My random thoughts on life as I prepare to enter the religious life this summer. "In the first place, you must never think that you are alone in deciding your future! And second: When deciding your future, you must not decide for yourself alone!" -Pope John Paul II

Friday, October 31, 2003

All Hallow's Eve 

Zenit reports (click on October 29th) that "The Dominican House of Studies has been making a special effort for five years to make All Hallow's Eve, well, more hallowed."

"The vigil centers on readings from the writings and lives of the saints in a darkened chapel, followed by Gregorian and Russian chant by the Dominican Schola Cantorum. There is also a brief homily on the saints and the universal call to holiness, night prayer, and a candlelight procession to the cloister's reliquary while chanting the Litany of the Saints.

Afterward, the 60-some Dominican priests and brothers host a party for their guests."

Check out the wonderful pictures

I'd never even thought about hosting a prayer service on the eve of such a wonderful Holy Day. Wow! It really makes me want to put something together in the upcoming years. Good job, Dominican brothers!

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Nice conversation... 

On Michael's Journey to the Priesthood, we're having a nice conversation about mixed emotions in regards to discernment. Michael, who is a Claretian first year student, discusses a difficulty in his life. He was debating if he had made the right decision in joining. Finally, he decides that it is probably because he is homesick that he is having these feelings of doubt.

I agree. I think there is a lot of culture shock in joining a religious community. I mean think about it, these men have been living their lives together for a while. So, you have to try and find your home among people that have already found their home. That has got to be quite difficult. Think of the time you joined a club where everyone was already friends. You deal with the same sorts of challenges that a freshmen in high school or college experiences. I remember my first year of college. I often debated if I was making the wrong decision. Well, I am a senior and very happy that I have come to this school. I truly believe this school helped me grow in my discernment, and make me a better man, a better Catholic. I love the people I've met and the times I've had. It shows me that we can feel confident that the Lord will lead us to his home for us on Earth. It's extremely difficult, but I know He'll make the path clear over time.

An example comes from one of the responders, Andrea, who says that she just spoke with a priest who said in his first year of novitiate, he really wanted to leave. He though he had made a mistake. But, he stuck with it and has been a priest for 30 years!!

Let us pray we will always stick with our callings.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Importance of promoting vocations.... 

Let me tell you from experience, it's vital that we promote vocations. Only a very small amount of Catholics have ever been asked to consider the life of a sister, brother, or priest. This is very sad. How many of our marriages were faithfully discerned? I believe it is everyone's job to be a vocations promoter. As vocations promoters, we should help those we know find their true vocations. Where Christ leads, that is where we'll find the most fulfillment in life. So, let us help those around us see where God may be calling them.

I'd especially like to encourage our group to point out to those around us the gifts and talents they may not recognize. We should also encourage many to consider the priesthood or religious life. Maybe we can give them a vocations prayer card, put them in contact with a vocation or spiritual director, let them know about the many websites that assist people in this matter, let them know that you think they'd make a good priest or brother or sister, or invite them to meet a religious or priest you may know. Have them tag-a-long for a visit to a monastery or house of prayer. There is so much we can do. So, that is the homework for the day...

As far as my school is concerned, the priest here was very happy to report that at his last school he had 6 vocations in ten years. I think that is ok. But it is nowhere near adequate. We should be having about six vocations a year from each college or university. I don't think this is unrealistic at all. I attend a Catholic school, come on, already... Six is nothing! We should really have about 20 a year. I am not placing blame on vocations directors, campus ministers, or our priests. We all should be doing something to help bring 20 vocations a year per school and parish.

Let us try and lay some foundations today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives. The foundations come from helping others grow in their faith, pointing out their gifts, and encouraging those who may have calling to the religious life and priesthood. Remember, we are all vocations promoters.

As Disputations quoted, Germain Grisez, in a Zenit interview regarding his co-written book Personal Vocation: God Calls Everyone by Name:
"We argue that there is no shortage of vocations -- the shortage, if you will, is a shortage of vocational discernment."

Saturday, October 25, 2003

How this will work/Topic suggestions? 

I think a good way for this group to work is if one of the users leaves a reflection, an article, a question for the group, a prayer intention, a valuable website, or whatever the case may be. Then others can add to the group by using the comments feature.

So with that in mind....I'd first like to know what topics you all are interested in discussing. Then, we can take it from there. So far Greg suggests we discuss celibacy or the active v. comtemplative lives. Please leave your suggested topics in the comments section, which is found below this post. And remember, anyone is free to join us in the comments discussion board. If you would like to be able to post, then please e-mail me, and we'll talk. Thanks, and happy discerning.

Wooo hoo 

YO! so, jay got me signed up. how exciting is that?! :)

And it all started today.... 

This is the first post for the brand new internet discernment group. I want to make this site open to any Catholic discerning God's calling in their life. We will share our discernment reflections, joys, challenges, or questions. So, feel free to drop me a line and we can discuss adding your name to the people able to post. I think this site will be very beneficial. I look forward to hearing from many of you.

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