In the pierced heart of the Crucified, God's own heart is opened up--here we see who God is and what he is like. Heaven is no longer locked up. God has stepped out of hiddenness.
~Pope Benedict XVI
I'm a religious (for 40 years, not always easy). I'm not asking for anyone's sympathy -- I'm joyous in my vocation -- but as I get older I become more conscious of how deep the sacrifice goes and how much day-to-day perseverance costs. I imagine marriage is no different, but it has its compensations which I don't have.I've nothing whatsoever against habits; I wear mine. But I'm weary of people telling me how I should dress, and implying that I'm somehow sub-standard if my dress doesn't please them. I can't live my life to fulfil other people's fantasies for them. Sorry to be blunt, but if that's what you want, you become a religious. Just get off my back, life is tough enough already, thanks.
Paul,Whats your point?
Paul,I see nowhere in my post where I condemn or am censorious of religious who don't wear their habits.For those of us in the South, we rarely see any religious in habit or otherwise.So the post was a simple personal expression of joy at being in Rome and the delight in being somewhere with a Catholic identity. We have so precious little of it here.For my children, it was a wondrous sight to walk through the streets of Rome and try to identify which order a particular habit was. And the many cassocks on priests, prelates and seminarians made us happy in our Catholic Faith.I am grateful for the religious, especially the ones in monasteries, who can pray and chant the Lord's praises for those of us who are busy with our ordinary lives and forget to pray or are too tired to pray. Adoration on Thursdays is when I try to return in some measure the kindness and support by praying for those in the priesthood and in consecrated life.Personally, I don't have the energy and the anger necessary to fuel the debates and polemics. It takes me away from time needed to practice or to compose.Pax, Paul.
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