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Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner III, a theologian, said that the religious aren’t necessarily holy and most of them still struggle to live their vows, while pointing out “holiness is something they all strive for”.
“Vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience are not ends in themselves. They are instruments, means to achieve a goal … the perfection of charity. We religious are not yet perfect in charity because we simply enrolled in this school for the perfection of charity,” shared Fr. Timoner, prior provincial of the Order of Preachers (O.P.) in the Philippines, during a talk at the San Carlos Seminary on May 2.
According to him, this fact explains why some of them—friars and nuns, religious brothers and sisters—still manifest the weaknesses and vices of ordinary non-consecrated people, appearing grumpy and impatient at times.
Fr. Timoner is one of the four Asians among the thirty members Pope Francis appointed to the ninth International Theological Commission.
Quoting St. Thomas Aquinas, a fellow Dominican and scholastic philosopher known for his “Summa Theologica,” Fr. Timoner noted that the religious state is the “school for the perfection of charity” (perfectaecaritatis).
“If we become perfect then we should leave because we are already perfect. But this is a lifelong goal,” he said.
He pointed out he, his confreres, and other religious entered the religious life precisely because they are not yet perfect in charity.
Fr.Timoner, however, reminded his audience that the perfection of charity through poverty, chastity, and obedience is not something only the religious are called to.
“These are the counsels for all the baptized,” he stressed.
Source: ucanews.com (May 6, 2015)
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