Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Final Countdown


My name is Brother Gerard Walsh; I am a Carmelite friar in first vows, living in our community in York, England.  I am currently working in chaplaincy, dividing my time between the University of York and the York Hospital.  Earlier this year I applied and was accepted for Solemn Profession of vows, which will take place at The Friars, Aylesford in October.  Here I will publically profess the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to God, within the Order of Carmelites, for life.  This will happen on Saturday, so this will be my last blog regarding my Solemn Profession preparation. 

Dear friends, as I draw close to the end of my Solemn Profession preparation, I wanted to let you know how things are progressing.  On the practical side all is in place¸ the booklet and prayer cards are produced and printed, all that needs to be done is the music practise which will happen between now and the ceremony. 

With the formal arrangements in place, I can direct my thoughts to the spiritual side of the forthcoming event.  I have been using the following prayer as my focus over last few weeks.  This is the Prayer of Consecration that our Provincial, Fr. Wilfrid, will pray over me, during the Rite of Profession on Saturday.  The words are beautiful and I include them in this blog:

O God, source and fount of all holiness,
you have loved those you have created so much that
you made them sharers in your divine nature.
Neither the sin of Adam nor the sins of the whole world could change or destroy your divine plan.

At the beginning of time you chose Abel to be an example of right living for us.
Among the Jews, your chosen people you raised up men and women outstanding in holiness and prominent in virtue.
First among these is the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Daughter of Sion.
From her chaste womb came forth your Word made flesh for the life of the  world, Jesus Christ our Lord.

He is the model of all holiness, Father:
he made himself poor that we might become rich,
he took the form of a slave to make us free.
By the Paschal Mystery, in his boundless love,
he redeemed the world and sanctified the church to which he promised the gifts of the Spirit.

Through the promptings of the Paraclete
you have drawn innumerable sons to follow Christ.
Drawn by the strong and welcome bonds of love
they have left all things and given themselves completely to the service of all.

Be pleased then, Lord, to look upon this your servant
whom you have called by your heavenly providence.
Send upon him the Spirit of Holiness
so that he may faithfully fulfil what he has promised with joy.
May he contemplate with love and diligently follow his Divine Master.

may unsullied chastity, joyful poverty and generous obedience be his.
May he do the things which please you with humility,
serve you with meekness and cling to you with love.
May he be patient in times of sorrow, firm in faith, joyful in hope and strong in love.
May his life build up the church,
promote the good of all,
and be a clear sign of the good things of heaven.

Lord, Holy Father,
be pleased to guide and protect this servant of yours.
When he comes before the judgement seat of your Son,
be his recompense and reward.
There may he rejoice in the completion of his labours
and, strengthened in your love,
may he enjoy the fellowship of the saints with whom he will offer you
everlasting honour and glory.

I was directed to use this as a focus for my prayer during the last couple of weeks of preparation and I have found it a great source of strength and comfort.  Please keep me in your prayers over the coming days and I will keep you in mine.  In York, we have just completed freshers’ week and I am conscious that there are students at this time who might be finding adjusting to university life quite difficult, I am praying, also, for anyone who might need them.  

Can I take this opportunity to thank all those people who have journeyed with me, in prayer, for the past couple of months.  I will pray for you all over the next few days and I am sure that we will be united in prayer on Saturday when I profess my final vows.

God bless each and every one of you.

Br Ged J

The video link is of us in a party mode!

Br. Ged will profess his Solemn Vows at Aylesford Priory at 11.30am this Saturday. Please keep him in your prayers.

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