Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Father's Tender Love

Last semester, my moral theology teacher urged our class to never forget that in the confessional a priest must reflect the Father's tender love. "Satan," he pointed out, "will do whatever he can to distract you from the surgery," meaning the confession and recognition of the penitent's real sin. "At the same time, never forget the Father's tender love."

I have detected after some eight years of seminary the general assumption that I and the majority of the young whipper-snappers aiming to be priests are zealous, more than slightly inconsiderate, self-imagined stormtroopers coming in a great wave to single-handedly save the Church. Realizing my obvious lack of objectivity, I wish to state for the record that I don't think that is true. All the same, an document sent to me by a former blogger now priest contained an amusing reminder of just how careful the Church is when it comes to the difficult duty of administering correction to her members.

In a document to the Bishops Conference of England and Wales regarding a proposed translation of liturgical rubrics, the recommendation appears in a list of some 114 points:

"101. The affirmation of n. 56 is not true. It would be best to omit it."

Lacking the time to find the original translation on which this is commenting, I cannot be sure of the content of n. 56, but I can imagine a scenario. Rather than fire back with "n. 56 is false," the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments came back with this rather classy, gentle suggestion. I pray that all men in formation will be able to administer correction in such a way.