Dutch blogging priest Schoppenkoning ponders the unhappy convergence of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations (tomorrow) with the upheaval around the resignation of two bishops not too far across the Dutch border. He wonders if you can still honestly and in good conscience ask young men if they have ever thought of becoming priests.
He thinks we most certainly can, and I wholeheartedly agree. Now that the Church is hit by a serious crisis it is clear that what she needs is people who want to follow Christ, the most innocent victim. This is the time to ask people to serve the Church in total imitation of Christ, for the benefit of a sinful and broken world. Because the Church is His, and certainly not ours. He is without sin and we most certainly are not, and yet… And yet God loved us so much that He gave His only Son.
God calls everyone to follow Him in the example of His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. When we do we will stumble, we will fall, we will even fail. Now that that failure is so very evident, the Church needs honest and conscientious men who are willing to answer Christ’s call nonetheless. And the world deserves, needs, to recognise those qualities in those men.
You must never forget that priests are, and that they remain, men. God does not perform a miracle to wrest them from the human state.
– Emmanuel Cardinal Suhard, Archbishop of Paris (1874-1949)
Let us pray tomorrow specifically for vocations to the priesthood and also to the religious life, for young men and women to find the courage and the support to say ‘yes’ to Christ, in full confidence that He will help them. Let’s also pray that their faith will open these men and women to the world and at the same time bring them ever closer to Christ. May their honest and true witness of their faith in all they do and say be an inspiration for others, and may it lead them in turn to God.
Let’s also pray for ourselves, that we may ever discern our own vocation further, so that we may fully live in Christ.
Prayer of Thomas Merton
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
Nor do I really know myself,
And the fact that I think I am following your will
Does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
Does in fact please you.
And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road
Though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
And you will never leave me to face my struggles alone.