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Commentaries on the News

A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana












1. In the First seminary, the Apostolic community, all were trained well. There was no problem in the training; the problem was with Judas. He used his free will to choose avarice rather than holiness. There is no solution to problems of the free will. We will always have bad Christians if not bad priests.

2. As early as the primitive Church, where the monasteries were really the first seminaries, they were already having problems. Some monasteries and some monks were the bedrock of heresies. This is when a corrupt free will is compounded by a defective or incomplete formation program.

3. God always raised holy men and women to renew His Church. And though the renewals had limited success, it is clear what made it successful.

4. The history of the Church is filled with these ups and downs wherein monasteries and religious houses would spiritually deteriorate. But God raises up continuously men and women to reform not only the orders but also the Church. The Church went down every time she became "of the world" rather than merely "in the world." This is to drag the Church down to the level of the world. This should not be. The Church must stay in the spiritual level and lift the world up to her level.

5. While there were those who renewed the Church the right way, there were also those whose move to reform did not work and made matters worse. The reforms of Teresa of Avila, Phillip Neri and Catherine of Sienna worked; while the reform of Luther made things worse.

6. When seminaries were instituted by Pope Eugene II, the aim was to give candidates for the diocesan priesthood a spiritual training akin to monasteries.

7. The Catholic Church is the only entity that has a tradition wherein sometime in the past things worked… unlike everything else (like forms of government or economic programs which do not have such a tradition and therefore cannot look back, so up to now they are still finding ways to make things work). All we have to do is to look back at the time when things worked in the Church. We often refuse to do this because the successful past is full of challenges that we cannot meet. So we tend to offer a solution for the future, because it is easier to offer the future since it does not exist and, therefore, is untested.

8. We are raising men with a corrupt fallen nature to be spiritual men with a spiritual job. We cannot use mere human or worldly science, knowledge or means. It must be spiritual means, and we know of no other means than what Christ taught us.





(updated 01-02-02)

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila


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