Posted by: wordofthevine | November 8, 2012

Responding to the grace of personal mission

In the statement, Adoration, Reparation and Spiritual Motherhood of Priests, from the Congregation for the Clergy and Cardinal Hummes. One term makes some, I suspect, slightly uncomfortable. It’s the term mother. Why is that? Maybe it’s because the term seems to conjure up some bad experiences where our self-sufficiency is challenged. It’s not the term mother that is the problem but the maternalism that it connotes sometimes. For some, spiritual motherhood of priests brings to mind a movement of intrusive women rampaging the rectory with casseroles. As women feeling generously drawn to pray for the Church and priests, what we are discussing is how to be a spiritually life-giving woman for priests and the Church.

We can best develop this gift ourselves if we realize that we are responding to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit when we offer up prayers and sacrifices for the Church and priests.With our feminine, life-giving orientation, we are drawn to pray for priests, not because of some disordered need in our own hearts but because each of us is responding to a particular grace of personal mission. Hans Urs Von Balthasar described this grace of personal mission as a pull or center of gravity, that we receive in Baptism, that moves us to accomplish God’s will particularly.

This insight can help us respond without resistance when the Holy Spirit prompts us to pray for priests. When I first experienced the movement of this grace, I ran from it. I wondered why this particular priest kept coming to mind. I thought, “What are you asking of me now Lord?” Once I prayed for him, in the way the Holy Spirit guided me to, he left my mind and I felt peaceful. By learning to read the spiritual movements of our hearts, we can respond more readily to the Holy Spirit so others can receive spiritual sustenance. ~Mary

Mary Gannon Kaufmann


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