Vocations – “Do Something”
In these days we are focussing our prayers for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. This is such a vital area for the life of the Church.
There is no doubt that some young people are thinking and discerning about a religious vocation. Thanks be to God! May we do all we can to encourage this in their lives.
In life options in general (including married life and single life) it can be heard that in considering their vocations youth do always want to “keep their options open.” This is understandable but there is some danger here too. It can lead to an inability to commit oneself to any of the life options in a definitive manner.
Ultimately, when it comes to choosing a life vocation we are strongly encouraged to DO SOMETHING.
The great saint of discernment, the founder of the Jesuits, St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) had this to say about doing something great for Jesus. He said it can start by asking yourself the following questions:
What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What will I do for Christ?
Please consider these crucial questions prayerfully and carefully.
St Mary of the Cross MacKillop (1842-1909) was famously quoted as saying something very similar: “Never see a need without doing something about it.” Again: DO SOMETHING ! This can be expanded not simply to everyday challenges but to THE BIG challenges of our vocational choice.
Recently, a famous Australian Football League player and legendary coach of the Hawthorn and North Melbourne Aussie Rules football teams, John Kennedy Snr., died. He was a devout Catholic and renowned for his humility.
His highly motivational half time exhortation to his Hawthorn team during the Grand Final of the 1975 match has become football “gold”. He shouted: “At least do something! Do! …. At least you can come off (the ground) and say I did this … at least I did something!
I suppose to “do something” for discerning a religious vocation to the priesthood, is to at least begin by spending time in silent prayer and ask deeply for Jesus to reveal his will for your life. In following the will of God we find our deepest peace.
I know when I was searching for what Jesus wanted me to be/do in life, I often stopped in quiet places, like empty churches and cemeteries (believe it or not). I sincerely asked the Lord to clarify his will for my life. Slowly, subtly, and increasingly, I did feel a growing attraction to joining the seminary. This was co-discerned over a period of time as the will of God.
The next step is to seek some advice. For the Diocesan Priesthood we have two priests who are ready to talk with those thinking along these lines: Fr Paul Nulley (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Fr Trenton Van Reesch (email@example.com). Also there is plenty of literature to read. We have a few days coming up in September (Sept 18-20) for those who wish to join others to consider these matters. Contact Frs Nulley and/or VanReesch for further details.