Monday, January 25, 2010

Knock - Shrine of Vocations

I was at Knock Shrine, Co. Mayo, Ireland today. It was a beautiful, but cold, day there. Many people think of Knock as a Shrine of Our Lady - and it is. But more importantly it is a Shrine of the Blessed Eucharist; for the apparition which took place there in 1879 was one of a Lamb on an Altar surmounted by a Cross and surrounded by adoring angels. To the left of the altar stood three figures, St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph with Our Blessed Mother in between, as can be seen in the carved representation which is in the Apparition Chapel of the Shrine. (Unfortuantely the architecture of the Chaepl leave alot to be desired - as you can see from the photo)

But Knock is also, I think, a Shrine for Vocations . When we look at who appeared in Knock we see three people who represent the various calls that a person can have. We have St. Joseph - Husband and Father (and Virgin in my opinion). We have St. John - Bishop/Priest/Consecrated Virgin and of course we have Our Lady - Mother, Wife and Consecrated Virgin.

We have all the vocations gathered with the heavenly hosts - all gathered around the Eucharist. It's as though the apparition were shwoing forth what John Paul II would state in his Encyclical on the Eucharist - Ecclesia de Eucharistia: "The Church draws her life from the Eucharist."

If you are a young man who is discerning your vocation to the priesthood you could do worse than take St. Joseph and St. John as your patrons in discernment and of course entrust your call to the one who responded perfectly to the Lord's call - the All-Holy Immaculate Virgin Mary. Praying daily the Rosary will allow her the time to teach you how to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit more clearly and she will obtain for you the grace to respond fearlessly and whole-heartedly to that which the Lord asks of you.

And of course time spent in Eucharistic Adoration will affirm and confirm you in the path towards priesthood.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Fr. B

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