If you are actively discerning a vocation to the Priesthood, Diaconate, Consecrated Life, or Marriage and you are looking for information to help in your discernment, BE SURE TO CHECK the section at the bottom of the right sidebar for the "labels" on all posts. By clicking on one of these labels it will take you to a page with all posts containing that subject. You will also find many links for suggested reading near the bottom of the right sidebar. Best wishes and be assured of my daily prayers for your discernment.

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Book in the "Roman Catholic Vocations Bookstore"

Philip Gerard Johnson recently posted a review, of sorts, of the book "A Priest Forever". Below is a link to the book. I have also added it to the "Roman Catholic Vocations Bookstore" in the sidebar. Below this link is Phil's post about the book. If you haven't had a chance to check out his blog, I highly recommend it - especially as it relates to the subject of this book.

From Philip Johnson:

"Last week I finished reading a very touching book, which I highly recommend. It is entitled A Priest Forever: The Life of Fr. Eugene Hamilton by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R. Many thanks to my priest friend who sent the book as a gift.

Much of the book is taken from Fr. Hamilton's personal journal (he began an autobiography before his death in 1997, which was later found on his computer). This book is the fulfillment of Fr. Groeschel's promise to Father Hamilton before his death: "Your sermon will be preached." This "sermon," in the form of Fr. Hamilton's testimony to the Faith and the priesthood, is remarkable.

While his story is not exactly like mine, there are many similarities, so I draw strength and inspiration from his words. Quite simply, he wanted to become a priest, and was not going to let cancer stand in the way. He fought cancer for many years and was able to complete three years of seminary studies. When it became apparent that he was about to die, Archbishop Edwin O'Brien ordained him a priest with special permission from Pope John Paul II. Three hours later, Fr. Hamilton died. The story is very touching, and it reveals the character of a young man who shows us what the Catholic priesthood really is - not a job or profession, but an eternal vocation.

The whole book is definitely worth reading, but I found a comment from Fr. Hamilton's spiritual director very touching:

"I always had the sense that [Fr. Hamilton] knew that this was God's plan. It is almost as if he knew something that we did not know, namely that in him God was disclosing a new dimension of priesthood - perhaps not really new, but new in the sense that we seldom talk of it. And this dimension was the dimension of the victim-sufferer, even the victim-priest.... So often we think of priesthood as our choice, our decision, our commitment. In [Fr. Hamilton], the Lord was drawing us back to His definition of priesthood, defined in the person of the Suffering Jesus. I think [Fr. Hamilton] knew that he was a player in a divine drama that transcended him, and that, in some way, was part of God's teaching us what the priesthood really is."

I recommend this book to everyone, but especially to those discerning a vocation to the priesthood."

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