The following post is from Christian's blog "A Journey of Vocation" and following on the heels of yesterdays post from Christopher Osgood's blog it speaks yet again about the lack of support that so many feel when they announce that they are discerning a call to the Priesthood or Relgious Life. Just one more example of why we must, all of us, do everything we can to help create a culture within the Church that promotes AND encourages vocations! Please keep Christian, Christopher, and all those that are discerning God's call in your prayers - they need them, because by and large those around them, even those closest to them, may not support their discernment.
From Christian's blog...
Bluto: "Was it over when the German's bombed Pearl Harbor?"
Boon: "Forget it, he's rolling."
Bluto: "'Because when the going gets tough, the tough get going!"
Bluto: "Who's with me? Let's GO!"
[Bluto runs out of the room, arm raised in victory ... no one follows him]
These lines are from the 1978 film Animal House, one of my favorites! Bluto's line, asking "who's with me?" was met with a surprising lack of enthusiasm, which is what made me think of the scene. After his speech, Bluto launched forth from the room extremely excited about his mission, thinking that he had aroused such a belief in the mission that the whole room would follow him ... and ... no one followed him. Obviously, his friends were not as excited about his mission. Bluto returned to the room to ask "where is the spirit ... where is the guts, huh?"
My discernment of a call to the holy priesthood is, on many fronts, being received by some family members much like Bluto's speech. They agree that the Holy Roman Catholic Church needs good priests, but they simply do not get fired up about me being one of those men. It is kind of disheartening. One of the biggest problems is that they (and others) see this as a "career change." I think that is a common misconception when someone is considering a radical life change like this. However, what they are challenged to realize is that this is a mystical calling from God. God does not take resumes and conduct interviews. God does not pay well in the monetary sense. A call to the priesthood is otherworldly, and is not easily explained to those who have not wrestled with such an inner voice.
I get objections from family and friends that both frustrate me and make me laugh. One of the things I keep hearing is that I am too old. Let the young people do this! I wonder what they would have said if I tried to do this when I was 24 years old? Probably "you haven't experienced life yet, wait 'til later." I know they love me. I also know that their reaction is a result of the "education" that society gives us, that is that radical life choices are to be discouraged and everyone should just fall in line with the norms (the proverbial 2.5 kids, a dog and a great job where you work really hard and die with a full checking account!).
Just like the character in Animal House, I feel so full of happiness and grace by the fact that our Lord is calling me to discern His holy priesthood! Wow! And I raise my arms and yell "who's with me!" And I look behind me, and do not see people launching out of their seats to follow. But, when I turn my eyes forward, I see that I am following Him. So, perhaps when the Lord asks "Who is with me?" I, perhaps, will have the strength to say "I am!"
If you are actively discerning a vocation to the Priesthood, Diaconate, Consecrated Life, or Marriage and you are looking for information to help in your discernment, BE SURE TO CHECK the section at the bottom of the right sidebar for the "labels" on all posts. By clicking on one of these labels it will take you to a page with all posts containing that subject. You will also find many links for suggested reading near the bottom of the right sidebar. Best wishes and be assured of my daily prayers for your discernment.