Monday, August 15, 2011

Vocations vs. the World

I was talking to a friend recently that is considering joining the seminary, reminding him that it would be a good idea to apply. Nearby was a friend of his that took the opposing view. When I asked why they were so insistent that joining was a bad idea they replied that they had taken up a contrary position to undo the 'swaying of his opinion' that I was trying for.

I promptly pointed out (kindly) that their action was no less an attempt at sway than mine and that in my opinion it was a really unnecessary thing to do. The position they had adopted was the position of the whole rest of the world and therefore did not need any help from them.

This might seem harsh but I think it's true. There are plenty of voices out there calling for young people to get married (a beautiful thing, if you're called to it) or, negatively, to do whatever they want, to indulge in whatever makes them feel good, to live a life in pursuit of goods and success. So why then, would it be necessary to fight against someone trying to argue for the religious life?
My point is not to make an example out of this person (honestly, only half seriously) playing the devil's advocate but to illustrate that the Church is the one whose case we ought to be helping plead. As I said, the world has plenty of help but the Church could use a more laborers for the harvest, more fruit-bearing vines, more fishers of men. As I urged two posts ago, if you know someone considering (or who ought to be considering) a counter-worldly vocation, don't be afraid to talk to them. If that person is you, don't be afraid to seek out information and to apply.


  1. I see what you are saying, but feel compelled to point out that it kind of sounds like you are saying that if people don't decide to either get married or join the church then they are living life incorrectly. As if those are the only two appropriate options. I am not sure if that is what you meant, but that is how it sounded.

  2. You're right to catch my lack of clarity there, but no, that isn't my point. The only point I was tring to make is that 'the world' has enough influence and doesn't need any help. The part about specific ends in life serves only to establish context.

  3. I think I have an idea of who you are talking about and agree with you, in general (there is a reason I say "in general" but I'm not going to go into it on here). Fr. Ken told me LONG, LONG ago (like in 2009 when I was battling these very ideas in my own life know...) that it's far better to rule out something by going to seminary and figuring out your vocation (if you feel the least bit called to it) rather than not going and never knowing the "what if I was meant for..." Not only that but also going to that rather than hurting another person when you are uncertain. I understood it then (though I didn't listen), but understand it much more now. At times though, vocations make me a little irritated and angry, as beautiful as they are... Being Catholic adds a whole new complicated element that the rest of the world can't even begin to understand really.

  4. It's a beautiful cross though. Once you do figure it out all the previous trials seem as nothing in comparison.


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