The New Gasparian
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A journal dedicated to the life and mission of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and to a life lived in response to the call and the cry of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our on-going mission is to share good news of hope and communion.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

I gave the guys a conference on Obedience this evening. Thursday is our community night. The following are my notes and outline for the presentation and discussion. First are several citations from St. Gaspar's writings and then are the discussion questions. It was a good discussion and the men were energetic and passionate about the topic. Take a look at the questions. I would be interested in your thoughts, too.

from St. Gaspar:

The duties of a Missionary, whether they relate to pious organizations that our Mission Houses promote, or pertain to private or public Retreats or sacred Missions. Adhering to this method, we are referring opportunely to the Mass, to the ministry of hearing confessions, to the manner of proclaiming the divine word, to the mortification of ourselves, to our love for suffering, our sprit of prayer, of humility, of obedience without which the holy ministry entrusted to us by God can never be properly regulated. Each one of us must recall that vir obediens loquetur victorias. (1)

from Topics to be treated in the renewal of missionaries, Spiritual Method.

Satan, too, desired that the love of comfort, attachment to your own opinions, rudeness in conduct, and self will should replace your good resolutions and a life of service to God. What, then, did the good Lord do? He showed you a way to ground yourselves in humility, obedience, and sacrifice in the hidden and modest life. He rejoices to hear you repeat: Elegi abjectus esse.(2) Open the eyes of your minds and learn that everyone is called to suffer, and that through that suffering, virtue strikes deeper roots in the hearts of all. Therefore, in your desire to imitate Christ, set aside all complaints. May evangelical simplicity, obedience to your directors, and reverence towards the ways of Providence make your life virtuous not only in name but in deed.

Third Letter, 1829

When you go about your duties, therefore, think of God in whose immensity we have our being. Think of obedience which sanctifies the entire man. Think of the good example which you give thereby. Make every thought of sadness, dejection and sloth be far removed from you. Serve God, and serve him in cheerfulness. Out of love for him, display the joy of the just, even in doing external works. Give evidence of that modesty which is surely the fruit of an internal purity of soul: Gaudete in Domino semper; modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus. (3)

Fourth Letter, 1830

Therefore, the wellspring of all holiness is a humble life. From it flow fraternal charity, docility in obedience and, above all, assiduous prayer before the throne of divine Majesty. Through it we obtain greater graces, courage and strength for the ministry.

Sixth Letter, 1832

Let obedience be the mystical ship that conveys us to a safe port; but let it be a blind, generous, suffering obedience. 1 say nothing about the zeal and industrious charity that should accompany the doing of any good work, nothing about the real thirst for the salvation of souls or about the repugnance that should be felt about things that are opposed to virtue. From a consideration of these things, we develop a serious attitude and at the same time a certain gentleness, an impartiality in our actions along with a feeling of contentment for all that God accomplishes through us, setting aside sentiments of complaint, ostentation and things of that nature.

Ninth Letter, 1835

(1) But he who listens will finally have his say. Prv 21:28
(2) Gaspar was quoting from the vulgate, with a sense of "being abject." Modern translations from the original languages have a different sense:"Merely to stand on the steps of God's house." Ps 84:11
(3) I want you to be happy in the Lord; I repeat, what I want is your happiness. Let your tolerance be evident to everyone. Ph 4:4-5


Conference/Conversation, February 19, 2004

What is obedience in the 21st century? How would we describe it?

What is accountability, how are we accountable, what does it look like?

What are ways a pastor can make himself accountable? What does obedience look like in the life of someone with authority?

What is the relationship between obedience and humility?

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 10:32 PM link
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Very moving piece. You won't find me saying much about The Passion. I plan to see the movie before I comment. I have been disturbed by much of the recent commentary about the movie. I think it explains more about the various speakers than it does about the movie. Dale Price's recent blog entry is a great example of teaching how to judge, how not to judge.

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 9:04 PM link
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HRI is an important work and I hope to remain a part of it once I become pastor of __________. The last two days were an exhilarating discussion and the memories linger as I spend part of the morning doing work on the chant choir. "Justice and Praise" are important parts of the Christian life and I enjoy being deeply involved in both.

HRI, The Human Rights Initiative was begun as part of a Jubilee year initiative of the Precious Blood Leadership Conference. HRI presented annual conferences on Debt Reduction, The Death Penalty, Mutuality in Ministry, and on Racism. Most of the conferences were held in the Mid-West and the East. Now we are looking for ways to involve all Precious Blood People across the country and in Canada involved in connecting Precious Blood Charism with work for justice.

The Blood of Christ compels us to stand together in action for justice, peace, human dignity, and the sacredness of life and all creation.

There is a Blog operated by the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood in O'Fallon, MO called
CPPS Gospel Justice This may become part of the effort of all the Precious Blood Congregations to consolidate their efforts in the Human Rights Intiative. Check it out and let me know what you think.

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 11:39 AM link
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New blog found

Fr. Shane Tharp from Oklahoma

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 8:46 AM link
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Life and Death

The past few days have been spent at the Convent of the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood. It is one of my favorite places to be. While there I consulted with Sr. Mary cecile in the Ecclesiastical Arts Department about the creation of a stole for Retrouvaille. I ordered two of them.

The HRI meeting was exhilarating, but a significant event made me aware of how much I hope to be in pastoral ministry again. In the infirmary, Sr. Domatilla suffered a heart attack. She is in her '90s and has made it clear she is prepared to meet the Lord. I went to the infirmary to anoint her. There were several elderly sisters keeping vigil. As I took her hand she grabbed it tightly. She opened her eyes and prayed the Our Father with us. She smiled and whispered a small thank you. I have since returned to Chicago but Sr. Joni reported last night that Sr. Domatilla was resting comfortably.

So opening the morning email I receive a birth announcement from a fellow Chicago blogger.
Welcome, Andrew!! Send all the best wishes over to the proud papa!

Blessings and prayers for all.

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 8:16 AM link
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