Thursday, February 14, 2008

Vocations on St. Valentine's Day

I just finished reading St. Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises for one of my classes. I found some particularly fitting vocational advice to keep in mind, especially on this holiday:

In every good election, in so far as it depends on us, the eye of our intention must be simple, looking only at what I have been created for, viz. the praise of God Our Lord and the salvation of my soul, and therefore whatever I must choose must help me towards the end for which I have been created, and I must not make the end fit the means, but subordinate the means to the end.

But what happens in fact is that many first choose marriage, which is a means, and secondly the service of God in married life, although this service of God is the end; and similarly there are others who first of all want church benefices, and afterwards to serve God in them. The result is that such people do not go straight to God, but they want God to disordered attachments. They make a means of the end, and an end of the means, and so they put last what they ought to put first.

Our objective should be in the first place the desire to serve God, which is the end, and in the second place, to accept a benefice* or to marry, should one of those be better for me, since those are means to an end.

Perfect. If only I had read that a year ago or so instead of just a half hour ago! Even early today would have been great. to speed dating at Legends to watch an undergraduate seminarian friend represent Holy Mother Church to see if the poor souls there have ever considered whether or not they may be called to the religious life!

*be ordained a priest

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