Author: Shirley Aaron

What Is The Difference Between A Friar, A Monk And A Priest?

What Is The Difference Between A Friar, A Monk And A Priest?

What Is the Difference Between a Friar, a Monk and a Priest?

Their priesthoods are equivalent, but their vocations are not exactly alike.

These are somewhat flexible terms; popularly they are all understood to involve a life of sacrifice and poverty. But while all variation of priesthoods may be equivalent, their vocations are not exactly alike, except in that they are meant to live their lives in service. A priest may be monastic, or religious, or “secular” (also called “diocesan”), but they are all clergy.

A priest in the Catholic Church is a man who has received the sacrament of Holy Orders and has therefore undertaken the duties of celebrating the Sacrifice of the Mass, hearing confession, giving absolution and other sacraments “in persona Christi” and to perform other duties of pastoral ministry and, sometimes, administration.

A priest may be connected to a diocese or to a religious order, or to a monastic house (an abbey or priory/convent). All priests, whether diocesan or religious, take vows of celibacy, and of obedience their superiors:

A diocesan priest promises obedience to his bishop.

A religious priest (like a Dominican or Franciscan) vows obedience to his superior, usually called a “provincial.”

A monastic priest vows obedience to his abbot (if living in an abbey) or prior (in a priory).

Diocesan priests do not take vows of poverty and may possess and inherit property.

Priests vowed to a religious order (like the Franciscans, Dominicans, etc) or a monastic community (like the Benedictines or Cistercians) do make vows of poverty, surrendering any income they generate through their works to their superiors. So a Dominican writer earning profits from his books will turn those royalty checks over to the Order of Preachers. A Trappist writer will turn his earnings over to his abbot or prior, for the benefit of the whole community.

The word “friar” is from fraire (from the Middle Ages — the fraire Provençal), which means “brother.” The word arose with the creation of the mendicant (traveling/preaching) orders in the late Middle Ages, most predominantly by Saint Francis (Franciscans) of Assisi and Saint Dominic (Order of Preachers, or “Dominicans”). These “new religious” were no longer tied to monasteries and convents but went out among the people, to preach and to pray, to educate and to serve the sick.

A priest who is part of a mendicant religious order is also a friar; a priest who is part of a conventual/monastic community (contemplative/stationary) is also a monk. But monks and friars need not be priests. Some monks and friars discern their vocations as religious, content to simply be brothers within their order or community; they do not pursue the priesthood.

The word “monk” comes from the Latin monachus, a word for hermits, rooted in a meaning of “solitude.” It is related to the emergence of the first experiences of contemplative men and women, such as the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Saint Benedict of Nursia (480-547) is considered the founder of Western Monasticism.
Finally, it is possible for a priest to be neither “secular”, nor “friar”, nor “monk” but still be a religious. A Jesuit priest (Society of Jesus), or a Pauline priest (Society of Saint Paul), or a Salesian priest (Society of St. Francis de Sales, aka Salesians of Don Bosco) is fully a priest and will make the same vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to their religious superiors, just like friars and monks, but they are simply priests of their respective communities.

Source:

Aleteia.

The Power Of Satan (3)

The Power Of Satan (3)

Fr. Gabriele Amorth was the Chief Exorcist of Rome. He performed hundreds of exorcisms over many years. He is the author of the best-selling book, An Exorcist Tells His Story. He is also the author of An Exorcist: More Stories. This excerpt, “The Power of Satan,” is taken from An Exorcist Tells His Story (pages 25-36).

…continued

Satan, defeated by Christ, fights against his followers. The battle against the evil spirits “was joined from the very origins of the world, and will continue until the last day, as the Lord has attested” (no. 37). During this time, every man is on battle alert because life on earth is a trial of faithfulness to God. “We strive therefore to please the Lord in all things (cf 2 Cor 5:9). We put on the armor of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil and resist on the evil day…. For before we reign with the glorious Christ, all of us will be made manifest ‘before the tribunal of Christ, so that each one may receive what he has won through the body, according to his works, whether good or evil’ (2 Cor 5: 10)” (Lumen Gentium, no. 48).

Even if this battle against Satan concerns all men and all times, there is no doubt that Satan’s power is felt more keenly in periods of history when the sinfulness of the community is more evident. For example, when I view the decadence of the Roman Empire, I can see the moral disintegration of that period in history. Now we are at the same level of decadence, partly as a result of the misuse of the mass media (which are not evil in themselves) and partly because of Western consumerism and materialism, which have poisoned our society.

I believe that Pope Leo XIII, in a vision that will be detailed in the appendix of this chapter [pages 37-39] received a prophetic warning concerning this demonic attack on our times. How does the devil oppose God and our Savior? By claiming for himself the adoration due to God and by mimicking Christian institutions. Therefore, he is anti-Christ and anti-Church. Satan uses the idolatry of sex, which reduces the human body to an instrument of sin, against the Incarnation of the Word who redeemed man by becoming man. Satan uses his churches, his cult, his devotees (often consecrated through a pact of blood), his adorers, the followers of his promises, to mimic the worship due to God. just as Christ gave his apostles and their followers specific powers for the good of body and soul, so Satan gives specific powers to his followers for the destruction of body and soul. We will examine these specific powers in our explanation of witchcraft.

I will mention one more item on this subject. Just as it would be wrong to deny the existence of Satan, it is also wrong to accept the prevalent opinion that there are spiritual beings that are not mentioned in the Bible. These are the invention of spiritists, of followers of the occult, of those who espouse reincarnation, or of those who believe in “wandering souls”. There are no good spirits other than angels; there are no evil spirits other than demons. Two Councils of the Church (Lyons and Florence) tell us that the souls of those who die go immediately to heaven or to hell or to purgatory. The souls of the dead who are present during seances or the souls of the dead who are present in living bodies to torture them are none other than demons. God allows a soul to return to earth only in very rare, exceptional cases, but we recognize that this subject is still full of unknowns. Father La Grua attempts to explain some of his own experiences with souls who are possessed by the devil, but I must reiterate that this is a matter that requires further research, and I will address it in a different book…to be continued.

The Centrality Of Christ (1).

The Centrality Of Christ (1).

The devil is one of Gods creatures. We cannot talk about him and about exorcisms without first stating some basic facts about Gods plan for creation. We will not say anything new, but we might present a new perspective.

All too often we have the wrong concept of Creation, and we take for granted the following wrong sequence of events. We believe that one day God created the angels; that he put them to the test, although we are not sure which test; and that as a result we have the division among angels and demons. The angels were rewarded with heaven, and the demons were punished with hell. Then we believe that on another day God created the universe, the minerals, the plants, the animals, and, in the end, man. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve obeyed Satan and disobeyed God; thus they sinned. At this point, to save mankind, God decided to send his Son.

This is not what the Bible teaches us, and it is not the teaching of the Fathers. If this were so, the angels and creation would remain strangers to the mystery of Christ. If we read the prologue to the Gospel of John And the two christological hymns that open the Letters to the Ephesians and the Colossians, we see that Christ is “the firstborn of all creatures” (Col 1:15). Everything was created for him and in the expectation of him. There is no theological discussion that makes any sense if it asks whether Christ would have been born without the sin of Adam. Christ is the center of creation ; all creatures, both heavenly (the angels) and earthly (men) find in him their summation. On the other hand, we can affirm that, given the sin of our forebears, Christ’s coming assumed a particular role: he came as Saviour. The core of his action is contained within the Paschal Mystery: through the blood of his Cross, he reconciles all things in the heaven (angels) and on earth (men) to God. The role of every creature is dependent on this christocentric understanding.

We cannot omit a reflection about the Virgin Mary. If the firstborn creature is the Word become flesh, she who would be the means of the Incarnation must also have been present in the divine thought before every other creature. From this stems Mary’s unique relationship with the Holy Trinity.

…to be continued.

Excerpts taken from the book An Exorcists Tells His Story By Fr. Gabriele Amorth.

The Power Of Satan (2).

The Power Of Satan (2).

continued…

Fr. Amorth Writes:

Scripture tells us that angels and demons (I want particularly to mention Satan) are spiritual creatures but also that they are individuals gifted with intelligence, will, freedom, and initiative. Those modern theologians who identify Satan with the abstract idea of evil are completely mistaken. Theirs is true heresy; that is, it is openly in contrast with the Bible, the Fathers, and the Magisterium of the Church. The truth about Satan was never doubted in the past; therefore, there are no dogmatic definitions in this respect with the exception of the following statement of the Fourth Lateran Council: “The devil [that is, Satan] and the other demons were created good by God;but they became evil through their own fault.” Whoever denies Satan also denies sin and no longer understands the actions of Christ.

Let us be clear about this: Jesus defeated Satan through his sacrifice. However, Jesus also defeated Satan before his death, through his teachings: “If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Lk 11:20). Jesus is the strongest one, who tied up Satan (Mk 3:27), despoiled him, and pillaged his kingdom, which is at an end (Mk 3:26).

Jesus first gave the power to cast out demons to his apostles; then he extended the power to the seventy-two disciples, and in the end he granted it to all those who would believe in him.

The Acts of the Apostles tell us that after the descent of the Holy Spirit the apostles continued to expel demons, and all Christians have done so after them. Already, the earliest Fathers of the Church, such as Justin and Irenaeus, clearly express Christian thought about the devil and about the power to cast him out. Other Fathers, in particular Tertullian and Origen, concur.

These four authors alone can refute many modern theologians, who, for all purposes, either do not believe in the devil or completely ignore him.

The Second Vatican Council powerfully reminded us of this abiding teaching of the Church:

“For a monumental struggle against the powers of darkness pervades the whole history of man. The battle was joined from the very origins of the world” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 37).

“Although he was made by God in a state of holiness, from the very dawn of history man abused his liberty, at the urging of personified Evil. Man set himself against God and sought to find fulfillment apart from God.

Although he knew God, he did not glorify Him as God, but his senseless mind was darkened and he served the creature rather than the Creator” (no. 13). “For He sent His Son, clothed in our flesh, in order that through this Son He might snatch men from the power of darkness and of Satan” (Ad Gentes, no. 3).

How can those who deny the existence and the many activities of Satan understand the achievements of Christ? How can they understand the value of the redemptive death of Christ? On the basis of Sacred Scripture, the Second Vatican Council affirms that “[Christ], by His death and resurrection, had freed us from the power of Satan”(Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 6). And “[Christ] was crucified and rose again to break the stranglehold of personified Evil” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 2).

To be continued…

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