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Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A relic on tour

The relic, John Vianney's heart, has been on tour in the UK. One of the stops was Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, a really interesting looking church ....





But back to the relic. I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of John Vianney, who was ...

a French parish priest who in the Catholic Church is venerated as a saint and as the patron saint of all priests. He is often referred to as the "Curé d'Ars". He became internationally notable for his priestly and pastoral work in his parish because of the radical spiritual transformation of the community and its surroundings. Catholics attribute this to his saintly life, mortification, his persevering ministry in the sacrament of confession, and his ardent devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Philomena.

He's considered one of the "incorruptibles" - perhaps that's why his heart is up to a tour - but when I think of hm I mainly recall something he is said to have said ... “O, how great is the priest! … If he realized what he is, he would die … God obeys him: he utters a few words and the Lord descends from heaven at his voice, to be contained within a small host…”

God obeys him? Holy mackerel :( There was a past discussion at Pray Tell about this quote and others having to do with our perceptions of the role of priests here.


6 Comments:

Blogger Dina said...

But he has a point, no? I don't know but I try to imagine the power of the words of institution and of the one speaking them.

The inside of that church is nicer than the outside.

11:46 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Dina,

Yeah, I like the inside beter too.

I'm not an expert on real presence but someone else commented on this statement at the Pray Tell blog and I agree with what he wrote ...

"To assert in any manner that God obeys the priest is preposterous and blasphemous. The very concept makes of the priest a mere shaman and is the result of an incredibly boastful pride and adolescent immaturity. God obeys no one. What, then, happens at the eucharist where God is thought to obey his creature? It is not at the priest’s command that God becomes really present. It is, rather, in faithfulness to his own word, Word, and promises that he becomes present when the priest, in union with the Church assembled, obeys HIM. Such notions as this are why there was a reformation, and why Vatican II fulfilled a need."

There are different ways of looking at things in the church - traditionalist and progressive. The traditionalists are nostalgic for the days before the changes of the Second Vatican Council and the pope, a traditionalist, has been in some ways "reforming the reforms" of V2. But V2 really changed a lot about Catholicism and the way a priest is viewed was one of the things that changed. So much is about interpretation and the guys who are currently in power are interpreting things traditionally, but that's just their take. Or at least that's my view.

Sorry - probably a much longer answer than you wanted :)

2:28 AM  
Anonymous Victor said...

Although I have not read the "here" included, I must say for what "IT" is worth that when I started reading "“O, how great is the priest! … .......... contained within a small host…”

"I" was thinking that especially priest should watch every word that they say because everything will someday come out into the light. As far as him being a saint, well from experience during my life in moments of GOD's Time, I believe that we've all been saints at "ONE" Time or another. I won't get into moments of the pass where "I" showed a spark of saintliness myself or was that just silliness? Anyway! I've always joked with people who loved me in deep moments that if "I AM" ever seen changing water into wine that they must tell me something like, well that's a pretty good trick but "I" want to see "IT" again tomorrow and between you and me Crystal "Tomorrow never comes".

I hear ya! You either had saintly moments and/or you simply went a little crazy! :)

God only knows for sure. :(

Peace

9:32 AM  
Blogger Jana said...

Hi Crystal,
I like that church - kind of looks like it's wearing a crown! Plus I like the stairs and the sculpture in the foreground - Jana

10:34 AM  
Blogger Dina said...

Well, I think part of our problem here is that modern Western man has a problem with the very word "obey" and "obedience."

10:59 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Dina,

Yes, obey does sound kind of negatvie to modern ears. But it can mean choosing to be faithful, which doesn't sound so bad.

1:22 PM  

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