February 10, 2017
Fr. Leo John Dehon: founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart
Shortly after Leo Dehon’s ordination to priesthood and just prior to his best friend, Leo Palustre’s wedding, Fr. Dehon writes from Rome:
“My dear friend Palustre, your desires are going to be fulfilled! You will be married. I congratulate you and I am convinced that you will be happy. My best wishes and prayers accompany you in this important act of your life. I offered the sacrifice of the Mass for you last Tuesday. I hope God will bless your marriage.
“I expect you will not only observe the religious principles you have always professed, but also spread them in your writings when you shall have found the leisure to write again after having spent some time in the pleasures that must accompany so happy a marriage and after having been settled in your home.
“I missed you on December 19 [Dehon’s priesthood ordination date]. On such great days, one is happy to have his beloved ones near him, friends who help him request graces from God and who share his joys. At least I had my father and mother with me. I had eight days of vacation to devote to my parents at Christmas. We took advantage of these days to make a short but charming trip to Naples.
“My parents will leave within a few days for La Capelle [Dehon’s hometown] where they hope to see you and the one you chose to be the companion of your life. She will be received in my family as warmly as you have always been. Your devoted friend in our Lord.”
Letter to Leo Palustre, January 15, 1869
Lived and Shared: contemporary expressions of Dehonian Spirituality
Years ago we thought of vocation in religious terms — a calling to the priesthood or religious life. Today, we all have a broader view. God offers all kinds of vocations to those who will listen to his calling. We can all appreciate His plans for us—our careers, avocations, and relationships. For me, the most profound has been my marriage to Sue.
As I write these words, we are entering our 50th year together. Our marriage has had all the hallmarks of a vocation — a calling that shaped the largest contours of our life, with its goals and challenges, and its need for a continuous response. Now, with the wisdom that comes with age, we can see God’s abiding influence on our lives and appreciate the gifts he has given us. Not the least of these are our children, whose care He entrusted to us, and who have gifted us back with their own adventures, spirit, love, grandchildren, and their own vocations.
A marriage is a distinctly different vocation from that of a priest or other professional. It is a double vocation; one that works best if both partners have it.
Sue and I don’t believe that our vocation is special, or that our marriage is a model of how it should be done. Our greatest gift is to realize how lucky we have been — that God drew us together, to share this vocation of marriage.
George Grob, a former SCJ
[Congratulations Sue and George!]
Reflection Questions: seeds for personal understanding and growth
How do you describe the vocation to which God is calling you?
What are the gifts you receive from your vocation and how do you share them with others?
Prayer: hands lifted in prayer; hands prepared to serve
Sunday, February 12, 2017, is World Marriage Day. In your kindness throughout the coming week, please remember in your prayers all those who have embraced the vocation of marriage. You may find the following prayer helpful.
in your creative wisdom
you did not want individuals to be alone.
For those who receive your call to marriage,
you invite them to choose a suitable partner
for a mutual experience of pleasure,
a reciprocal support in pain,
and a complimentary expansion
of the abundant life your promise.
May their unions truly be a sacrament:
revealing your helping presence in the world.
Each week reflections and prayers based in the Dehonian charism are published on the Dehonian Spirituality page of the U.S. Province website of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. This is an email version of that update.
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