SPIRITUAL MOTHERHOOD 2013

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1 SPIRITUAL 2013 MOTHERHOOD

2 Spiritual Motherhood for Priests The vocation to be a spiritual mother for priests is largely unknown, scarcely understood and, consequently, rarely lived, notwithstanding its fundamental importance. It is a vocation that is frequently hidden, invisible to the naked eye, but meant to transmit spiritual life. - Congregation Pro Clericis Commitment: I commit to offering prayers, good works, sufferings, and penances for the priest/ seminarian/one God is calling to priesthood of our diocese known by God, throughout the coming year, until June 29, These prayers and works are offered to Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest that He may sanctify them and form them in accordance with His Heart, and that they may be preserved in purity and holiness of life. Some suggestions for prayer: Prayer for Priests Rosary Holy Hour Mass intention O my most sweet Jesus, O Jesus, Eternal High Priest, keep Your priests in the shelter of Your Sacred Heart, where no one can hurt them. Keep their anointed hands unsullied, which daily handle Your Sacred Body. Keep pure the lips, which are reddened with Your Precious Blood. Keep pure and unworldly their hearts, which are sealed with the sublime token of Your glorious priesthood. Cause them to grow in love and loyalty to You, and protect them from the contamination of the world. With their power of transforming bread and wine, give them the power of transforming hearts. Bless their work with rich fruit, and grant them one day the crown of eternal life. Amen. St. Therese of Lisieux

3 Morning Offering Prayer for Priests Father most holy, I offer you the prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day by placing them in the holy and venerable hands of Jesus, the Eternal High Priest and by saying, as he did upon entering the world, Behold, I come to do Your will. For the sake of your priest in most need, I entreat your beloved Son to unite my offering to the Sacrifice of the Cross, renewed upon the altars of Your Church from the rising of the sun to its setting. Most merciful Father, look upon this man chosen by Your son to show forth his death until he comes. Keep him from the Evil one and sanctify him in the truth. Bind him by a most tender lover to the Virgin Mary, his Mother that, by her intercession, he may be overshadowed by the power of the Holy Spirit in every act of his sacred ministry; thus may his priesthood reveal the Face of Jesus and the merciful love of His Heart, for the fruitfulness of his spouse, the Church, and the praise of Your glory. Amen.

4 Prayer to the Virgin Mary for Priests Bl. John Paul II O Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ and Mother of priests, accept this title which we bestow on you to celebrate your motherhood and to contemplate with you the priesthood of, your Son and of your sons, O holy Mother of God. O Mother of Christ, to the Messiah-priest you gave a body of flesh through the anointing of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the poor and the contrite of heart; guard priests in your heart and in the Church, O Mother of the Savior. O Mother of Faith, you accompanied to the Temple the Son of Man, the fulfillment of the promises given to the fathers; give to the Father for his glory the priests of your Son, O Ark of the Covenant. O Mother of the Church, in the midst of the disciples in the upper room you prayed to the Spirit for the new people and their shepherds; obtain for the Order of Presbyters a full measure of gifts, O Queen of the Apostles. O Mother of Jesus Christ, you were with him at the beginning of his life and mission, you sought the Master among the crowd, you stood beside him when he was lifted up from the earth consumed as the one eternal sacrifice, and you had John, your son, near at hand; accept from the beginning those who have been called, protect their growth, in their life ministry accompany your sons, O Mother of Priests. Amen.

5 He Will Find the Right Soul By Bridget Decker Each of us owes gratitude for our lives and our vocations to the prayers and sacrifices of others. In God s love, several holy men and women have intersected my own path to holiness. Thanks be to God! I needed each interaction, each person, to coax me along to inch me towards Christ. I never sought to surround myself with such people, they fell into my life, In the designs of providence, there are no mere coincidences. It started with a card trick. Two seminarians captured my attention fooling a group of us with cards, (actually is was there willingness to be with us that was attractive.) The promise of revelation resulted in a commitment to WYD Australia. There I encountered the priest as a person. My fear and awe faded as I interacted with our three pilgrimage leaders in ordinary ways. Yet even in the ordinary, each of them revealed different aspects of my heavenly Father s love. Fr. Christensen was the Good Shepherd, Fr. Tim the Wonder Counselor, and Fr. Mark, a spirited Prince of Peace. When I left for college, Fr. Paul Rutten, became my foster Father, the Everlasting Father as I struggled with homesickness and attempted to discover my identity. Because of these priests and seminarians, I fell in love with the priesthood. During my first year of college, Christ again ushered in another saint. Stefanie Zetah escorted me as I came to know Him. This young woman called me to more, simply by being my friend. She was my first real example of radical surrender. As a sophomore, she left college to enter religious life as a Missionary Sister of Charity. Her final words to me were, I ll see you in the Eucharist. Though I haven t spoken to her in over four years, I know she pleads with the Lord for my sanctity. In her absence, Christ gave me her mother, literally, and another Sister to take her place. I met Sr. Joy when I was invited to assist with Totus Tuus. Our friendship solidified quickly. Eventually she was missioned to South America and our relationship held slightly by , primarily through prayer. She continues to close her correspondence with, We remained united in each holy Mass. I know these women pray for me intercede for me. To intercede means to intervene on behalf of another. It implies reliance. My salvation and sanctification is dependent on the prayers and sacrifices of others of the priests, religious, and holy friends and mentors God has placed in my life. I do not think I realize the extent, the great power

6 of intercessory prayer. Only recently have I been struck by the dependence I have on others and God s desire for all of us to rely on one another, to aid one another, to hold one another up. I cannot gain Heaven alone. We are called to pray for each other, as Christ Jesus prayed for us. And continues to intercede on our behalf. The Catechism says, He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of all men, especially sinners Father, forgive them, they know not what they do (Luke 23:34). Again in the garden he spoke to the Father, I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. Jesus revealed to Bishop Ketteler his unknown intercessor, She prays unremittingly for you! Consider those you know promise you prayers. I consider the examples mentioned above, the men and women, rallying for me. Then, I ask you to consider the prayers being offered for you by those you will never know, strangers offering and sacrificing for you, gaining your salvation without reward or acknowledgement, believing God would find the right soul in need of their prayers. We can partake in the same intervention. We can plead on behalf of our seminarians and priests. We can offer our own small sufferings and sacrifices for them. I have had the great privilege of working alongside many of our men and I thankfully call them my friends. Now that I work in the office, I get to see them in a more personal way and I hear their petitions Bridget, will you pray for my family, will you pray for my test next week, will you pray for my courage. One of those two seminarians I met in high school recently was ordained to the Order of Deacon, Rev. Mr. Adam Hofer. Eight years after our initial meeting, I had the great gift of sitting at his ordination, just over two weeks ago. I ve seen him pray through discernment, school, homesickness, illness, and sacrifice. Through it all, I prayed for him, as I pray for all our seminarians, yes because they are making this sacrifice for me, but more so because I care about them as my brothers, and someday hopefully as my father. At Adam s ordination, the many expressions I ve seen upon his face were covered on this day by supreme freedom and joy. And in his joy, I was overcome with joy. One of the gifts of interceding for these men is walking with them. They are grateful for your petitions. Another one of our seminarians called me on Mother s Day to thank me for being a spiritual mother. Now most of the priests and seminarians do not know about your motherhood. You most likely will not receive recognition. But you can take confidence in knowing your prayers and sacrifices are aiding these men. And you can trust that God will find the right soul. Know of my prayers and thank you for yours.

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