O heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
“[Catholicism] is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.” ~G. K. Chesterton
“In profound communion with every other vocation of the Christian life–all of which are “like so many rays of the one light of Christ, whose radiance brightens the countenance of the Church”–contemplatives “devote a great part of their day imitating the Mother of God, who diligently pondered the words and deeds of her Son (cf. Lk 2:19.51), and Mary of Bethany, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened attentively to his words (cf. Lk 10:38)”. Their lives, “hidden with Christ in God” (cf. Col 3:3), become an image of the unconditional love of the Lord, himself the first contemplative. They are so centered on Christ that they can say with the Apostle. “For to me, to live is Christ!” (Phil 1:21). In this way, they express the all-encompassing character at the heart of a vocation to the contemplative life.” ~Pope Francis, Vultum Dei Quaerere, #3
“Consecrated persons, by virtue of their consecration, ‘follow the Lord in a special way, in a prophetic way’. They are called to recognize the signs of God’s presence in daily life and wisely to discern the questions posed to us by God and the men and women of our time. The great challenge faced by consecrated persons is to persevere in seeking God ‘with the eyes of faith in a world which ignores his presence’, and to continue to offer that world Christ’s life of chastity, poverty and obedience as a credible and trustworthy sign, thus becoming ‘a living ‘exegesis’ of God’s word’.” ~Pope Francis, Vultum Dei Quaerere, #2
O God, who decreed that Saint Barnabas, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit, should be set apart to convert the nations, grant that the Gospel of Christ, which he strenuously preached, may be faithfully proclaimed by word and by deed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
“May the Holy Spirit grant each of us the apostolic courage of communicating the Gospel, with words and works, to all those we meet on our path.”~Pope Francis, June 6, 2018
Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that we, who glory in the Heart of your beloved Son and recall the wonders of his love for us, may be made worthy to receive an overflowing measure of grace from that fount of heavenly gifts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
“We often conceive of worldly life as merely a kind of default existence that anyone who is not specially called to monasticism or ordination simply ends up leading. We assume that it is only the monk, nun or priest who has a special call, while the married woman, for instance, has merely been passed by. […]
But we must not allow ourselves to approach it merely in these terms. Instead, every one of us should, indeed must, treat lay life as a calling just the way we think of monasticism and ordination.
We must sit down with ourselves and with God in prayer to discern if life in the world really is what we are meant for, and if we discover that it is, we must treat this call with the same seriousness with which we would treat a call to a hermit’s life in the desert.
We are not lay people simply because we happen not to be monks or priests. We are lay people because God wills that we lead a life seeking our salvation through the world.” ~Daniel G. Opperwall, A Layman in the Desert: Monastic Wisdom for a Life in the World