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Devon Wattam Ink Slingers Priesthood Vocations

Priests Are People Too

 

It takes a special man to answer God’s call to the priesthood. In a world that glamorizes power, pleasure, and self-indulgence, it’s difficult to understand the courage, sacrifice, and self-denial it takes to promise to live out a life of chastity, poverty, and obedience for the good of others.

Whether people think they’re fools or saints, though, it always seems like others can’t fully recognize the humanity of the Church’s priests. Catholics and non-believers alike either hold clergymen to impossibly high standards, only to be disappointed when they fail or see them as hypocrites for speaking the truth in spite of their own sinfulness.

We all need to be reminded of one thing: priests are people, just like you and me.

They Have Strengths & Weaknesses

Priests aren’t robots; they’re men. Even after going through seminary and professing their vows, they continue to be men with personal strengths and weaknesses. I’m always taken aback when people say things like, “He was so smart. He could’ve been anything, but he chose the priesthood…” or “He is so attractive. What a waste!” 

The priesthood isn’t a prison sentence. It’s not a punishment for the misfits of society who don’t fill the perfect mold of what would make a good husband, father, student, or employee. As people of God, we should celebrate the intelligence, talents, work ethic, and even attractiveness of our priests. These traits aren’t wasted because they’re not experienced as a husband or father; they glorify God’s goodness in a unique, powerful way through the priesthood. 

They Make Mistakes

Priests aren’t infallible. They aren’t perfect. They aren’t God. We need to remind ourselves of this from time to time when we get hung up on mistakes that they make, big and small. While they are in a public position to serve the Lord and his people, they are still sinful and will assuredly do things that not everyone likes or agrees with. Cut them some slack. Forgive them when they disappoint you, and move on.

Likewise, we shouldn’t hold priests that we love and agree with on a pedestal so high that we put them in the place of God. It’s equally as tempting to idolize godly men as it is to write off men for not being godly because there seem to be so few of them left in the world. When we do encounter one, it’s easy to hang onto his every word. We must fight this compulsion, however, recognizing that priests are God’s servants, not God himself. 

They Need Our Prayers

At the end of the day, priests are on a journey to heaven just like the rest of us. But unlike the rest of us, their vocation is put on display for everyone, Catholic or not, to critique. I am thankful that the world isn’t watching my every move as a wife and mother under the scrutinizing microscope that most priests experience. I would be continually critiqued, and rightfully so. 

Priests need our prayers. The good ones and the ones we struggle to find the good in. Thinking of the countless tasks they do every day that go unnoticed – the hospital visits, community outreach, continuing education programs, on top of saying Mass, hearing confessions, and managing a parish for little income – it’s a wonder that anyone would join the priesthood at all.

And yet, they do.

Knowing the sacrifice, ridicule, and ingratitude they will experience from the world, something still compels men around the world to take on the most important job in the world: bringing Christ to his people. For that, we owe them our prayers.

 

Categories
Feast Days Ink Slingers Liturgical Year Ordinary Time Resources Rita Saints Your Handy-Dandy List

Monthly Dedication Resources: July, The Precious Blood of Our Lord

Monthly Dedication Resources: July, The Precious Blood of Our Lord

Every month of the year in the Catholic Church is dedicated to a particular devotion of the Catholic faith. July is dedicated to The Precious Blood of Our Lord. These dedications are the same every year and are based on historical events or particular aspects of the liturgical calendar (or a combination of the two). They do not always line up exactly with their liturgically celebrated feast day, since they’re fixed calendar days (and the liturgical calendar changes slightly each year). Here we’ve gathered some of our favorite resources for you to read and use throughout the month.

Special Devotions for the Months
January Devotion- Holy Name of Jesus
February Devotion- Holy Family
March Devotion- St. Joseph
April Devotion- The Eucharist and The Holy Spirit
May Devotion- Mary
June Devotion- The Sacred Heart
July Devotion- The Precious Blood of Our Lord
August Devotion- The Blessed Sacrament
September Devotion- The Seven Sorrows of Mary
October Devotion- The Rosary
November Devotion- The Poor Souls in Purgatory
December Devotion- Advent & The Coming of Christ


RESOURCES for THE DEVOTION TO THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF OUR LORD

JULY: DEVOTION TO THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF OUR LORD

FEAST.JULY board on Pinterest

July saint feast days

Printable Saints for the whole year

July saints word find

Month of the Precious Blood // Catholic Culture

July: Month of Devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus // Catholic Company

The Precious Blood by Rev. Fr. Frederick William Faber

Activities to do with the family for the month of July

Litany Prayer of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus (with an audio option)

Consecration Prayer to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Novena to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Chaplet of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Prayers for the month of July: Precious Blood of Our Lord

Prayers in Honor of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Precious Blood of Christ bracelet

Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ 2

True Presence by Monica Welch of Dovetail Ink

WHAT WOULD YOU ADD TO THIS LIST?
SHARE IN THE COMMENTS!

Categories
Ink Slingers Martina Offering your suffering Prayer Priesthood Vocations

10 Great Ways to Make Your Priest’s Father’s Day ROCK!

10 Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
Josie and Father Jonathan go all the way back! When Father Jonathan left St. William, she, at age 2 – along with her siblings – worked on their interviews for Father J. This made such an impression on him that he taped this up on the wall of his office at his next parish assignment!

You’ve probably got Father’s Day all cinched up right now (hey, I’m just tryna be positive 😉 ), but what about your parish priest? You know, the fella on the altar who consecrates the bread and wine into Jesus – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. What about that guy? He’s your spiritual father! Today, we’re going to cover some quick and easy ways to help your priest feel loved on Father’s Day. Let’s get started! Don’t forget to take a listen (at the bottom of this post) to the Father’s Day homily by Father Michael Sullivan, given on Father’s Day 2016 at my home parish, St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock, Texas. 

  1. Find him before or after Mass and tell him Happy Father’s Day! 
  2. Mail or hand deliver an actual Father’s Day card to your parish priest/s. Be sure to let them know you are praying for him and his work in building up the Kingdom.
  3. Have the kiddos draw him some lovely artwork for his office, or you can do a fun interview with the kids to give him. Josie, who is almost eight now, still gets a big kick out of this interview she did for Father Jonathan when she was two!
  4. Does he love Sonic, McDonald’s, or some other fast food place? Pick up a gift card (any amount will do!) and toss it in the Father’s Day card!
❤ SCROLL PAST THE PHOTOS TO SEE EXTRAS TO MAKE YOUR PRIEST FEEL LOVED ❤
10 Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
Josie and Drew with Father Jonathan on May 20, 2018.
Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
Father Michael Sullivan with Joshua and Drew on the last day of Conquest. This annual boys camp is always the week following Father’s Day. The two oldest boys have both attended for going on nine years!
Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
Josie along with big brother (and seasoned altar boy of eight years) bring up gifts to Father Dean. She specifically asked for a Sunday to celebrate her First Holy Communion when Father Dean could celebrate Mass.
Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
Receiving Jesus in the Eucharist.
Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
She was so excited to share her special day with Father Dean.
Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
Father Uche and Joshua had a special bond in the time he was at St. William. Here we said goodbye as he moved on to his next priestly assignment.
Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
Father Uche put on a soccer camp for kiddos and Drew participated.
Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
Father Uche and my husband played soccer (along with several St. William staff) for about a year. On Josie’s birthday, we found Father Uche and asked him to bless this sweet girl.
Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
On Scout Sunday, Paige brought up gifts to Father Uche at Mass. Afterward, we grabbed a snap of the two of them.
Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
Father Uche gives Josie a ‘hi five’ at Vacation Bible School and then made a beeline to ask me why her name tag said “Mary,” lol. #MaryJosephine
Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
Drew and Father Michael Sullivan at the end of Conquest Boys Camp in 2015.
Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
Father Jonathan came over for dinner and Josie always makes sure we take a picture of the two of them, lol. #BUDDIES
Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
Even when Father Uche is at another parish and he says “I need to speak to your daughter, bring her to Jesus Is Lord” in another city, you know what you do? You throw her in the car and take her to see Father Uche, lol.
Great Ways to Make Your Priest's Father's Day ROCK!
Drew asked Father Dean to celebrate his First Holy Communion in 2016.

EXTRAS

What else can you do to help your priest know he is loved and appreciated, especially in big parishes?

  1. Invite him over for dinner! Seriously, it doesn’t have to be fancy – pizza will do. Need some inspiration? Check out our Pinterest Food.Meals board!
  2. Ask him if he will celebrate sacraments for your kiddos! In our case, our kids actually request our pastor because there is a level of comfort in that relationship. We have created a priestly culture and our kids know how church works – get there early so the boys can serve, say prayers, and then ask if we can see Father Dean. Every. Sunday. He greets everyone between Masses, so we head to the narthex and join him to say hello, greet folks, and let the littles run around outside to burn off some energy. I may or may not utilize that time to see how his week has gone and if he can pray a little extra over the one kid who acts like he’s never stepped foot in a church before – uh hem. 
  3. Offer to make a meal – fresh or for the freezer. Call ahead of time and find out likes/dislikes and what he prefers. Some priests love to cook and others can’t even look at a recipe card without sweating. 😉 
  4. Send an email (or text if you’re at that comfort level) and fill them in with the latest with your family. Often times, priests only hear about folks problems, which is part of the job, but sharing in some of the highlights of your family life can be a huge blessing. 
  5. In times of distress, ask for their prayers. Additionally, let them know you are offering up your suffering for their tireless work. Priests have a target on their back and Satan does not take a day off. Knowing you are praying for them and offering up struggles for them can go a long way. They definitely need all the prayers we can send their way! When I had an emergency appendectomy, both Father Dean and Father Uche came to see me at the hospital to pray over me and to pray Vespers together. I was hooked up to all kinds of machines and it was kind of comical, but I was so glad to have them there with me. Father Dean and his dry, German sense of humor and Father Uche and his Oxford English accent despite being from Nigeria. What made it all the better was listening to the two of them bicker like true brother priests. Another time, right after we experienced our first (of three) miscarriages, our parish priests reached out to me and my family in one of the most pastoral ways. They made themselves available in ways that were unique to their personalities. One priest researched burial logistics and another asked to talk to me because he knew I was suffering. This man – this diocesan priest whose schedule is filled from first light of day until the stars come out and here he was asking if he could call me and talk to me.  These men have and still are treasures to our family.
  6. Has your priest been reassigned? This is the time of year when the diocesan reassignments have been announced. Here’s one great way to help your priest feel the love of the parishioners and it takes very little effort, you’ll be glad to know!

What would you add to this list? Share in the comments!

Check out our boards on Pinterest that celebrate Dads

Dads: We salute You | Vocations: Priesthood

Categories
Faith Formation Guest Posts Prayer

Soul Ties: What Are They? Do I Have Them? Is That Good or Bad?

Soul Ties: What Are They? Do I Have Them? Is That Good or Bad?

Have you ever wondered why some people can’t seem to stop thinking about their first love, even though decades have passed? Or why your best friend keeps going back to that toxic ex boy/girlfriend even though she/he is fully aware the relationship is dysfunctional? Or why certain addictions seem to run in families? Or why you just can’t seem to heal from that childhood trauma, abuse, or broken relationship? One answer could be that a soul tie is present.

In his book, Deep Wounds, Deep Healing, Dr. Charles H. Kraft speaks of soul ties as “spirit-to-spirit ties.” Neal Lozano, Catholic layman and founder of Heart of the Father Ministries, refers to soul ties as “relational bondage.”

Soul Ties- Do I Have Them- Is That Good Or Bad-Whatever you call it, a soul tie is a spiritual attachment to another human being. Imagine that you are the center of a wagon wheel, and all the spokes are going out away from you, creating a link to any person with whom you have had physical relations, or a familial, or deep emotional friendship.

Biblically, Mark 10: 9-12, and Genesis 2:24, support the notion of a soul tie in marriage. 1 Samuel 18:1-3 shows how a deep friendship creates a soul tie.

Soul ties are a good thing. Except when they’re a bad thing. Soul ties can be negative if they open you up to a person’s addictions, violent tendencies, or effects of occult activity. Those of us in deliverance ministry recognize that the existence of a negative soul tie may be contributing to a person’s spiritual issues. We live in a world that contains things both seen and unseen. There are beautiful angels of light ministering to us at this very moment, sent by God to help us do His will. At the same time, there are evil spirits whose goal is to tempt us to sin. Both of these kinds of spiritual beings are all around us. And they can travel between us via a soul tie.

The drug addict who has sexual relations with his addicted friends, but then goes to rehab and gets clean, still has that pull to go and hang out with the friends, even though he knows it is wrong; this is the effect a soul tie can have on us. When someone is sexually abused, breaking that tie with the abuser (it was made by the act, although completely involuntary on the part of the victim), is helpful to healing.

In my ministry and in my own life, the breaking of negative soul ties has been a valuable tool. I was raped as a child and so I have made sure to break that tie with the perpetrator. I don’t even know his name—it happened when I was young, in the dark and so I couldn’t see his face—but I’m no longer tied to him spiritually. The tie has been severed. I feel free. I now carry only my own baggage, not his as well.

In my ministry, I have seen the severing of soul ties have an amazing effect on people. One young woman was suffering from spiritual harassment. When we interviewed her, it came to light that she had quite a few family members who were into the occult. One in particular was an aunt with whom she was very close. She broke soul ties with the family members, and a huge weight lifted off her shoulders. When she came to us, she had deep creases between her eyebrows, and she was stooped over. After simply breaking the soul ties, her face and posture were relaxed and she said she felt a weight lift off of her. Spiritually, this young lady has a lot more work to do, but severing those ties made a good start.

We can break soul ties with those people who are in our lives in a positive way, as well, if negative situations have happened. For example, if you and a sibling or friend tend to gossip when you’re together, that is a negative aspect ofrope your relationship, based on sin. Obviously, going to confession regarding the sin is a given. But breaking the soul tie may help you resist that sin in the future.

If you view pornography…well, if you view pornography, STOP. It will have a negative effect on your ability to relate to a spouse sexually and, frankly, it’s sinful. However, according to Matthew 5:28, you are creating soul ties with everyone you view.  Think about that.

So what do we do if we have a negative soul tie with someone? Break the tie.  There are 5 simple steps to breaking a soul tie.

Sacrament of penance.

Acknowledge and confess any sin you participated in with this person, and resolve not to commit it again.  

Dispose of any objects they gave you that may symbolize the relationship.

An engagement ring, a phone, cards, even a tee shirt, anything that connects them to you.

Break any vows made to that person.

For example; “I will love you forever,” “I will never love anyone but you,” “You are the only person who will ever make me happy,” etc. Words can bind (think of wedding vows) or loose. To break the vow you can use these words: “In the name of Jesus, I renounce and break the vow I made to (state the person’s name) when I said, (say the vow).”  Also, at this time, it is appropriate to break any spoken curses made by the person to you (see Proverbs 21:23). Examples of these types of curses are as follows: “You’re worthless!” “You’re ugly/fat/stupid, etc.”  “I wish you were dead!”  “You never should have been born!”  These need to be broken. Here are some words you can use to do this:   “In the name of Jesus, I sever and break any and all curses placed upon me by (state the person’s name), and I ask the Lord to replace these with a blessing. Amen.”

Forgive the person for any wrong they have done you.

Now you are ready to break the soul tie.

Here are some words you can use to break the tie:

“In the name of Jesus, I renounce, sever, and break any ungodly soul ties that exist between me and (state the person’s name), in the area of (name the sin), and I ask the Lord to replace these with a blessing.” In cases of abuse, the sin is the perpetrator’s sIn, not yours, but name it anyway. In the case of pornography, or a abuse by someone who could not be identified, just say, “Any and all persons I have viewed in pornography,” or “The person who raped/molested/bullied/beat me.”  Any breaking of vows, curses, or soul ties should be made out loud. It shows that your will is strong and you are making a commitment to the action.

If you are living according to Church teaching, but are still having difficulties, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you if there are negative soul ties affecting your life. Then take the steps to break them.  It could make a huge impact on your healing.

 

BIO: Gemma Gee is a lifelong Catholic who received the gift of deliverance from the Holy Spirit seven years ago. She has worked in two dioceses on deliverance teams, and has had the privilege to witness healings through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Categories
Celeste Crafts Domestic Church Ink Slingers

January ~Month of the Holy Name~

everyknee

Just recently I learned that each month of the year is dedicated to a specific theme, in a similar manner as each Saturday being dedicated to Mary. The Church thinks of everything! The more I delve into truly living the faith in day to day life, the more I discover, “Hey, someone thought of that already!” It’s a comforting thing for me to have the Church be ahead of me, so that when I have questions there almost always seem to be answers. My question came, this time, when I was thinking about how the Pope has certain intentions that he asks us to pray for or about. Specifically he has designated 2016 to be the Year of Mercy. Well this is wonderful! It gives me a theme to carry through the year. This got me curious to know whether or not there was a set theme for each day and month as well. It turns out that, yes, indeed, there is a theme for each month. We all know about November being about All Saints and All Souls, (but really the month is dedicated to the pour souls in Purgatory). And I think everyone, religious or not, knows that the month of May is dedicated to Mary. But what about the rest? And how can we observe them? 

Here are the months and what each is dedicated to:

  • January is the month of the Holy Name of Jesus
  • February is the month dedicated to the Holy Family
  • March is the month of devotion to St. Joseph, whose feast falls on March 19th
  •  April is dedicated both to devotion to the Eucharist and devotion to the Holy Spirit
  • May is the month of Mary
  • June is the month of the Sacred Heart
  • July is the month dedicated to the Precious Blood of Our Lord; the Feast of the Precious Blood is the first Sunday of the month
  •  August is dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament
  • September is traditionally dedicated to the Seven Sorrows (or Dolours) of Mary
  • October is the month of the Rosary
  • November is dedicated to the poor souls in purgatory
  • December is dedicated to Advent and the coming of Christ 

If nothing more, this gives us a great starting off point to observe a theme for Ordinary time on the calendar. Seasons of Lent and Advent give us a certain theme to be focused on. Focusing on a theme can be more difficult in Ordinary time, when we may become a little less “into” bringing the Liturgical themes into our day-to-day because there isn’t a particular holy day (holiday) to focus our attention on and prepare for. But the day-to-day is where the grit and gist of our life is lived. We should put forth some effort in this Ordinary time as well!

The coloring page I created includes several verses to look up that refer to Our Lord by different names. It’s amazing how many references there are in the Old and New Testament combined. Not only is Jesus our Savior and Lord, but he is King, Author of life, Judge, Beloved, Christ, Cornerstone, and may more. Use the graphic to learn some of the many places you will find reference to him.

JanuaryHolyName

Also included, on the sides are two strips that can be cut and used as book marks.

You can download the PDF from here.

Please join me in praying the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus as well.

Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.
V. God the Father of Heaven
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Holy Spirit,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Holy Trinity, one God,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, Son of the living God, R. Have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, [etc.]
Jesus, brightness of eternal light.
Jesus, King of glory.
Jesus, sun of justice.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary.
Jesus, most amiable.
Jesus, most admirable.
Jesus, the mighty God.
Jesus, Father of the world to come.
Jesus, angel of great counsel.
Jesus, most powerful.
Jesus, most patient.
Jesus, most obedient.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
Jesus, lover of chastity.
Jesus, lover of us.
Jesus, God of peace.
Jesus, author of life.
Jesus, example of virtues.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls.
Jesus, our God.
Jesus, our refuge.
Jesus, father of the poor.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful.
Jesus, good Shepherd.
Jesus, true light.
Jesus, eternal wisdom.
Jesus, infinite goodness.
Jesus, our way and our life.
Jesus, joy of Angels.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles.
Jesus, teacher of the Evangelists.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs.
Jesus, light of Confessors.
Jesus, purity of Virgins.
Jesus, crown of Saints.

V. Be merciful, R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Be merciful, R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.

V. From all evil, R. deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Your wrath, [etc.]
From the snares of the devil.
From the spirit of fornication.
From everlasting death.
From the neglect of Your inspirations.
By the mystery of Your holy Incarnation.
By Your Nativity.
By Your Infancy.
By Your most divine Life.
By Your labors.
By Your agony and passion.
By Your cross and dereliction.
By Your sufferings.
By Your death and burial.
By Your Resurrection.
By Your Ascension.
By Your institution of the most Holy Eucharist.
By Your joys.
By Your glory.

V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us, O Jesus.

V. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, You have said, “Ask and you shall receive, seek, and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened to you.” Grant, we beg of You, to us who ask it, the gift of Your most divine love, that we may ever love You with our whole heart, in word and deed, and never cease praising You.

Give us, O Lord, as much a lasting fear as a lasting love of Your Holy Name, for You, who live and are King for ever and ever, never fail to govern those whom You have solidly established in Your love. R. Amen.