Seminarians! Keep calm and carry on.

My friend Fr. Tim Finigan, the great P.P. of Blackfen, etc., has posted a letter from the Vocations Director of the Archdiocese of Southwark, Fr. Stephen Langridge to the seminarians of same, in the wake of the problems that are out about Card. O’Brien.  Moral is low.  Fr. Langridge responds thusly:

How would we react if we were to discover that our father was committing adultery? I am sure there would be a range of emotions including anger, confusion and great sadness. But would we blame our mother? No. We would cling to her more closely. We would try to console her by the warmth of our love. We would stick with her. When the Church has been wronged by one of her members it should evoke within us a desire for reparation and a determination to respond with greater fidelity. Our fidelity is shown in little things: in getting up on time, in doing a day’s work, in looking after our prayer, in our service of our neighbour, in our determination to turn away from sin.

This isn’t a time to get disheartened. It is a time to be more faithful. That is what the Lord is asking of you today. Please be assured that I am praying for you.

First, Fr. Z kudos to Fr. Langridge.  Well done.

Next, it may be that some of the men who are in formation there and elsewhere have indeed had to deal with “infidelity” of parents… in the sense of divorce and remarriage without declarations of nullity.  This is not to say that parents might not be true to the union they are in at the moment.

We are men and women of our age.  We are shaped by the age we live in.  The age includes no-fault divorce and an decreasing sense of commitment to something long-term.

The experience of parents who have marital problems and then divorce and then remarriage, the experience of prelates who have problems (that bishop’s ring was in the ancient church a sign of being espoused to their diocese, not to all dioceses), could take the heart out of a seminarian.

But actual graces are offered.

Stand firm, men.  We’ve got your six.

Keep calm and carry on.

Thousands of readers of this blog, here and now, will stop and pray for you…. here and NOW:

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    When the sex abuse scandal hit the pages of the Boston Globe, the seminarians suffered greatly, and the numbers went down for a few years. With hard work, the hiring of a wonderful new rector (now unfortunately gone) and the selection of good young priests as vocations directors, the seminary is flourishing. This is one of the major achievements of Cardinal O’Malley. It took a while, but even the “Boston problem” as we call sex abuse, didn’t destroy the seminary or the seminarians. Instead, it was the occasion of a housecleaning and revamp. I hope the same happens after the Cardinal O’Brien scandal.

  2. St. Louis IX says:

    One of Father Zuhlsdorf`s better posts.
    I am a Husband and Father of 4. I am praying for you future Priests of The Bride Of Christ.
    May God be Blessed in His Holy Saints, Martyrs ,and Royal Priesthood.
    Deo Gratias

  3. Random Friar says:

    I pray that it is the morale and not the moral that is low, Father!

    Well, I don’t pray for low morale, either. Let’s pray that both may maintained way high!

  4. idelsan says:

    It’s a very good post of Father Landgridge. Well done!

  5. oledocfarmer says:

    I bet Fr. Landgridge reads St. Escriva frequently.

  6. Panterina says:

    I had the same feeling: Classic Saint Josemaría. Wonderful!

  7. HyacinthClare says:

    Here I am again, not understanding expressions. “We’ve got your six” apparently means “We’re supporting and defending you” but what is the etymology of the expression? Six what? (I’m the one who had to ask what a “troll” was and what TEOTWAWKI meant. I’ll plead my age…)

  8. St. Louis IX says:

    @ HyacinthClare
    If you are at the center of a large clock, looking at the 12 then the number 6 is at your back.(what you cannot see behind you) Viz I have your back, or your 6 in this case.

  9. acardnal says:

    Hyacinth, I was not familiar with that phrase either. Thanks to St. Louis IX for the explanation.

  10. acardnal says:

    It might be a phrase commonly used by the military.

  11. Suburbanbanshee says:

    It’s indeed a phrase used by the military – specifically, military pilots. (Because the nose of the plane is 12, the tail 6, and the wings are 3 and 9, and it’s a heckuva lot more intuitive than calling out degrees of a circle in the middle of a dogfight.)

  12. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Six o’clock, that is. And I suppose it’s not super-intuitive to kids from the digital clock age….

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