It is not surprising that in this 21 st century and with all the corruption in the Church, that secular priests and seminarians are struggling to create and maintain a meaningful and supporting spirituality.
I believe I have the answer.
Let priests and seminarians adopt the spirituality lived by Charles de Foucauld.
Brother Charles was born into a wealthy and devout Catholic family in France in 1858.
By the age of 14 both his parents had died and Charles concluded that thete was either no God, or a cruel God.
For the next 14 years of his life Charles became an unbeliever and practiced every debauchery he could. During this time he joined the French army.
At 28 he was desolate and wrote: “I am a young man for whom it is all over”
One evening he was passing a church and saw the lights on and went in and sat at the back.
It was as if the sermon that night had been composed especially for him.
He returned to faith, joined the Cistercians and was ordained a priest.
He then felt called to return to the Sahara desert and minister to the Toureg tribe there.
He set up a hermitage at Tammanrasset which considyer of a living quarters and a chapel.
He spent his days worshipping Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist and receiving and welcoming callers to his desert hermitage.
Some days no one called. Other days many called
His callers stopped to rest, eat, drink, talk, sleep. Charles welcomed them as he would welcome Christ.
Charles focused his whole life on welcoming Chrost in the Eucharist and on welcoming Christ in others.
If he were worshipping Christ in the chapel and someone came to the door, he simply switched to worshipping Christ in the brother and sister at the door.
He had no surgery hours. He was a 25/7 priest.
On December 1st 1916 robbers raided his hermitage and shot Charles. Charles fell dead into the desert sands. The robbers scattered the consecrated hosts on top of him.
A PRIESTS SPIRITUALITY
The suitability of Charles spirituality is absolutely suitable to diocesan prirsts.
The worship and service of Christ in the Eucharist and in the Brother and Sister.
No complicated formulas. No long rule books. No surgery hours.
Just simple service.
There are also Jesus Caritas groups for priests where the spirituality of Brother Charles is studied and practised – meeting once a month for prayer, support, a day in the desert etc.
More than ever before priests and seminarians need a simple, supportive and edifying spirituality.
Bishops should make the spiritual development and nourishment of their priests the Number One priority.
“Nemo day quod non habet‘.
You cannot give what you have not got.
A priest can’t convey spirituality to his people if he does not have a spirituality himself.
This lack of spirituality is at the very root of all the Church and priesthood’s problems.
63 replies on “BEST SPIRITUALITY FOR 21 ST CENTURY SECULAR PRIESTS AND SEMINARIANS.”
Excellent, +Pat. Yes, spirituality and spiritual growth must become the number one priority.
Of course prayer, meditation, reflective silence in church and support groups are all essential for a priest to survive. Annual retreat or day’s reflection moments are fruitful for priests. We gain much spiritual nourishment from the lives of the saints. I believe most priests seek to do their best, spiritually, pastorally and prayerfully.
So you believe most priests seek to do their best spirituality, pastorally and prayerfully.
LoL -that explains why the Church is in crisis mode like no other since the Reformation.
10.34: Yes, I do actually believe that most priests seek to do their best spiritually, pastorally and prayerfully. No equivocation. I have 44 years experience. Get beyond your cynicism and lying. Fool…
This again fails to adopt modern understandings of human sexuality, the unchecked and unaccountable power in the Ecclesial System, the lack of moral human development within the Church and the inability of the laity to have their rights and welfare protected.
I don’t diminish this man’s service and call but it’s just more Medieval Piety that isn’t
addressing the real problems of spirituality in Governance, accomplishment and then service. It’s just setting yourself up again for same old,..same old….
There have been many feeding the poor in the past 60 years..that hasnt solved the
assaulting, debauchery and hardball Unchristian Power plays of the Pope and his Cardinals who have a huge impact on Spiritual Environment and Service. There is no getting around that.
Evening Chunky, it’s only me.
What am I lying about? Do tell, please? I note- you side stepped my comment on the crisis in the church. I suppose that’s another lie? A cynic is what an idealist calls a realist.. If, as you believe, most priests are doing their best spiritually, pastorally and prayerfully, please explain the ongoing ever deepening mess in the church? I await with bated breath.
It is not surprising that in this 21 st century ……Brother Charles was born into a wealthy and devout Catholic family in France in 1858. 1858? Pat, you lost me there.
So much unpleasantness is perpetrated in the name of religion each day usually arising from power or self-preservation. The simplicity of having Christ as ones priority excludes the more mundane and selfish tendencies which corrupts even people who may initially have been sincere. The toxic atmosphere and negativity which is far more commonly observed among Christians today than their love for each, is a self-perpetuating cycle until a radical change of focus leads to tangible renewal.
EXACTLY. Theological intellectualizing and theorizing is not going to solve some very concrete , obvious and destructive problems. There are people who consecrate and unite themselves to Eucharist which destroy peoples families, mental health, faith and sexual development. There are people who dont take Eucharost which are bullseye on rheir responses.
Lets stop diverting focus from where the real problems and remedies are because it WILL keep manifesting itself.
He died in 1916. His spirituality was completely formed in French 19th century piety with its focus on the Blessed Sacrament and reparation through devotion and service to others but I’m afraid that is not the spirituality of the second Vatican Council and the new mass which is focused on the Theology of assembly and the “work of human hands”, there shouldn’t be any reservation of the Eucharist except to provide for the sick and the tabernacle has to be separated from the table of the supper. God’s is in his priestly people especially when they gather together that’s when there’s a ‘ real presence’ not in the tabernacle, all prayer must be aloud and in unison then there is active participation of man come of age. All of this is found in every Catholic parish and surprisingly it’s not inspiring any presidents to come out of the assembly to spend their lives leading the priestly pilgrim people of God.
At 5:28am – It’s BOTH AND. We reserve the Blessed Sacrament for both adoration AND the sick.
The Blessed Eucharist is the Living Presence of Christ. Why would we not adore Him and spend time with Him?
His Presence in the assembly does not detract from His Presence under the appearances of the consecrated bread and wine and vice versa.
The “work of human hands” is worthless and in vain without the life we receive from Jesus in His Eucharist. “Whoever eats me will draw like from me”; and also “cut off from me you can do nothing” – as we will hear Him say to us on Sunday.
It’s not both, since the Second Vatican Council there isn’t any focus on adoration or the use of the title Blessed Sacrament those are essential in the spirituality of Charles de Foucauld but there are not part of the present day the focus must be on man, communion is only to feed man it’s to be taken in the hand and eaten not prayed to
I think you speak heresy.
At 3:29pm – as you clearly don’t have the first notion what you are talking about, I shall bid you adieu and au revoir.
Stay of the drink.
Blame Second Vatican Council for everything.
The tabanacle is the centre of our churches and surounded by the people of God.
And we certainly do not have Presidents and never will.Your reading to much rubbish.
Pope Francis has been very clear last year that the Tabanacle has to be at the centre of the Churches not at the side and Bishops were to remove their Cathedra to the side.
You are certainly getting the Catholic Church mixed up maybe with the Mormons.
The WCCM excel at at this. All their resources are on line. The Catholic church has lost it’s roots. It is no longer rooted in prayer and a deep connection with God. It has forgotten the first commandment. Love God and all else will flow from that.
Every Catholic parish has exposition of the Blessed Sacrement and some include it in Holy hours.
Only last week on this blog the Archbishop was getting hell for taking the Blessed Sacrement to the people.
The Governments have stopped Churches from what they see as “extras” and therefore we cannot have Eucaristic Ardoration.
We that are lucky to open are not allowed Holy water so no blessing yourself and in some areas no votive candles.
The people that belive want back asap and that is a fact phonelines and eventbrite goes non stop with bookings.
You can all have a go at teh Church but you will never take peoples FAITH away from them.
Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
Useless to quote outside context.
11:30am Yea…….wheres the evidence….wheres the evidence
Lack of spiritual makes sense but it doesn’t address the real issue of celibacy, corruption, lavender mafia, promotion of corrupt cardinals by gaslighter frankie, cover ups et al.
Little nugget coming from this book ‘best Catholics in the world’………👇
‘Rcc masquerading as middle man between God and us’ .
DG, canon law considers priests a superior Christian following ordination, ontological change, and so on…
Superior does not mean better.
Surely a spirituality as outlined is the desert style spirituality where you go it alone into asceticism. A laudable ideal but impractical for priests in fulltime ministry in busy parishes. The important truth is that each priest engage in prayer, retreats and left no divine as frequent as possible. Spending time in quiet, sent meditation for a half hour or one hour fail is very beneficial. We each find our own prayer style, spirituality and reflective living. God bless all priests – but central to all we do is Christ and it is essential therefore that the gospels are the key focus for prayer and spiritual nourishment. The saints too are a huge blessing!
@ 7:59 am
A Christian does not have to locate to a desert to practice desert spirituality or asceticism.
Nor does a Christian have to enter a monastery to grow in contemplative or mystical prayer.
See Thomas Merton books; ‘A Course in Christian Mysticism’ and
‘A Course in Desert Spirituality’.
Both books are edited by Jon. M. Sweeney.
Another excellent book by Merton is ‘An introduction to Christian Mysticism’
(Initiation into the Monastic Tradition 3).
It is not about location but rather interiority. (The Heart).
Charles to be declared a saint on May 3rd as a diocesan priest.
I see the English/Welsh bishops have got the wind up ! https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/14084/bishops-urge-return-to-mass-after-pandemic
They have suddenly realised that they have a problem, even though evidence of it has been around for many decades. Namely, people are not going to Church. The process has been turbocharged by the Covid pandemic and the closure of churches and on stream services etc., but the bishops have suddenly thought to themselves that many of these people probably won’t come back to church in the same, dwindling, numbers they used to. So, here we have their solution, which is just more reiteration of all sorts of reasons which smack of desperation. Mass should be restored “to its rightful centrality in our lives” , Sunday should be seen “as the soul of the week, as giving light and meaning to all the responsibilities we live out each day; to see the Sunday Eucharist as food for the unique mission with which we have been endowed” The bishops sound as though they are talking the language of 30 years ago. People have moved beyond this kind of thinking. They don’t have this all consuming interest and relevance to the eucharist, the real presence, seeing it as a central core aspect of their lives. It is an aspect, but not the dominating one, and what people have come to realise is that there are lots of others ways in which they can express their spirituality and their faith without resorting to the old Catholic language which is filled with myth and nonsense spirituality. It won’t be long before the bishops resort to the threat of hell and the Sunday obligation ! Do we think that people will listen ? No, of course not. People haven’t listened for decades, it’s just that the bishops haven’t noticed, it seems. So, rather than coming up with all sorts of unsustainable and silly reasons why people should go to church, maybe the bishops needs to begin to think about what it is that people need and provide that, rather than telling people what they need and imposing on them a model that doesn’t suit them. They might also want to reflect that much of the drop off in church attendance has less to do with what they see as the wickedness and selfishness of people who are enticed by consumerism, but more to do with the Church itself and its bishops and clergy who have shown that they are not to be trusted, and that they are living a lie by and large, and that they are selling a picture of themselves which so does not reflect the reality of Church and clergy culture. That is what people see, and it a substantial part of the reason that people have turned their backs on the institutional Church and what happens on Sunday. It would be good for the bishops to reflect on this.
I haven’t been to church for about 5 years. I do not miss it. I am quite happy with silent meditation, John of the Cross, Thomas Merton and Meister Eckhart. I am not clergy dependent. They always email me a bulletin, do know why. The priest was going to call an extraordinary meeting of the council to allocate tasks, which as their parish priest, he had the authority to do. Wonder how that went down.
10.36: Little do you care – by your own admissions – about the concerns of the Parish…You might have something worthwhile to offer – prayer guidance with St. John of the Cross! Go for it…
It’ll be like working in the office. People have got used to being at home and don’t want to go back.
For a lot of older people, Mass had a good social aspect so that might bring them back.
The daily Massgoers are back. But the lukewarm and the nominal Catholics/Tablet readers are probably gone for good. Any child who was dragooned to go pre-pandemic won’t want to. The reality is that the New Mass is just a ceaseless torrent of words and to a child must seem like being at a lecture for an hour. No wonder they hate it.
11.39 I served in the parish for 26 years and 14 years in a retreat house. I ran the youth group for 15 years, arranged walks in the Lakes and socials. You name it, I did it. I became ill and at the same time, my husband broke his neck in a motorbike accident. A group took the opportunity to take over the social group. Who did I think I was, my son, who is severely dyslexic, was only a labourer. They told me I was not allowed to read or meditate as it made them feel ignorant. I just said, fine, you have got the lot. There are nicer people outside the church.
Lol this is like the stage in an abusive relationship where the abuser is going ‘But I love you’ 😂
Monsignor Smith was inducted as the parish priest of Corpus Christi in September 1992, after serving as private secretary to Archbishop Michael Bowen of Southwark for ten years. He was ordained as a priest in 1977 and became Monsignor in 1988.
Not many replies You are on th Ball Pat. Twas said that the mission of the blog was to rid corruption. But I said years ago, no spirituality no progress. Was I right or what hi
The Hierarch at prayer
Who and why would a Good Shepherd want to publish such a photo of himself?
As a public relations exercise and to try to invert his normal style:
Begorra hi right on fly no bother.
A Ton 80 from the Bish today.
Are you a prophet or what.
Didn’t the Master say without Me you can do nothing.
Sure its as plain as a nose on a face.
Back to basics.
Prefer nothing to Christ.
May the Lord bless all+
Have a good day.
Bye bye Fly Hi.
Interesting article. No “ladder climbers” and careerists apparently. I wonder why so many get through then?
Octave of Pentecost. As many will already know, but some who are newer to these issues may not, in the ancient liturgical tradition the great feast of Pentecost is not only observed by a single Sunday celebration of the feast, but rather is honoured by an octave whereby the feast is extended through eight days — just as is Christmas and Easter. In the liturgical calendar of the usus antiquior this is still the case, but in the calendar of the reformed, modern Roman liturgy, this was abolished in the liturgical reforms that came after the Second Vatican Council. The Octave of Pentecost was considered by Blessed John Henry Newman to be perhaps “the grandest” of all the octaves of the liturgical year and this reflection was offered by Fr. Guy Nicholls of the Oratory on the same.
(Liturgical Arts Journal)
On the Monday after Pentecost in 1970, so the story goes, Blessed Pope Paul VI rose early and went to his chapel to celebrate Mass.
Instead of the red vestments he expected, green ones were laid out for him. He asked the Master of Ceremonies, “What on earth are these for? This is the Octave of Pentecost! Where are the red vestments?”
“Your Holiness,” replied the Master of Ceremonies, “this is now The Time Throughout the Year. It is green, now. The Octave of Pentecost is abolished.”
“Green? That cannot be,” said the Pope, “Who did that?” “Your Holiness, you did.” And, the story concludes, Paul VI wept.
The authenticity of the story remains in question, but it points to the deep sadness many Catholics felt when the Pentecost Octave was abolished in the Ordinary form of the Roman Rite, a time that used to be one of the most cherished moments of the Church’s liturgical year. Indeed, it is regarded as the Church’s second greatest feast, the first being Easter. Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman called the breviary offices of Pentecost and its octave perhaps the “grandest” of the liturgical year.
“The Pentecost octave is extremely ancient — developed in the first millennium — and was always seen as ranking beside Christmas and Easter as one of the three great octaves of the liturgical year,” said Peter Kwasniewski, associate professor of theology at Wyoming Catholic College.
(National Catholic Register)
For Christmas we have Advent. For Easter we have Lent. Pentecost is without a defined time of waiting and preparation. It should also have an octave.
Peace be with you my brothers and sisters in Christ! May the Church be guided on the right path.
Is mise le meas,
He thinks he’s Dom Gueranger.
Quoting Kwasniewski! Enough said.
I think there are a couple of things in de Foucauld’s life which don’t chime well with modern sensibilities. The level of privilege for example and also the colonial context of his life. Nowadays we have a better sense that our own lives should be right sized and not built on taking over other people’s land, antiquities and precious metals.
I am honestly surprised that you would suggest his way as a model for modern diocesan clergy! Not because of the things I mention above but his approach feels more nineteenth century than I would have expected you to go for!
11.45::: It’s not as if Pat is a paragon of De Foucauld’s spirituality: far from it!! Indeed, the contention by Pat that this ascetic is a model for modern priestly living is at odds with his own life style..Each priest finds his own spiritual path which hopefully is sustained by personal daily prayer, Eucharistic Adoration, the Breviary and reading scriptures along with the lives of the saints. I am inspired by the many priests who, to me, live prayerful and holy lives…
The spirituality that concentrates on the two “lighthouses” of Eucharist and Brother/ Sister is suitable to a great variety of lifestyles
1:15 I was wondering when one of the doyennes of unholy mother church would pop up to start bitching at Pat along these lines. People might be more prepared to listen to you if your own behaviour showed the fruit of the spirit.
Uk Bishops want people to return to Sunday Mass because of serious funding shortfall – it’s all about the Sunday Collection not the Sunday Worship.
Dwindling bank accounts equals dwindling power. Poor babies.
The givers never moan and the moaners never give.
And the idiots never stop demonstrating that they’re idiots. 🐑
@ 2:53. You must be really uneducated. The Lord Jesus himself referred to his flock as sheep. It’s actually a compliment to be seen as a member of his flock. But you wouldn’t understand that would you. Happy days go find another image to use in your attempt to insult. You can’t use the 🐐 as that’s reserved for you and your legion. neither can you use 💩 as its just sooooooooooooooo you.
Gregory not demonstrating the fruit of the spirit
The church is financially shrewd. It’s nothing new and there’s nothing wrong with it. Click into any other separate church’s website and they’ll gladly take a donation from you.
Is mise le meas,
This is a variant of the ‘look our abuse record is no worse than [name of any other ecclesial body]’ argument to attempt to justify the church’s moral bankruptcy.
I would reasonably expect anyone beyond a primary school not to try to justify their behaviour by saying that everyone else is doing it. And from the body of Christ I would expect actual moral leadership.
Get your own spirituality and don’t wait for the outsourcers to bring you their package because it might not turn out to be what it looks like. Ascension unifies Resurrection and Pentecost.
Actually I find givers rather prone to moaning, depending on their position of course and moaners all to willing to give – but context is everything!!
Do you remember Lorcan at Maynooth? He is now one of Elsie’s Angels at Alice Hall (with another Dub, Robert). He found Maynooth unfriendly, as he isn’t slim and pretty.
Burnt out after studying liturgy? Get a grip man…
4:09, are you slim and pretty?
He sounds like a restless perpetual student who is unable to settle down.
Good evening my brothers and sisters in Christ!
“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Is mise le meas,
I find it incredibly insulting that you are either assuming everyone who reads this blog is one of your brothers and sisters in Christ or that you are only addressing part of the blog’s readership.
You have already been confronted about the pointlessness of the ending of your ridiculous comments and the beginning is frankly insulting. Several readers here are certainly not Christian.
Oh we know that several readers on this blog are not Christian.
We also know many on the blog pretend to be Christian.
And the strange part of it is those who pretend to be Christian and Roman Catholic have the nastiest chat towards fellow Christians but all we can do is pray for them.
Our Lord said whatever you do to others you do unto me.
Peace be with you my brothers and sisters in Christ!
The trees inside Biosphere 2 grew rapidly, more rapidly than they did outside of the dome, but they also fell over before reaching maturation. After looking at the root systems and outer layers of bark, the scientists came to realize that a lack of wind in Biosphere 2 caused a deficiency of stress wood. Stress wood helps a tree position itself for optimal sun absorption and it also helps trees grow more solidly.
Is mise le meas,
Charles de Foucauld: early example of Muslim/Christian unity
Back in the sixties, an Anglican, Harry Williams, published a remarkable collection of homilies for Lent called The True Wilderness. Deservedly it attracted great attention at a time when Christians were being invited globally to THINK – cp Vatican II. The “wilderness” is not out there – just as God is not “out there” – but an opportunity viz “Crisis”. If we didn’t take heed then, we surely are not taking heed now: result is that we are managing decline.