Archive for May, 2010

REFLECTION: The call…

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

At different stages in our lives, I believe each of us hears a call. My call came one late summer afternoon when I was 18, while I was bent over on one side street of Broadway, Vancouver. As I crossed the street to catch my bus, my eyes caught sight of a man sprawled face down, not on the side walk, but right on one side of the street! I wasn’t sure whether he was still alive or dead, but I knew he needed help…more than what I could offer alone.

As if on cue, a cop car with two officers in it slowly cruised towards me, but they seemed to be blind because they were totally oblivious of me, jumping up and down with my arms waving for them. I don’t think it would have been a common sight to see a young girl in a skirt jumping up and down on a main street, but they just drove by. As I paced back and forth, pondering what I should do next, a cab passed by and saw the man. The cab driver quickly ran down and while I stood watching, I sensed the Father say “this is what I have called you to do.” At that time, I had no idea that there was such a thing as street ministry, but I knew deep in my heart that I was called to assist people on the street.

In my lifetime of a tad over half a century, I’ve met many others who have heard their call. Most often, I’ve watched them from a distance, but of late, I’ve been given the opportunity and honor to befriend a few. I believe many of you are wondering who I am referring to, but I’m sure many of you have watched them yourselves. These who I am referring to are the many men who have been called by the Father to shepherd His flock…His chosen Priests.

Over the months as the Father has called me to lift these hand selected men in prayer, I sense the Father has brought forth many reflections about them. Just as I did, these men had heard a call. But unlike myself, their call came with a special price. A life of celibacy.

With sex screaming for attention on every form of communication vessel (TV, internet, radio, movies, magazines, books…) these men continue to withhold their sexual desires because this is part of their call. On the news we hear of many men who fall into pornography, engage in rape and child molestation. Are these men any different from the men who have heard and answered their call to Priesthood? I don’t think so. They all have the same physical make up of the male gender and they all live in the same world as we all do. They are exposed to the same temptation every man is exposed to and yet, with God’s grace, many have succeeded to fulfill their vow…and yet, like other men, some sadly and unfortunately have fallen.

Should these men of cloth be judged more harshly than other men who have fallen? Should their chosen profession cause others to be ashamed of it and/or cause others to turn away from what they represent? Male daycare helpers, doctors, dentists and teachers have fallen similarly and yet has the world reacted to their profession and/or what they represent in the same way?

With your permission I draw your attention to

John 7:53-8:11 in the King James Version:

7:53 And every man went unto his own house. 8:1 Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

God bless,

Melissa – May 3, 2010

p.s. – Please consider lifting our Priests up in your prayers. Because of their role as shepherds, the devil, specifically targets them heavily in hope that many will fall or turn away from their faith in God.

Prayer for Our Priests

God our Father, look with mercy and love upon those your Son has chosen to be ministers of your Word and Sacraments, and ardent but gentle shepherds of your flock.

As spiritual fathers of those entrusted to their care, keep them faithful in obedient service to you.

Enkindle in our priests the fire of your love, so that they will seek nothing but your greater glory and the salvation of souls.

We pray that Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary, will wrap her mantle around our priests, draw them closer to your heart day by day and inspire may young men to answer your call.

We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

St. John Vianney, pray for us.