Many of us see and acknowledge all around us a pervading attitude of complacency or indifference, an attitude of worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes, let’s live for today. To live our lives as dedicated Christians isn’t an easy life; it’s actually quite difficult for us to try to be so conscious of everything that we do and to reform all of our ways; to become almost a completely different person in the case for some of us who have so many bad, unhealthy and unchristian habits. One thing that we can be assured is that if we live today for today and put off reforming and renewing our ways – we will be caught off-guard when the Lord comes to us. That was almost my story. One element of my own vocation story took place in the early months of my “calling”, when the seed had been planted as my pastor and I was thinking & praying about it again and again.
I had rationalized that since I was in my early 30’s and there didn’t seem to be an upper age limit, I could think about it again when I retired. The age I could retire at was 52. That rationalization seemed to be compelling. My mother, who was dying, told me at some point along the way that I shouldn’t live life with regrets, that if the priesthood were something I wanted to pursue, then I shouldn’t let rationalizations stand in the way. My mother died when she was 52. That was my wake-up call. It seemed when I put this all together, I could not rationalize anymore. I mention today my own story because one of the things which I encounter more often than I would hope for, is men and women like me who look too much for signs when their hearts are leading them to discern and follow the Lord into their vocation of priesthood and religious life. We can find all the rationale and reasons not to answer these calls – the world gives us many. But what we’ve felt in our heart, if it’s founded in love, service, a desire to for holiness and often affirmed for us by others; it is of the Lord. We have to be careful of looking for signs, because fixating on things of this world often don’t bring us any closer to heavenly things, in this case answering the Lord’s call and the living out of our vocation.