Monday, September 25, 2006

On Children and Vocations

As a parent, I'm often struck by the tendency of other parents to have the lives of their children laid out before them and to act as if their parental fiat is all it takes for this to be. But sadly, in this age of "wisdom" I have near-to-never heard a parent suggest they hope Sally has a calling to a religious life or that Johnny become a priest. I think it a reflection on our society that some bemoan and bewail the priest shortage, some to the point of referring to it as the crisis of our times, but yet are possessed of a blissful unawareness perhaps even an intentional unawareness of the role they can play as parent in the path of this contemporary crisis. "We need more priests," they say. "But not my son," they whisper. God calls whom he calls to what he calls them and in the way and time he calls, and woe be it to that person that would tempt God's child from the path God has laid out before him.

I address you, Christian families. Parents, give thanks to the Lord if He has called one of your children to the consecrated life. It is to be considered a great honor - as it always has been - that the Lord should look upon a family and choose to invite one of its members to set out on the path of the evangelical counsels! Cherish the desire to give the Lord one of your children so that God's love can spread in the world. What fruit of conjugal love could be more beautiful than this?
-- Pope John Paul II, Vita Consecrata n. 107