by Father Chris Pietraszko
One of the promises that was drilled into me during my time in the seminary was the promise the ordained make when being ordained to the diaconate, and continue to abide by in the priesthood and episcopacy.
My Spiritual Director informed me that this carries with it a “grave-responsibility.” That is to say that praying the Liturgy of the Hours is necessary for my salvation as a priest.
Whenever we say that something is gravely immoral, or that there is a “grave responsibility” it is to say that there is such a great importance attached to this practice that without it, great harm is done to the Church, to ourselves, and in our relationship with God.
The Liturgy of the Hours, therefore, if not prayed by those who have made such a promise to God, commit mortal sin (provided all the criteria the Church gives to mortal sin is fulfilled).
This then teaches us that the Prayer of the Church bestows upon the Church the graces that bring about and preserve the grace of salvation in others. A priest or religious who refuses or out of sloth neglects this prayer is also neglecting his people in a grave manner.
This speaks of the Church’s belief in the power of prayer. Without it, we are lost, and no matter how smart or educated we think we are, we are ultimately hating God and his people without it.
The commitment and promise that we have taken is also important to reflect upon. Don’t be two faced. If you are going to make a promise to God, mean it. This also is true with respect to the oath of fidelity the ordained take.
If you cannot honour your commitments to God, you can’t really honour your commitments to your neighbour. That is, if God is owed the most respect, how can we ever think that we will respect our neighbours who deserve less honour than God?
Let our yes be yes, and our no be no.
Practice Catholic Devotions
Fr. Charles Nwora Okeke
A journey back to recovery of our traditional Catholic Practices: A syllabus of popular Catholic Devotions seldom practiced today.
No matter what you want, pray to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin and St Joseph; if you need money, pray to St Joseph, as he was the provider for the Holy Family and went through the same economic difficulties as yours; if you are seeking the grace of true repentance, pray to St John the Baptist; if you want to advance in studies and purity, pray to St Aloysius of Gonzaga, the patron of youths; if you want to advance in music, pray to St Cecilia; if you are in domestic difficulties, go to St Rita of Cascia, who had many of them herself; if you yearn for a clearer understanding of religious questions, pray to St Thomas Aquinas, St Bonaventure, or St Augustine of Hippo; if you want help in the conversion of a sinner, pray to St Monica, who herself besieged heaven many years for her son Augustine’s conversion and lived to see it; if you have throat trouble, pray to St Blaise; if you want a husband, pray to St Catherine; no matter what you want, pray to St Anne; St Peter of Alcantara is a wonderful helper, whose prayers, according to a statement by Christ to St Theresa, will always be answered. If you are a struggling penitent, pray to St Mary of Egypt or St Margret of Cortona, who were converted women of shame. If you want to find something that is lost, pray to St Anthony.
Remember that each day of the week has its special devotion: Sunday, the Holy Trinity; Monday, the souls in Purgatory; Tuesday, the holy angels; Wednesday, St Joseph; Thursday, the Blessed Sacrament; Friday, the Sacred Heart and the Passion; Saturday, the Blessed Virgin Mary.