Paths of Love: The Discernment of Vocation

Texts of Pope St. Pius X cited in the book

Here you will find texts of Pope Pius X mentioned in the book Paths of Love.

  • Holy See's Judgment on Cardinal Lahitton's work on Priestly Vocation:

    • The book of the eminent man Joseph Canon Lahitton, “La Vocation Sacerdotale.” is in no way to be reprobated, but rather is is deserving of outstanding praise in the following points: (1) that no one has a right to ordination antecedently to the free choice of him by the bishop; (2) that the condition to which the Ordinary should look, and which is called a priestly vocation, by no means consists, at all events necessarily and as a general rule, in some interior aspiration of the subject or in impulses of the Holy Spirit to receive the priesthood; (3) but, on the contrary, nothing more is required in the candidate that he may rightly be invited by the bishop, than a right intention together with a fitness based on those gifts of nature and grace, and confirmed by that goodness of life and sufficiency of learning, that afford a well-founded hope, that he would be able rightly to fulfill the priestly duties and maintain its obligations holily. - AAS 4 (1912), 485.
  • It is important to test candidates to be sure they are rightly motivated

    • With the ardor of faith and charity diminishing among the Christian people, there is also a constant diminution in the number of those who desire to enter religious communities in order to attain evangelical perfection. Therefore, let superiors of religious Orders do all in their power to stave off this danger: but let them at the same time be very much on their guard not to admit in haste and en masse young people about whom there may be a doubt whether it is the divine call which is making them choose this kind of life. Postulants who, after mature examination, have been admitted among the novices, must carefully apply themselves to acquiring the characteristic spirit of their Lawgiver and Father St. Dominic, and to keep it forever. Let them above all offer perfect submission of judgment; let the virtue of obedience shine in them; let them never demand the reason for an order, or delay by argument the execution of a command given. We see it happen all too often that men shamefully leave the cloister not because they dared to enter the Order against God’s will, but because during their novitiate they failed to receive a proper formation, and once the novitiate was over they were not invested with the character which becomes a man consecrated to God.

      Let there be the same prudence and the same discernment required for the admission and formation of novices when it is a question of the tertiaries, from whom, certainly, we should be able to expect much for the Christian name, if they give good example to others and strive to promote practices of piety and good works. (St. Pius X, Apostolic letter, Cum primum, 4 Aug., 1913, in AAS 5 (1913), p. 388)

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