Good Shepherds come from Good Sheep

Posted by James Hahn on

October 4th

St. Francis of Assisi

"Certainly, if there are good sheep there are also good shepherds; good sheep give rise to good shepherds" - St. Augustine

For the past couple of weeks we have been reading in the Office of Readings St. Augustine as he lambastes the shepherds who tend to themselves and ignore the flock.  Yet today, this one line stings the flock; "Certainly, if there are good sheep there are also good shepherds; good sheep give rise to good shepherds"

If we look at the current situation in the Church it is easy for us to stand in the piazza and point our fingers.  We can wring our hands, pray, sacrifice, and cry out to God.  All signs of suffering and supplication.

But if we read between the lines, St. Augustine is saying this:

Do you want good shepherds?  Then by all means pray, sacrifice, and ask the Lord of the harvest for good shepherds.  Yet, more importantly, be good sheep!  A good shepherd comes from a good flock.  A good shepherd cannot come from a sinful flock (unless God wills it).  He cannot come from a flock the contracepts, aborts, and despises the gift of life and be expected to respect life in all it's stages and forms.  He cannot come from a flock that commits adultery and be expected to be faithful to his vows.  He cannot come from a flock that turns a blind eye to pornography and be expected to be pure in thought, word, and deed.  He cannot come from a flock that has a deep love for the things of this world and be expected to renounce worldly things.

Good sheep give rise to good shepherds.  Let us then, as a Church and as individual sheep, turn toward the Good Shepherd, allow Him to guide us, lead us, protect us, and correct us.  Let us put away our contraception, adultery, abortion, drunkenness and all manner of darkness and once again walk in the Light!

Our future shepherds, the shepherds of our Church for decades to come are living under our roofs at this very moment.  They do not come from the ether, from the void!  They are the boys we see each day playing with Legos, rolling in the snow, exploring the world, and growing in wisdom, age, and grace as we bandage their knees, wipe their tears, and hug them before bed.  These are the future shepherds of the Church.  Are they coming from good sheep?

We pray that the Lord will send us good shepherds.  He asks us to do the same!

"Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self. " - Saint Francis of Assisi

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How to get better at prayer.
  1. Set a prayer appointment - Set a time on your calendar each day to meet and speak with God.
  2. Slowly increase your prayer time. - Don't jump in with an hour right from the get-go.  Build up your "tolerance" so to speak.
  3. Commit - to praying and slowly increasing your prayer time for 30 days.  Mark off the days on your calendar.  If you miss a day, jump right back in, don't give up.
  4. Pray - praying is talking to God, it's spending time with your attention focused on Him.  I enjoy spending time with my children regardless of their level of development.  God is the same way.  Spend time praying as best you can.  Use formal prayers if you want or simply speak in conversation.  Don't forget to listen
  5. Journal - Our newly revised 4 Simple Steps to Better Scripture Meditations: Guide, Workbook, and Journal walks you through 4 easy steps that will help you go deeper in your prayer life.  It includes 31 days of workbook and journal pages too!
  6. Read other good books about how to pray better - Prayer PrimerDeep Conversion, Deep PrayerTime for GodThe Spiritual Life: A Comprehensive Guide to Catholics Seeking Salvation.
* Contains affiliate links.  No, that doesn't mean that the kids should leave the room.  Rather, it means that if you click on a link, and if you purchase something, I may get some financial remuneration for that click and buy.  All that means is that my kids will finally get to eat, just kidding but I may get something, just so you know...

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