Sunday, 16 August 2009

Spiritual Mothers of Priests: "Trials and Attacks".

This morning I received an important email from one of our friends, a USA Spiritual Mother of a priest. She does not say whether I can reveal who she is, so until and unless she does, I will call her 'Michelle'. She writes:

"Since beginning this vocation several months ago, I have noticed something which I should have expected - spiritual attacks and trials, especially on Thursdays, the day I offer my Mass and Communion as well as a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament at the end of my work day. I find getting up for Mass and gettimg to that Holy Hour extremely difficult.

"What I realised was that I was in a battle and attempting to fight it with very little protection. I know the devil would like nothing more than for me and others to give up and slack off in our prayers and sacrifices for our spiritual sons. Since he works best with our weaknesses and has found mine, he has gone to work!

"I don't know if other women have experienced this (I am sure they have in some way), but I write you this just to relate my own experience and so that you may share it in whatever way you see fit. Since this important realization I have begun praying more specifically for protection in this vocation, to Our Lady and to St. Michael the Archangel. I also think it is important that we pray for each other in this......."

This email was like being stopped in the road and asked directions to somewhere. That very thing had happened to me the previous day. I had just come out of the village shop when a car stopped and the passenger asked me the way to our village antique fair. It is the custom on the Feast of the Assumption. Now, I wasn't exactly sure where it was being held this year, and gave directions to the local hotel round the corner. Alain, the patron, would know exactly and give clearer direction than I could. I'm sure you all see my point. Michelle does not tell me whether she has a priest spiritual director. But if she has not, she is like the passenger in that car and I can only encourage her to find one. For there is no doubt about it in my own mind and experience, that such a person is essential for a spiritual mother. It stands to reason that the more profoundly committed you are to this, or indeed any vocation in the Church, the more the devil is likely to attack you, and grim it is when he does. As she says herself she is 'in a battle with very little protection'.

It's not my intention to give spiritual advice on this blog. I am neither qualified, fit nor worthy. However, I'm very happy to share experiences with people who email me and I'll certainly respond privately to Michelle. However, I checked the Catholic Spiritual Direction blog to see if there was anything there about Michelle's particular concern. There are many subjects, but not that one. You can however email them a question but there is no guarantee you'll have an answer on their blog because the site is inundated with questions. However they do say that each week they note the frequency of a question. So the more people ask about something, the more likely it is to be answered. I recommend that Michelle sends in a question, and anyone else who needs help on this issue. In the meantime, if you haven't already got one, continue the search for a spiritual director (the CSD blog has pages on that); and pray like Michelle to Our Lady and St. Michael for protection. I would add St. John Vianney, who was considerably experienced in warfare with the evil one!

One of Michelle's most important points is that we spiritual mothers and our friends should pray constantly not only for our spiritual sons, but for each other.

No time for the UK report tonight but DV, tomorrow morning. Will finish the USA reports as soon as possible after that.

In union of prayer,


1 comment:

  1. I absolutely can relate. From the time I started my devotion to Spiritual Motherhood I have suffered from aweful attacks. I offered a whole trip that I found particularly difficult to make and during that time I suffered terribly. I had the DARKEST NIGHT OF THE SOUL EVER! I was tempted and suffered from insults and rebukes that I heard in my heart and mind...I had such spiritual dryness that I have never experienced ever. I am well aware who is behind these attacks and it only spirs me on to continue even more because if the evil one is not happy then that means I am doing the work of the Lord! IT was all worth it because when my trip was over and I returned home I had found that two of my spiritual children had actually had wonderful experiences - one went from Associate Pastor to Pastor during this time and another received a period of recovery that was surely needed. I encourage others to continue to fight and by all means keep a sense of humor as one of my favorite spiritual writers wrote in 'The Gift of Faith'
    “The “virtue’ of humor lets you defeat the poison of sadness, with which Satan tries to permeate your soul. This (virtue) causes you to cease worrying about yourself and allows you to live a life of joy flowing from faith (which is a radiation of God’s love)” Fr Tadeusz Dajczer