The Way To More Vocations
There are interesting reflections around concerning what to do to have more vocations. Certainly, we must pray. Certainly, we can support the idea of vocations among the young in our environment. But if you ask me, the best way to more vocations is to have better priests.
I still remember very well my formative years, and looking back it is clear to me the office of priest was not considered by anyone as in the least desirable, not even by mistake. The reason for this is that most of the priests we had around us – and in the Italy of those times you had many priests around you, both in your place of residence and at school – had a common and distinctive trait: they looked, sounded, and even smelled, ashamed to be priests.
There was a kind of hierarchy of un-priestliness. There were those who were silently but obviously embarrassed, those who were more ostentatiously “modern” and those who were outright dissenters – the priest who whispered at school that the devil does not exist, in an heroic effort of blasphemy meant to let us understand how very courageous he was, I will never forget -. But all of them seemed to have the same slogan, a kind of “unglorious” one: the least Catholic, the better.
If the priest is ashamed himself of being a priest, who will want to become like him? If the priest is the very epitome of the uncool, pathetic loser, who will want to follow in his steps? And this is, in fact, what they pretty much all were: pathetic losers, ashamed to be priests; lives to be pitied, and an example not to be followed. The priest of those times was a cautionary tale.
This phenomenon created another one: the attempt to gain credibility not by being a true priest, but – in a suicidal, and not very manly move – by being something else: the “modern priest”, the “good friend”, the “nice chap”, the “favourite uncle”. The automatic self-divesting of any form of authority made of them, for all the world to see, unquestioned beta males deprived of true manliness, because manliness is always linked with assertiveness, self-assuredness, and a quiet but still very public show of testosterone.
Every man, but particularly adolescents, smell authority and manliness like the hound smells the fox. Not everyone has the natural assertiveness to be a natural leader, to be one to whom others look up to; but absolutely no one has the desire to be, for all the world to see, the last wolf in the pack. Such a one is not very manly at all, and could actually have problems of graver nature. Which is, I think, the origin and motive of many “vocations” in those years.
And so we have, I think, a faithful picture of perhaps 80% of the Western priesthood up to this day: no manliness, no authority, no “coolness” around them. Boys look at them, and pity them. As they well should, and as I do myself. They are embarrassed to be priests, and try to be as little of a priest as they can. As a consequence, they are embarrassing to be around.
Away goes sin; hell follows soon thereafter; “joy” is everywhere. Some time ago, I listened to a homily of a Cardinal. He sounded like a girl making a motivational talk for old aunts in a holiday resort. By all the authority given by the office, the red robe, and the choreography, he still smelled of girly loser. Who would want to be such a tool? Mind, this here was a Cardinal, helped by the trappings of the office. The girly parish priest truly has no chance with the boys.
A priest must be assertive, manly, unashamedly Catholic, outspoken, and with no hint of sissidom in him. He must be a shepherd, not a dry nurse. The shepherd has a rod, and he uses it. The shepherd leads his flock towards green pastures, he does not ask the sheep “where they want to go today”. The priest must be a natural leader, because a priest has to be a leader if he is to be successful. The priest has to be uncomfortable, harsh when needed, and quietly manly when he is gentle.
These are the priests who produce priests. These are the men who will cause boys to say “I want to become one like him”. These are men whose very demeanour will say to those around them that they are willing to die for their cause; which is as manly as it gets, and will be smelled by the boys around them like the above mentioned hounds smell the above mentioned fox. Not many will follow in his steps. But the admiration will – with God's grace – cause some of them to fo it. You must impress dozen to get one vocation to blossom, because this vocation will be nurtured from the respect or outright admiration surrounding the priest.
Boys will be boys, and their vocation must go with their nature, not against them. They must feel encouraged to use their own faith to channel the natural assertiveness, even aggressiveness, of the male of the species towards the higher goal of saving souls, of being shepherds of souls. This is one of the 1,374 reasons why women are not fit to be priest. Women are nurturers, not shepherds. God save us from a manly woman. There are two sexes for a reason, and this is the same reason why only those of one sex can be priests.
If you ask me, it's as simple as that. In the Seventies the priests were at their most stupid (the “worker priest”, the “social priest”; the Jorge Bergoglio types) and the vocations were at their lowest. As the worst excesses went away, the vocations slowly increased. Strong religious orders continue to create strong vocations to this day – so much so, that the Jorge Bergoglio types must crush them to deflect from their own bitchy incompetence – and the situation slowly, but gradually, improves. In the meantime, the Jorge Bergoglio types cause their seminaries to close. May their ruins be visible from afar, and be a monument to human stupidity.
But we need more of these good priests. The Brompton Oratory is always packed. You listen to them, and you know how a true vocation sounds, and how a real man speaks.
The boys listen, and learn.
Vocations are aplenty. No closures to be feared there.
Posted on April 23, 2014, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Good Shepherds, Traditional Catholicism and tagged Padre Pio, V II, Vocations. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.
The former Anglican clergyman and convert, Father Dwight Longenecker, who is not notably traditionalist, tells an interesting story about vocations. He was living in the UK at the time of his conversion and approached some English bishops about becoming a priest. He says that they were not interested and some of them and their senior staff said that they did not want vocations, they wanted to engineer a shortage of priests and were quite open about it. They wanted a situation in which laity had to ‘lead’ parishes with the (few) priests in each diocese living in community perhaps visiting a parish once a week to say Mass.
This would, inevitably, lead to the demand for the shortage to be filled by the ordination of married men and, eventually, women.
These people are insane.
The thing with the women would never work anyway, but I think the “shortage” is a sour grape story. I do not get vocations, so I say it’s because I do not want to.
A couple of years ago I went to a Deanery meeting concerned with merging parishes and the priest shortage. At that time I was still somewhat naive about the whole situation, and when we were asked as a group what we thought should be done to alleviate the priest shortage, I suggested more deacons to pick up the slack while priests got on with doing essential priestly things. I was howled down with contempt by swathes of feminist types who said no, the last thing we want is more clergy! We want more lay involvement.
Mundabor, couldn’t agree more about the role model thing. We have recently moved over to SSPX and the effect on my son is noticeable. No softies there….and my boy is impressed with the authority and straight talking. He is at that age where it’s important to be cool….and he’s getting it that “proper” priests are cool…unlike their sissie counterparts.
Well done, sir!
So, could you be a late vocation?
Too late for that, and I never felt the… vocation anyway.
This awful pope, cardinals and bishops (besides local priests) are killing vocations. As a woman waiting to enter Carmel (saving for airfare to the UK), I have had conversations with parents of vocation discerners and others wanting to enter who have either been discouraged, dissuaded or so worried about the state of the church to follow through and enter or encourage their children to enter.
Most are afraid to enter an order or seminary fearing this place will fall to the terrible things these men are doing or are NOT doing. So many churches and orders are “rah, rah” for the Pope, they are either blind or, worse, agree with all he and the bisphops, cardinals and priests are doing. No one wants to be the only or one of the only members of an order or seminary being traditional and against the ways being shoved on us. Many fear their orders might go the way of the Franciscans of the Immaculate.
I tell them to still follow their vocation and pray for the church and the pope, etc but not all are receptive to this and are either saying they won’t pursue their vocation or are in a wait and see mode.
From what I see, generally speaking, what they really they want is gay vocations..but they know they must tolerate some of the ‘stupid’ straight vocations, some of whom are ‘educated’ to be so by their parents that the same bishops and priests ingratiate and deceive. If you live long enough you can watch this progression through a couple of generations and watch the little mascot for the gay bishop and priests get ordained. Encouraging women regarding ordination is just another way of gaining more troops for the gay power source who have the upper hand in the clergy.
Yes, I woudl say whilst this is not the general plan of the clergy in general, it is certainly the plan of the gay mafia controlling many seminaries. Some emasculated sissies and as many fags as they can shove him, taken from their “acquaintances” to whom economic security, plenty of sexual contacts with other fag priests and general “luv and social justice” rhetoric are appealing.
If I were not persuaded Bergoglio is straight (Ms Chaouqui may be a vulgar beauty, but she certainly awakens the appetite in a man), I would say he is one of the first representatives of the wave of fag priests who entered the seminaries in the Sixties and Seventies.
B could just have a weak masculine nature…he obviously is either the great pretender of really does not see the harm that the homosexual clergy continue to do to vocations and to the Church. Many “converts” from Catholic to Evangelical Protestant Churches give the homosexual priesthood as their reason for leaving: but I think this reason is more among the men than women who “convert”.
I know the scandal of the Legionnaires and their founder…but, we have been involved over the years with the Conquest Boys Club and the Challenge Girls Clubs that Regnum Christi has led throughout our nearby Parishes. I must say that one of the things I have appreciated the most is the leadership skills they instill in our children. Especially the Conquest Boys Club and their focus on encouraging boys to be boys – competitive, assertive, respectful leaders. The Priests that we have worked with have all been strong men who love their faith, know it well and sacrifice all for it. I don’t see these attributes encouraged anywhere else. I think you are spot on Mundabor with your analysis of the lack of vocations. There are so few places in the Church where our children are encouraged to be strong and proud of who God created them to be. Everywhere we are wimpified and taught to be Mr. and Miss Nice, get-along with everyone, no matter the cost.
Extremely well said.
A good rule of thumb is that when the middle-aged and elderly ladies coo over the parish priest, you will look in vain for any boy over the age of 12 at Mass.
A priest is a soldier. They have to be prepared to do battle with evil – even demons – at any time. He has no family but God’s because at any time a family could be taken hostage by demons – by speaking through them, so as to persuade the ones they speak to to destroy themselves, or to act against his nature. It has happened to me, though I am not a priest, but I have a strong Catholic family, and had received and remembered enough of God’s word to know when I was being lied to, and to discern discarnate evil when I encountered it. Thank God.
I was shown enough to realize that it is possible for people, even those you love (and who love you) to be vectors for these forces. But the person still loves you, and has no part in the matter – they do not know that what you discern is not what they meant. The only way to overcome these forces is prayer, devotion to God, and love.
Good discussion. Relevant to this issue is the story of Phineas, grandson of Aaron (the one who was the brother of Moses) and inheritor of the old high priesthood. To find out why, let’s look at Numbers 25:
6 At this a certain Israelite came and brought in a Midianite woman to his kindred in the view of Moses and of the whole Israelite community, while they were weeping at the entrance of the tent of meeting.
7 When Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw this, he rose up from the assembly, and taking a spear in his hand,
8 followed the Israelite into the tent where he pierced the two of them, the Israelite and the woman. Thus the plague upon the Israelites was checked;
9 but the dead from the plague were twenty-four thousand.
10 Then the LORD said to Moses:
11 Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned my anger from the Israelites by his being as jealous among them as I am; that is why I did not put an end to the Israelites in my jealousy.
12 Announce, therefore, that I hereby give him my covenant of peace,
13 which shall be for him and for his descendants after him the covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was jealous on behalf of his God and thus made expiation for the Israelites.
This is an example of the sort of zeal we need, today and always.