Sunday, 1 November 2009

An introduction...

Pax Vobis

My ministry in a nutshell? I am a simple priest without stipend ministering to the lost and strayed sheep most other Churches have, for a variety of reasons, mislaid or discarded and don't seek after. The sorts of people I minister to are those whose lifestyle was not deemed reconcilable or whose self-expression or identity made them unwelcome in the Churches of their birth. But before,
dear Reader, you write me off as some socialist liberal, I am in fact totally orthodox in my teaching and in my praxis. The difference perhaps, between myself and others, is that I do not believe that it is sometimes "cruel to be kind", rather I believe it is always necessary as a Christian, particularly as a Catholic and most especially as a Pastor to "be loving" even when it would be easier not to be...

You will notice from my links and later from my posts, that I am a "traditional Catholic", though without the "attitude". I offer Mass daily according to the Usus Antiquior, I recite my Office Hours and I adhere to traditional Catholic teaching. But I have found in my experience of pastoral counseling these words to be true...
“Soyez toujours le plus doux que vous pourrez, et souvenez-vous que l’on prends plus de mouches avec une cuillère de miel qu’avec cent barils de vinaigre… Always be as gentle as you can and remember that one catches more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a hundred barrels of vinegar." (Introduction to a Devout Life, St Francis De Sales, though legend attributes it to St Bernard of Clairvaux also.)

While I more than truly appreciate the perspectives of Traditional Catholicism with regard to spiritual discipline and liturgy, I find in praxis and from the lives of the Saints, more to commend compassion, gentle persuasion and encouragement in the direction of souls towards perfection than I do to
"slash and burn" with sarcastic wit or condemnation. Though, I admit, I am prone outside of that context (i.e. pastoral praxis) to be as quick witted and short tempered as my namesake, St Jerome, who spared some no blushes in his defence of orthodoxy!

"Detract not one another, my brethren. He that detracteth his brother, or he that judgeth his brother, detracteth the law, and judgeth the law. But if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge." [James 4:11] Our Lord speaks and I listen! It can be all too easy sometimes to fall into the conceit of the Pharisees and apply the "letter" rather than the "spirit" of the law and I firmly believe that the "spirit" of the Divine Law [St Mark 12: 28-34; Deut 6:5; Levit 19:18] is Charity that described by the Apostle Paul as "Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." [1 Cor 13].

2 comments:

Catholic Christian said...

Wow, Father! This post is exactly how I was describing why I am exploring a call to the priesthood in the CANC-US. I think you sum it up when you say "traditional Catholic, though without the attitude." Wonderful. I look forward to following your blog.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

Welcome "Catholic Christian" you're my first poster! Do keep in touch with me!