Sunday, March 24, 2019

Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick on the Bible

Considering Seminary?

via Byz, TX

From 2013
Most of the time, serving the people is not about hearing confessions and serving the Holy Mysteries. It is about keeping the roof from leaking and the people from killing each other. If you can actually get your parishioners to like each other, you will have done a mighty act.

Many priests like to think about implementing ‘ministries’ and ‘parish activities’ and ‘more services’ without first getting to know the people and what they need to grow. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to parish life, so get that delusion out of your head right now. People are different, both as individuals and as communities.

If you must change them before you can love them, then you are not cut out for parish life. You have to love them first, and be willing to love them even if they refuse to change, because most of them will not change and will fight any kind of change tooth-and-nail. You must love them as they are, warts and all. Love is the only thing that really changes people.

Should it incumbent on the priest to be the intermediary between people? Does he play this role in the old world? Perhaps it is part of his calling to reconcile people if there is the possibility to do so -- the Beatitudes. But this is incumbent upon every Christian in that community, as a part of fraternal charity. It is also incumbent upon them to pass and enforce those rules that make communal life possible. In so far as the parish is an instantiation of the local community, if not wholly identical to it in its members, then the priest may be a spiritual father but politically he is no different from any other (male) member of that community, who also share responsibilities and authority, even, with respect to that community.

For Latin bishops and priests, they must be very clear as to what the precepts of the Natural Law, as distinguished to opinions they may have regarding political life, whether those are truly theological opinions, or opinions taken from liberalism.