Friday, November 30, 2012

Seminary Life

Seminary Life

     The priest is a person sent as a messenger. Jesus Christ was sent by God the Father, where he took the form of Human nature and became the First High Priest. Christ Jesus, the priest, the prophet and the Good Shepherd entrusted the mission of the Father to His Apostles and their successors, the ministry of shepherding God’s own flock. (Jn21:15ff). Therefore Jesus’ prime purpose of choosing the disciples was to be with Him and to be sent out as messengers to preach His word. (Mk 3: 13-15). Today the Catholic Church continues the same mission started by Jesus Christ in the formation of a Seminary, an academy where the priestly vocation begins. 

     Jesus Christ, the author helps us to work on our vocation in the Seminary. The presence of the Holy Spirit is felt in our lives in the Seminary as it engages a person in his totality. Special attention is given to the Spiritual Formation which is the key to all aspects of formation such as Human, Intellectual and Social. Among all these aspects of Spiritual Formation, the Holy Eucharist takes first place as it is the most important event of the day where we meet our source of strength. Apart from this, Liturgy of the Hours, Benediction, Examination of Conscience, Recitation of the Rosary, Visit to the Blessed Sacrament and Bible Sharing are some of the spiritual activities performed in the Seminary which help us to grow in our relationship with the Lord.

     The whole work of priestly formation would be deprived of its necessary foundation, if it lacked a suitable human formation. Therefore, every Seminarian is taught to cultivate a series of human qualities, not only out of proper and due growth and realization of self, but also with a view to the ministry. These qualities are required to enable them to be balanced people, strong and free and capable of bearing the weight of pastoral responsibilities (PDV 40). A priest is also a public figure and a man of communion who bridges God and man. Therefore, the aspect of self-discipline is a must in the seminary life and there has to be a positive attitude towards it. Especially the practice of interior silence helps to calm down the entire being, to think deeply and to concentrate on the calling to be a priest. Studying Philosophy and Theology in the seminary is not for the personal glory, but for the greater glory of God and for the people of God. Blessed John Paul II says that priesthood is a gift directly from God and that it is a mysterious calling. Certainly this is what we are called to experience during the seminary life.