August 20, 2011

Be fire!

As a new graduate, holding a Masters degree in Moral Theology, I am humbled, for “theologians have the responsibility of participating in the building up of Christ's Body in unity and truth.”

What did Fr. Philip Lowe, PhD, say at our Graduation ceremony?
             You were given a gift!
             Go and bring what you have studied to
             those who have not had the opportunity
             you were given.
             In other words, be fire!

There is no lack for opportunity at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where I am currently assigned. I have been asked a wide range of questions: “Surely Joseph accompanied Mary on her journey to visit Elizabeth, didn’t he?”, “Did Mary have children after Jesus, since Joseph was still around?”, “Are we obligated to always follow our conscience? what if it is erroneous?”, “How are the internal and external forums addressed in the Sacrament of Confession?”, “How can Fr. Corapi just leave the priesthood? Don’t priests receive an indelible mark at the moment of ordination?”, “I beat myself up over past missed opportunities; I have so many questions; what is the direction for my life now?”

How do I answer these questions? How do I direct these souls?

When I took the Foundational Systematic Theology course, one of the Church documents we read was On the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian. It says that “Truth, by its nature, seeks to be communicated.” Who is supposed to do the communicating? I, for one, am to do that! In order to do communicate the truth, “the theologian is called to deepen his own life and continuously unite his studies with prayer. In this way, he will become more open to the supernatural sense of faith upon which he depends…. The commitment to theology requires a spiritual effort to grow in virtue and holiness.”

How do I grow in virtue and holiness in order to build up the Body of Christ? Virtues must be pursued, acquired, and cultivated. St. Thomas Aquinas described the life of virtue as a “climb [up a ladder] from the many to the One.”

As a religious, my life should manifest concretely the moral implications of the Christian life; give authentic witness to the values of creation and the kingdom, Christ’s sacrificial love and resurrected life, the dignity of the human person and the solidarity of God’s people; and, give radical witness to Christ so that others may hear and see the Good News.

"If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire," St. Catherine of Siena said. "Let the truth be your delight.... Proclaim it... with a certain congeniality."

Sources: Donum Veritatis: On the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, CDF.
Evangelical Kernels: A Theological Spirituality of the Religious Life, Dennis J. Billy, CSSR.

Sister M. Ancilla, FSGM, MA
St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 26, 2011


Marie Makulilo said...

Congratulations, Sister M. Ancilla! You sound so happy! It is wonderful to hear. You remain in my memory and prayers. Marie Makulilo

ecce ancilla Domini said...

Thank you, Marie!
Where are you from?