Live a fiercely faithful life and pray for our seminarians

By Father James Wilcox

Directory of Vocations

North Texas Catholic

10/24/2016

Recently I offered a series of homilies about living fiercely faithful, and I have taken some time in this article to reflect about how vocations to the priesthood are fostered in environments where Catholics fiercely live the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.  A fiercely faithful life is based on disciplined discipleship, humility, and simplicity of life.

Before we dive in, it is important to explore the term fierce. Fierce comes from the Latin term for untamed, meaning brave, courageous, and proud.  One definition of fierce that I really like is “heartfelt and powerful intensity.” 

Living fiercely faithful begins with a heartfelt love of Jesus Christ. Men who learn from their families about the love of Jesus Christ and all the people of the Church’s tradition — Mary, the apostles, the saints, the martyrs — are men who seek to live in this love. As each man in seminary is being formed into the man of Jesus Christ, a discipline of prayer and ministry helps him fall deeper in love with Our Savior.

A disciplined life of discipleship leads one to powerful humility. It is odd to think of the humble as having power, but the prayer of Our Lady demonstrates this in the Magnificat: “He has cast down the mighty from their throne; and has exalted the humble and meek.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that “humility avoids inordinate ambition or pride, and provides the foundation for turning to God in prayer (2559).”  That is, humility is seeing through the eyes of God: no more than we are; and no less than we are.  

Men in discernment for the priesthood are seeking to serve the Church from the stance of humility.  It is only with a humble heart that the priest can be available to the flock, especially to the lost sheep, at all times. When families and parishioners humbly and powerfully follow Christ, young men follow these examples toward priesthood.

The disciplined, humble disciple of Jesus Christ will lead one to a passionately intense life. This intensity will result in seeking a radical simplicity of life. St. Teresa of Kolkata is one of the best examples of this radical simplicity of life. When men are drawn to Christ, the desire for the frivolous things of life diminishes. Christ calls each of us to simplicity so that our faith can be lived fiercely. The simple life of priesthood is fed by the passion to serve others.

The challenge is a fiercely faithful life: disciplined discipleship, humility, and simplicity of life. This heartfelt powerful intensity for Jesus Christ is a great example for men to choose priesthood.  

I just returned from a visit to a few of the men in formation. Their dedication to living fiercely faithful is inspiring. They are committed to growing into men of Christ and, God willing, into priests of Jesus Christ.  

Your challenge: live fiercely faithful and pray for the 31 Fort Worth seminarians in formation now. Use the chart on this page to pray for each seminarian every day of the month. Pray that they persevere in discipleship, in humility, and in simplicity of life.  

 

 

Recently I offered a series of homilies about living fiercely faithful, and I have taken some time in this article to reflect about how vocations to the priesthood are fostered in environments where Catholics fiercely live the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.  A fiercely faithful life is based on disciplined discipleship, humility, and simplicity of life.

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