Monday, March 15, 2010

Blessed Cyprian Michael Tansi and Cardinal Francis Arinze

"In the final analysis only God knows why a particular individual is attracted to the priesthood, or religious life or marriage. But in our own weak, human way of analysing it, I can say when I was a boy, there was a parish priest we had, Father Michael Tansi, and he impressed many of us, and many boys in that area wanted to become like him, so they wanted to become priests.

"That's the human explanation I can give. Actually that priest later on became a monk, and he became Blessed--he's beatified now... But the origin of a religious or priestly vocation--only Divine Providence can finally analyse it, how God attracts a person..." (Cardinal Francis Arinze)

About Cardinal Francis Arinze:
With no objection from his parents, young Anizoba, like his brothers and sisters, who also were educated by the missionaries, converted to Catholicism in 1941, at the age of 9, taking the name Francis. Father Tansi not only baptized the youth, but also heard his First Confession, gave him his First Holy Communion, prepared him for Confirmation, and taught him to serve Mass. The two remained friends until Father Tansi's death in 1964.

Excerpt from a Retreat preached by Father Cyprian Michael Tansi in August 1962:

"We do very little good when we embark on our own. We do much good when we allow God to direct us and direct our enterprises. The apostles, you remember, went out fishing, laboured the whole night and got nothing. They were on their own, the Lord came and told them to cast the net and they would find. They did so and were not able to draw up the net, so great was the number of fish caught. When they worked by themselves, they took nothing. When they worked in the company of our Lord, they were full. So with us. We must learn to avoid worrying ourselves about things, learn to do away with anxieties of all sorts.

"When you have something to do, an assignment to perform, remembering that we are not doing our work, but God's work, we must first go to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, place our plans before Him and ask for his advice and assistance. We must examine before him how he would like us to produce, whether he would like us to do one thing or the other. If any doubt, consult your spiritual director for advice. You should never undertake to do anything unless you are sure that God wants it done in the way you are planning. Above all things you should never do your own will: you should do only what the superiors want to be done. You should never force the superiors to yield to your will by any stratagem.

"And while doing whatever you have to do, you should do it at a pace and speed that will allow you time continually to turn to God for guidance. Your conversation with God should be continual. Remember that you cannot achieve this spiritual disposition in a day. You need time, practice and patience. All that I request you now is to examine and to see whether what you are told is the truth. If it is, then make a resolution to continue to make effort in this direction without minding whether you succeed or fail."

- Michael I. Tansi, o.c.s.o., Irrational Love: Incarnation and Redemption, an Incomprehensible Love (Onitsha, Nigeria: Archiocesan Secretariat, 1989), p.35.

~ Retreat excerpt from here. ~
~ More information about Blessed Cyprian Michael Tansi from ~
~ Official site for cause of canonization of Blessed Cyprian Michael Tansi ~

Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, Mother of all priests, and our Mother, help us respond generously to the Holy Spirit's request, through the voice of His Church, to offer up to God Eucharistic adoration for priests. Amen.

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