Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Vocations are a touchy subject - but why?

In response to a recent post (more appropriately the first comment to that post) at The Holy Vocations Blog, I said these things:
I was afraid a comment like the previous would be made. It is often a great debate among people in the Church. Quite frankly, those being called to serve in the priesthood or religious life do in fact have the higher calling. It is not meant to be demeaning however. I have often discussed this issue with people, finding that many would gloat about their higher calling. Fact is, when you get down to it, if it weren't for people called to marriage we would not have priests, deacons, brothers or sisters. Each of us has a holy vocation because God makes it holy. However, in the way of chastity, those called to religious life do in fact have the higher calling.

There really is no good way to say that.

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Being called to a 'higher' vocation does not make a person any more holy than one called to married life. It is like so many have said before: "It's true. If you wouldn't make a good wife and mother, you wouldn't make a good sister, because that is precisely what a sister is: Bride of Jesus and Mother of souls. By the same token, a good mother and wife would be a good sister." (All vocations complement each other.) That specific quote was from a friend, now Sr. Lauren, and I guarantee she would be a great mother to biological children! :)

There is nothing having to do with holiness which seperates us. It is merely one person's call to chastity. Some are called to only be intimate with Christ. None of us are worthy of our vocations - we are made worthy through Christ. We should clarify though that while neither is holier, the religious vocation is indeed a higher vocation than either the married or the single vocation, precisely because the latter are perfect expressions of the natural order (that is, how God made us in creation) while religious life is an expression of the supernatural order (that is, how we will be in the New Creation).

I guess the hard part in all of this is distinguishing between the recognition of certain vocations as 'better' and the recognition of some vocations as more supernatural but equally as important as others. The latter is the way it should be understood whereas the former is how it is more often (mistakenly) understood.

Vocations are given us by God and we receive and give back out of love. Therefore, because vocations are lived out in love of and service to God, no calling 'trumps' (if you will) another despite it being 'objectively greater'. When we act in response to our call out of love for our Creator, we are following a road to holiness for this is what He has called us to be.
Did that make sense? I will expound upon these thoughts tomorrow.

May God bless you even more abundantly than He already has! Be holy. Love your vocation.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Tony said...

I was afraid a comment like the previous would be made. It is often a great debate among people in the Church. Quite frankly, those being called to serve in the priesthood or religious life do in fact have the higher calling.

Be not afraid. :)

This is a huge problem in our country. We have lost track of what our roles as assigned by God are.

My role is a husband and dad. My job/career is secondary and only important in that it allows me to fullfill my role as provider of my family's monetary needs.

My wife's role is wife and mother. She works part time because it doesn't interfere with her other vocation.

A priest's role is in persona Christi. He is a stand in for Christ. When he is on the altar, he is a proxy for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Would we say that we are just as good as Jesus?

He is also our spiritual father. Would we say that we have the same authority as our spiritual father, or even our earthly father?

We in the USA are taking the role of rebellious "spiritual adolescents". We don't like being "told what to do" and we want to be consulted on every decision that affects us.

We need to grow up, spiritually.

How can we expect young men to forgo a wife and family, live a life of celibacy to become the spiritual father of a group of rebellious adolescents who don't think he's any more special than they are.

And we wonder why we have a vocation problem in the USA (and they don't have one in Nigeria).

5/18/2006 10:55:00 AM  

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