Mexican archbishop: Priesthood not based on feelings

From CNA:

Mexican archbishop: Priesthood not based on feelings

Mexico City, Mexico, Jun 8, 2009 / 08:06 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Jose Guadalupe Martin Rabago of Leon, Mexico began celebrations for the Year of Priests this week and said the vocation to the priestly life is not based on feelings or emotions, but on “divine plans.”

The archbishop presided at a ceremony with 400 priests at the Cubilete Cristo Rey monument, which is located on a mountaintop outside the city of Leon.

In his message, the archbishop said, “It is not easy to appreciate the true meaning of the priesthood in a cultural context that only exalts whatever is based on feelings or emotions, that tells us to do only what we like and not what we should, that exalts what is fleeting and not what is eternal.”

“How much we need this year of priestly grace in a time in which we are experiencing the brunt of a culture that has no sensibility or appreciation for what is definitive, for what appeals to the truths that are founded upon divine plans,” he exclaimed.

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  1. Sam Orsot says:

    I hope to become a priest. Please pray for me.

  2. sitting on my hands says:

    Sam, be assured of my prayers that you may discern if God is calling you to the priesthod. Pray for me.

  3. Kris says:

    I’m entering seminary this august in Sweden. I sure can recognise what his excellency says about the feeling-obsessed culture we are living in. The temptations can be extreme at times. We must remember to seek God’s will beyond and deeper than our feelings and impulses. Let’s pray, support and encourage each other. Glory be to Jesus Christ, for ever and ever, amen.

  4. Fr. Charles says:

    Follow the Lord, Sam and Kris. May he bless your generosity.

    The problem that the Abp brings up is serious indeed. One encounters a kind of culture of feeling many times in religious and priestly formation, at last as I have experienced them here in the U.S.A. Canned phrases like, “what I’m about” and minute examinations of what serves our own needs for “intimacy,” etc., reveal the danger his Excellency points out.

    May we look first to the priesthood of our Lord, deriving from his self-emptying, sacrificial obedience, before we talk about our emotional needs and feelings.

  5. Diane says:

    Thanks for posting this. The Archbishop is spot on. Everything is based on “feelings” today. Isn’t there a more technical term for it? Certainly, since heresies recycle themselves, it has already been faced by the Church in her past, but is repackaged a little differently today.

    I couldn’t be happier with Pope Benedict’s designating this next year as the year of the priest (incidentally, some are calling it the year “for” priests while others “of”. I think the latter is more fitting lest people tune out and think it is only “for” priests.

    Fr. Charles brings up important points.

    Parishioners benefit when in a parish with priests who “get it”, and understand the sacrificial obedience and self-emptying. The will is something that needs to be tamed because of the effects of Original Sin, but this is not taught in most parishes.

    Sam and Kris – you are in my prayers too. Learn from the Holy Father and those teaching with him.

  6. Vincent says:

    Here is something else I think important in regard to discussions of vocations:

    Young men should not be encouraged to apply to the seminary because there is a “shortage.” This makes the priesthood seem like a negative thing that no one is interested in doing. On the contrary, the priesthood is a beautiful gift.

  7. Paternoster says:

    I wish former (Fr.) Alberto Cutie read this article.

  8. Rob Cartusciello says:

    This is precisely what I have been discussing in recent months.

    Faith is not an emotion or or a subjective position. The object of our faith is not, therefore, whether I believe it to be true.

    Faith is instead an acknowledgement that life and the universe itself in arranged in a particular way. It is, therefore, grounded upon an objective reality.

    Our faith is put to the test when situations demand our trust in this objective reality. As C.S. Lewis said, a mountain climber does not truly consider the faith me has in his rope until he is hanging off a precipice.

    This understanding came to me during the death of my grandmother. It is one thing to believe in the existence of Final Judgment, Heaven and Hell. It is entirely another thing to encounter a loved one on their deathbed and face the reality of the Last Three Things.

  9. Rob Cartusciello says:

    This also raises the modern question as to whether we should conform our emotions to reality, or reality to our emotions.

    With the rise of technology and our ability to form the world around us, we have become obsessed with control over all aspects of our life. We avoid the reality of the world, whether it be aging, death or disease, and instead assert a false control with facelifts, botox, euthanasia, abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

    Humilty demands that we acknowledge that which we can do, as well as the limits of our power (whether moral or physical).

  10. Melody says:

    I would guess that the elements for good priesthood are the same as for any worthy relationship. I don’t think we can discount feelings entirely, but they should be simply icing on the cake. That is, to take on the vocation with an attitude of service and prayer, but also find to joy in that, while also accepting the possibility of hardship.

    Forgive me if I’m overstepping my bounds, I’m working from my own experiences discerning for religious life.

    Personally, I prefer “Year for priests.” It reminds me that I’m supposed to be praying for them.

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