Saturday, June 27, 2009

Why spiritual motherhood for priests?

On the feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 19th of June I was blessed to be in the company of my dearest friend. We were both aware that is was the beginning of the Jubilee Year of the Priest, falling in this year ~ the 150th anniversary of the death of the Cure of Ars, St John Vianney, patron of parish priests.

Adoration, Reparation, Spiritual Motherhood for Priests

This same night I was to meet a new friend who shared with me copies of a beautiful booklet called, Adoration, Reparation, Spiritual Motherhood for Priests a timely publication put out by the Congregation for the Clergy. We briefly talked about the booklet and it was explained to me what 'Spiritual Motherhood for Priests' was all about.

Early the next week I was able to read the booklet in full and my heart was stirred! This was proundly important. As a mother I realised how critical it was that I pray for vocations in my own family if it be God's will to grant them and also to pray and offer for priests in general.

The real life stories of spiritual motherhood throughout the booklet inspired us both and gave us clear directions in just how to live this out in our own lives. It was a devotion worth spreading and sharing with other mothers and women throughout the world in whatever way possible.

Recently the Holy Father stated again the importance of using the social media to spread the Word of Christ. He states,

"Young people in particular, I appeal to you: bear witness to your faith through the digital world! Employ these new technologies to make the Gospel known, so that the Good News of God's infinite love for all people, will resound in new ways across our increasingly technological world!"

So a blog seemed a wonderful and tangible way to connect with other women from around the world, encouraging and supporting each other in living daily, a spiritual motherhood for priests.

The blessed 'fruit' of the prayers offered by the mothers of Lu.

In earlier times there was a certain northern Italian town where the mothers prayed together incessently for vocations to the priesthood and religious life and from this tiny village came 323 vocations and one Blessed of the Church! This is what we wish to share, banding together like the women from the village of Lu, asking God to draw forth priests and religious from our own families and to pray and sacrifice for an abundance of labourers for the harvest!

Why are women closely connected to the priestly ministry? The book, Adoration, Reparation, Spiritual Motherhood for Priests has this to say:

"Every priest has a birth mother, and often she is a spiritual mother for her children as well. For example, Giuseppe Sarto, the future Pope Pius X, visited his 70-year-old mother after being ordained a bishop. She kissed her son's ring and, suddenly pensive, pointed out her own simple silver wedding band saying, "Yes, Giuseppe, you would not be wearing that ring if I had not first worn mine." Pope St. Pius X rightfully confirms his experience that, "Every vocation to the priesthood comes from the heart of God, but it goes through the heart of a mother!"

Our perfect and most blessed example to us is Our Blessed Mother, she is a singular model. To understand further, I will quote from a letter sent out by the Congregation of the Clergy in 2007 in order to promote Eucharistic adoration for the sanctification of preists and spiritaul maternity:

"Without adding or detracting from the singular mediation of Christ Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary is acknowledged and invoked in the Church under the title of Adovcate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix. She is the model of maternal love who must inspire all those who cooperate- through the apostolic mission of the Church - in the regeneration of all humanity.

In light of these teachings, which belong to the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council, the faithful are called to turn their eyes to Mary - shining example of every virtue - and imitate her as the first disciple. It is she to whom every other diciple was entrusted by Christ as she stood at the foot of the cross. By becoming her children, we learn the true meaning of life in Christ.

Thereby - and precisely because of the place occupied and the role served by the Most Blessed Virgin in salvation history - we intend in a very particular way to entrust all priests to Mary, the Mother of the High and Eternal Priest, bringing about in the Church a movement of prayer, placing 24 hour continuous Eucharistic adoration at the centre, so that a prayer of adoration, thanksgiving, praise, petition and reparation, will be raised to God, incessantly and from every corner of the earth, with the primary intention of awakening a sufficient number of holy vocations to the priestly state and, at the same time, spiritually uniting with a certain spiritual maternity - at the level of the Mystical Body - all those who have already been called to the ministerial priesthood and are ontologically conformed to the one High and Eternal Priest. This movement will offer better service to Christ and his brothers - those who are at once "inside" the Chruch and also "at the forefront" of the Church, standing in Christ's stead and prepresenting Him, as head, shepherd and spouse of the Church."

We hope to share many, many inspiring stories of the Church and of the lives of the saints who have been strong examples of spiritual mothers for priests.

Soon we will share a daily prayer for this intention and instigate novenas throughout the liturgical year for the intentions of priests. This is not just for women who have children, it is for all women as we are uniquely called to to motherhood, whether that be in the physcial sense or spiritually.

Please join with us on the feast day of our patroness, Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Our co-patrons are as follows, The Cure of Ars (St John Vianney) as our priestly patron. St Therese of Lisieux as our religious patroness. St Gemma Galgani as our single laywomen patroness. Blessed Anna Maria Taigi as our wife and mother patroness. We will talk about each patron in depth in the months to come to explain their vocation and significance to spiritual motherhood for priests.

Also each week during the Year of the Priest we will feature in the top, righthand corner a particular priestly ministry/order to pray for, each time you visit and see the prayer request in the top, righthand corner, if you could offer an Ave, would be a blessing indeed.


Anonymous said...

I found this book last week and found it very great I read bits of it and love it. I can't to go throught the whole thing. it's called Mary and the Priestly Minister.

Anonymous said...

I have done a search and it looks like a wonderfully inspirational booklet. Fr Emile Neubert from the Society of Mary appears to be a profound writer on Our Lady and the Priesthood.
Thank You for making us aware of this book. God Bless

Sandy said...

Can anyone advise me where I can purchase this booklet in the U.K

Zeliemum said...

Hi sandy,
This is what I can offer you at the moment:
Thank you for contacting us.

The best way to find out how to get the booklet Adoration Reparation and Spiritual Motherhood for Priest would be to contact the Vocations office in your diocese and talk to the Vocations Director.
You need to ask if they are already circulating the booklet. If they aren't you could mention the letter from the Prefect Cardinal Hummes to His Excellency Pope Benedict XVI on the booklet being published by the Congregation for the Clergy for this Year of The Priest asking if there would be any chance of having them printed up for your diocese.
These booklets were put out by Cardinal Hummes Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome.
Let us know how you get on.
God Bless