How does “intimate and unceasing union with God” happen? Pope Benedict XVI talks about the priest’s vocational call: “A priest must really be a man of God, he must know God intimately and know him in communion with Christ and so we must live this communion. Our being, our life and our heart must be fixed in God, in this point from which we must not stir.” Essentially, Pope Benedict XVI urges priests and seminarians to fall in love. In fact, the Holy Father specifically describes seminary formation in this way, “The seminarian experiences the beauty of that call in a moment of grace which could be defined as ‘falling in love.’”
Nothing is more powerful than falling in love – and staying in love. The Second Vatican Council fathers knew this. Blessed John Paul II knew this. Pope Benedict XVI knows this. And, Father Pedro Arrupe, S.J. knew this. Father Arrupe was the keynote speaker at the 1976 bicentennial Eucharistic Congress. Father Arrupe’s comments echoed the Second Vatican Council fathers’ decree to fall in love. After Father Arrupe’s inspiring speech a skeptic naysayer raised his hand and commented, “Falling in love. That’s great, but give me something practical.” Without skipping a beat, Father Arrupe quickly responded:
“Nothing is more practical than finding God,
than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, who you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love,
stay in love,
and it will decide everything.”
The Institute for Priestly Formation aims at helping priests and seminarians to live in “intimate and unceasing union with God.” We do this convicted that “nothing is more practical than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way.” If men “fall in Love and stay in love, it will decide everything.”
The purpose of IPF is to help priests and seminarians to live in “intimate and unceasing union with God.”
The process for such spiritual formation is to assist men to first fall in love and then stay in love with God. In other words, while consider teaching men how to pray one of core competencies, spiritual formation is more than simple contemplative technique. Our aim, which is the Church’s vision, is to teach men how to stay in love with God – to live intimate and unceasing union with God.
We can help you as a seminary rector, formator, or faculty. We can help your seminarians. We can help your staff. We can help all to fall in love, and stay in love, so that God decides everything. Click here to find out how we can help …