministry (for whatever reason), when in reality He isn't.

Yeah, it's difficult.  That's why the Church has always recommended a spiritual director and why the Seminary is more than getting a degree - the discernment process is difficult.

Not sure why God makes it this way, but He does.  Well, maybe the devil is who makes it difficult, but you know what I mean.

But there are many good-intentioned good-hearted people that do things like become Protestant ministers or what have you.  I think you escaped it because you kept searching for the Truth - searching for Christ - and that search should ultimately end at the Church, and I think that is true for everyone even if we get lost on a few sideroads.  Lots of people get comfortable and stop searching and get stuck.  Even the Saints continuously searched on earth, in a different way, because we will never come to the end of knowing God at least on earth.

I asked a priest: how do we figure out what to do?  I mean, assuming it is moral and such, how do we figure out it is what we are supposed to be doing.  His answer was that God wants us to do whatever is honorable and true, and He will lead us the rest of the way.  So far I haven't come across a better or more practical answer, so that's what I try to do, and I tell God that I'm an idiot and if He wants me to do something to feel free to pull a Jonah on me because I often have wax in my ears, etc.  I don't ask for signs, I try to surrender my will to Him and ask Him to just force me into it.

Sometimes I think we completely miss the boat because we think God wants us to do something spectacular (which is probably a form of pride).  Well, He just wanted St. Joseph to be a good foster father to Jesus.  By doing this "simple" thing, St. Joseph did exactly what God wanted.  This is "The Little Way".  I think for a lot of people His plan is for us to be good parents, good sons and daughters, etc.  And, of course, good Catholics.  If everyone got this down, those He chooses to do more "spectacular" things would have less of a problem, because it seems to me most of the headaches the Saints get come from our misbehavior.  The "Little Way" is actually for everyone, even the most spectacular of Saints because the "Little Way" prepares them for greater things.

As usual, I ramble, but like you and most others, I've wondered about this very topic of discernment, etc.  That's what I've come up with so far.  The Little Way of St. Therese Lisieux is a wonderful way to be a good Catholic and at the same time discern what God wants from us, even if He only wants us to behave and keep the refectory tidy.  Whatever we do that is honorable and true, we should do the best we can out of love for Him and offer it to Him.  When we can do this, I think he will let us know what He wants one way or another.  And it sounds "simple" but I think in practice most of us find the simple things can be the most difficult.  I know I do.

I found this on another site:

Quote:St. Thérèse and her Little Way

Rev. John F. Russell, O.Carm.

Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J. 07079

What is the meaning of “the little way” of St Therese? It is an image that tries to capture her understanding of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, of seeking holiness of life in the ordinary and the everyday. St Therese based “her little way” on two fundamental convictions: (1) God shows love by mercy and forgiveness, and (2) she could not be “perfect” in following the Lord. St Therese believed that the people of her time lived in too great a fear of God's judgment. The fear was stifling and did not allow people to experience the freedom of the children of God. St Therese knew from her life that God is merciful love; many scripture passages in the Old and New Testaments bore out that truth. She loved the maternal images for God in the Old Testament and the love of God for us in Jesus Christ. In fact, St Therese once wrote that she could not understand how anyone could be afraid of a God who became a child. She also knew that she would never be perfect. Therefore, she went to God as a child approaches a parent . . . with open arms and a profound trust.

St Therese translated “the little way” in terms of a commitment to the tasks and to the people we meet in our everyday lives. She took her assignments in the convent of Lisieux as ways of manifesting her love for God and for others. She worked as a sacristan by taking care of the altar and the chapel; she served in the refectory and in the laundry room; she wrote plays for the entertainment of the community. Above all, she tried to show a love for all the nuns in the community. She played no favourites; she gave of herself even to the difficult members. Her life sounds so routine and ordinary, but it was steeped in a loving commitment that knew no breakdown. It is called a “little way” precisely by being simple, direct, yet calling for amazing fortitude and commitment.

In living out her life of faith she sensed that everything that she was able to accomplish came from the generous love of God in her life. She was convinced that at the end of her life she would go to God with empty hands. Why? Because all was accomplished in union with God.

Catholics and other Christians have been attracted to St Therese's style. Her “little way” seems to put holiness of life within the reach of ordinary people. Live out your days with confidence in God's love for you. Recognize that each day is a gift in which your life can make a difference by the way you choose to live it. Put hope in a future in which God will be all and love will consume your spirit. Choose life, not the darkness of pettiness and greed. St Therese knew the difference love makes by allowing love to be the statement she made each day of her life.

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#73
Our priest was just talking about finding God's will at Mass yesterday. He said that discernment comes from following the ten commandments, the laws of the Church, and reason. But if something goes against these, it isn't God's will. He also quoted St. Augustine saying, 'love and do as you will', but when St. Augustine said "love", he was referring to the whole law of God, which was given in love and is to be followed in love.

Servant of Mary, I spent a few years as a Protestant before returning to the Church. God bends everything to His purposes and ultimately the devil can never outsmart Him, you know?  :)
Oh my Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.--Fr Dolindo Ruotolo

Persevere..Eucharist, Holy Rosary, Brown Scapular, Confession. You will win.
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#74
The thing about St. Therese: she wanted to be a great missionary, she even said wished she were a priest. Therese wanted to do great things, yet during her life she seemed very ordinary to those around her. After death, her greatness was revealed to others. Very much like the Blessed Mother.
Oh my Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.--Fr Dolindo Ruotolo

Persevere..Eucharist, Holy Rosary, Brown Scapular, Confession. You will win.
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#75
(01-02-2010, 06:52 AM)Jacafamala Wrote: The thing about St. Therese: she wanted to be a great missionary, she even said wished she were a priest. Therese wanted to do great things, yet during her life she seemed very ordinary to those around her. After death, her greatness was revealed to others. Very much like the Blessed Mother.
And St Joseph
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#76
(01-02-2010, 02:26 AM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: I asked a priest: how do we figure out what to do?  I mean, assuming it is moral and such, how do we figure out it is what we are supposed to be doing.  His answer was that God wants us to do whatever is honorable and true, and He will lead us the rest of the way.  So far I haven't come across a better or more practical answer, so that's what I try to do, and I tell God that I'm an idiot and if He wants me to do something to feel free to pull a Jonah on me because I often have wax in my ears, etc.  I don't ask for signs, I try to surrender my will to Him and ask Him to just force me into it.

Sometimes I think we completely miss the boat because we think God wants us to do something spectacular (which is probably a form of pride).  Well, He just wanted St. Joseph to be a good foster father to Jesus.  By doing this "simple" thing, St. Joseph did exactly what God wanted.  This is "The Little Way".  I think for a lot of people His plan is for us to be good parents, good sons and daughters, etc.  And, of course, good Catholics.  If everyone got this down, those He chooses to do more "spectacular" things would have less of a problem, because it seems to me most of the headaches the Saints get come from our misbehavior.  The "Little Way" is actually for everyone, even the most spectacular of Saints because the "Little Way" prepares them for greater things.

Awesome thoughts, Quis!!! The majority of us probably won't be priests, martyrs, missionaries, lay preachers, or great doctors of theology. At the same time, we can live our lives in the "spirit" of priests, martyrs, and missioners, etc. Such a life makes our "ordinary" work extraordinary, and indeed prepares some for greater things. That is the heart of St. Therese's "Little Way."

Another thing about discernment: Sometimes we fumble and never "get it." An example: My grandfather always felt he might be "called" to use his musical talents as a choir director. But, for whatever reason, he didn't make it. Instead he entertained family and friends with his piano playing and singing, and continued to live a good Catholic life and grew in holiness. So whether we hit or miss the mark regarding specific "callings" - we can still obey the commandments and always seek to love God more. In the end, this is all God asks of us. 

Here's what another Carmelite had to say - which is not far from the topic.

St. John of the Cross Wrote:Although revelations may be of God, we cannot always be sure of their meaning; for we can very easily be greatly deceived by them because of our manner of understanding them. Let us take an example. A soul has great desires to be a martyr. It may happen that God answers him, saying: Thou shalt be a martyr. This will give him inwardly great comfort and confidence that he is to be martyred; yet it may come to pass that he dies not the death of a martyr, and notwithstanding this the promise may be true. Why, then, is it not fulfilled literally? Because it will be fulfilled, and is capable of being fulfilled, according to the most important and essential sense of that saying -- namely, in that God will have given that soul the love and the reward which belong essentially to a martyr... (- St. John of the Cross from his chapter "On the Danger of Visions" from The Ascent of Mount Carmel)
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#77
(01-02-2010, 10:46 AM)voxpopulisuxx Wrote:
(01-02-2010, 06:52 AM)Jacafamala Wrote: The thing about St. Therese: she wanted to be a great missionary, she even said wished she were a priest. Therese wanted to do great things, yet during her life she seemed very ordinary to those around her. After death, her greatness was revealed to others. Very much like the Blessed Mother.
And St Joseph
:)
Oh my Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.--Fr Dolindo Ruotolo

Persevere..Eucharist, Holy Rosary, Brown Scapular, Confession. You will win.
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#78
(01-02-2010, 06:01 PM)Jacafamala Wrote:
(01-02-2010, 10:46 AM)voxpopulisuxx Wrote:
(01-02-2010, 06:52 AM)Jacafamala Wrote: The thing about St. Therese: she wanted to be a great missionary, she even said wished she were a priest. Therese wanted to do great things, yet during her life she seemed very ordinary to those around her. After death, her greatness was revealed to others. Very much like the Blessed Mother.
And St Joseph
:)
I love your Bishop sheen siggy...very very funny
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