Dominican Fathers
Sunday - June 24, 2001
Call to Holiness(Part 2 of 2)
How does it feel to be told again that you are called to be a .holy・ person? Is it a turn-off? Have I lost you already? What about being a complete person? Does that sound better? It means the same thing. The call to holiness is what baptism is all about. I sense that this is one area where the Church today has failed somewhat. When I was a child holiness was a thing for priests and sisters and brothers to worry about. The Vatican council called for more. One of the high moments was when it declared solemnly that everyone (and that means you and me) is called to holiness. Anyone who is a member of the Church is called to follow Christ by striving to lead a holy life. This is not an option but a divine command. I・ll go a step further. This may surprise you. I think the more troublesome our times are, the greater is our chance of holiness. Right now we・re going through tough times. The Church has to get its act together. This is not an easy moment of history. But it is a great moment of grace. We are in a better position to accept our faults and failings. We cannot become holy until we come to see how weak we are as a people and how much we need God・s grace. I welcome these difficult times. I have experienced anti-clericalism as a blessing in disguise. It is good for the soul, because in such a climate you have to focus on essentials to stay alive. I would always prefer to be a priest in a climate of hostility than in a culture of privilege. The good news is that we are not alone. The Holy Spirit is in us to show us the way. I like the example of the pilot light to explain the action of the Holy Spirit. The pilot light is lighting all the time. Yet it has to be used to light the oven. God the Holy Spirit is not aloof. The Holy Spirit is God in my thoughts, character, personality, in my instincts and very blood stream. And that means that every decent, generous, kind, noble and sensible idea I have comes from God actually at work in me. The real issue is not God・s presence but my response to his presence. Spirituality is being in touch with God alive and active in my life, like the pilot light, lighting up my life. When I was writing this piece I came across the story of a Cambodian man, held in a concentration camp, under the Pol Pot regime, like those depicted in the movie, The Killing Fields. Believing he had little time to live, he wanted to spend time each day with God, preparing for death. :Even more than deprivation of food, even more that torture, I resented having no time to meet with God. Always guards were yelling at us, forcing us to work, work, work.; Finally, he noticed that the guards could get no one to clean out the cesspits. He volunteered for the repugnant job. :No one interrupted me, and I could do my work at a leisurely pace. Even in those stinking depths, I could look up and see the blue sky. I could praise God that I survived another day. I could commune with God undisturbed, and pray for all my friends and relatives all around me. That became for me a glorious meeting with God.; The thing that lies right at the heart of the christian religion is a relationship of love with God. Call it friendship with God if you like. That・s what we are made for. And the really urgent thing is to let the presence of God take complete possession so that he does in fact become the one person we live for, the one who gives meaning and purpose to every mortal thing we do. The whole thing may be compared to falling in love, except that falling in love is a mere shadow of this greater reality. There is a hunger for the holy. We are living in a time of spiritual hunger. Allow me, by way of conclusion, to tell you about the conversation with the waiter in the coffee shop in Rome: :Mother Teresa was here and she changed my life. :What happened? What did she say?; :I grew up catholic. I was baptised but I didn・t go to church and I have done things I am not very proud of but she came in and said, .You can be holy.・ And ever since then, I started to go back to church, and I am trying to get my act together, and live the way a catholic is supposed to be.; Important as it is to listen to Mother Teresa, it is much more important to listen to the voice of the Hoy Spirit speaking to us through the mouthpiece of the Vatican council and saying: You are called to be holy!

Though Provoking

Asked whether he was filled with the spirit, he replied, :Yes, but I leak.; Oh God, I don・t love you, I don・t want even to love you, but I want to want to love you! St. Teresa of Avila. If you find God with ease, suggested Thomas Merton, perhaps it is not God you have found. A baby learns to crawl, then toddle like a drunk, and then run. Should not our walk with God progress in the same way. :Those who hope in the Lord.....will soar like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.; Isaiah

Notice Board

SUNDAY MORNING IRELAND: Log in to this religious programme going out to the world website audience from St. Saviour・s, Bridge Street, Waterford, every Sunday morning. Sunday Morning Ireland is an attempt on my part to reach out to and continue ministering to the people who have touched and enriched my life at different times and in different places. It is, also, an attempt to reach those who haven・t left the Church, who are hanging on by the finger tips, but have stopped going to mass. Please pass the website address to anyone who might be interested. IN STEP WITH GOD: Fr. Vincent has a new book in the pipeline. All going well it will be published in the late Autumn and on sale before Christmas. The book is aimed at young people (and not so young and young at heart!) in the 18 - 40 age group who are searching for a spirituality to live christian lives in today's world. BULLETIN: The bulletin will take time out for the summer. I would like to say special thanks to Kathleen who single handedly and expertly prepared the bulletin each week for the printers. Thanks to our printers, Pageworks. They were a pleasure to deal with. They were at all times professional, efficient and responsive to our needs. Thanks, also, to those who distributed the bulletin to the hotels and at the end of mass. Without their contribution the bulletin would not have reached as wide an audience as it did. HARVEST MAGAZINE: Latest edition on sale in the Dominican shop.

Church Schedule

MASS SATURDAY: 7.30pm Vigil Mass SUNDAY: 7.00am 11am & 7pm Weekdays: 8.00am & 10.30am CONFESSIONS SATURDAY: 10.10 - 10.25am 11.00 - 12 noon 4.00 - 5.00pm Weekdays: 10.10 - 10.25am All correspondence to: Fr Vincent Travers O.P. Bridge Street, Waterford. Tel: 875061 Fax:858093. Website: www.vincenttravers.org E-mail: vincietrav@eircom.net


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