Friday, May 10, 2013

Fr. Albert Power, S.J., " The Catholic Church Needs A Much Larger And More Energetic Band Of Fire-fighters"

Fr. Albert Power, S.J.
Encouraging Vocations.

Now, it is clearly our duty to do all we can to help in fostering and developing vocations — both to the priesthood and to religious life — in children and young people under our care. The success of the Church depends greatly on the number and fervour of her priests and religious. Jesus calls them especially to be the salt of the earth. Just as salt preserves food from decay, so, by aiming at a life of holiness, and by making available to others the supernatural means of sanctification provided by Christ, priests and religious help to check the tendency to corruption, which is inherent in fallen human nature. It is true that on every man and woman lies this duty of resisting moral decay and sin, and anyone living a practical, Catholic life does actually and effectively promote this health-giving process. But, still, just as there are doctors and nurses specially devoted to safeguarding the public health, even though each individual has his own personal duty in the matter, so, in the spiritual world, there must be those who specially concentrate on the work of promoting the health of the soul. And what a splendid purpose in life it is! And how many more would take up the toilsome work of Priest or Brother or Nun, if only they understood better the excellence and nobility of the calling! In every human heart, not utterly perverted by self-indulgence and sin, there exists a longing after higher things; as is evidenced by the splendid response made when a sudden call to heroic sacrifice is made — for example, in time of war.
Saint John Bosco said: "I know young people well; a large proportion of them have, in germ, the vocation to a higher life." 
That germ it is our duty to develop. And at no time was it more urgent than today, when such wonderful opportunities are opening up for the conversion of heathen nations. The Catholic Church is at a turning point in her career. Mankind is being gradually linked up into a closer union by new methods of rapid transit and communication, and the barriers that hitherto walled off the uncivilised peoples of the globe are being broken down. Unexampled opportunities for disseminating knowledge are placed at the disposal of all who care to make use of them. 
The enemies of Christianity are making use of them with restless energy, to attack our religion; and the Catholic Church needs a much larger and more energetic band of fire-fighters to check the progress of the conflagration of evil doctrines and evil practices at present sweeping the world and threatening to engulf our civilization.
Those fighters are chiefly Priests, Brothers and Nuns and we should strain every nerve to recruit their ranks, which, especially in certain European countries, have been sadly depleted since the great wars of this century. Catholic parents should be led to consider it their greatest honour and privilege to devote to the service of God and the welfare of society one or more of their children. In no nobler way can they contribute to the extension of God's Kingdom on earth.
Link (here) to the full article entitled, Love Is Calling by Fr. Albert Power, S.J.

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