I spent most of high school and college assuming I would never marry or have children. God had set me on fire with faith, and I wanted to give him my absolute best. In Catholic terms, as far as I knew, that meant entering religious life.
For a couple of years I attended campus ministry meetings for wanna-be nuns and priests, and my weekends were often scheduled with "come and see" retreats at various religious communities.
I heard David testify to his calling to married life, and my world view expanded. Could God possibly be excited about calling hearts to marriage just as much as to religious life and priesthood? I definitely felt called to spread the faith, but my search for a religious community kept coming up dry. Was that because God had a different path for me to evangelize?
I went on retreat to mull this all over, and encountered John 14:23:
Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.
|Photo courtesy of Ann Urbanski. All rights reserved.|
Make room, boys
Certainly, the Church prays faithfully for "vocations," but we almost always mean "priests." Not even religious brothers and sisters, if we're honest about it. Really, we're gunning for priests.*
Pope Francis asks us to pray for vocations this month.
We pray that the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.Amen! Let's join together and pray. We sorely need the beautiful, radical witness of priests and consecrated religious.
Moreover, we need 100% of the people on this earth to respond to God's personal call to discipleship. Chances are, if we're all listening, our hearing will improve.
*Please keep praying for priests!