Saturday, July 23, 2005

bearing blog: What is a vocation anyway?

Alecia of Fructus Ventris posts this powerful reflection on vocations from bearing blog Working backward from heaven and original sin, she captures brilliantly the essence of vocation. In a word, it's a vow we all choose to make and follow:
I suppose we start from Heaven and work backwards.

Heaven is like a wedding feast. Cf. Hosea. Cf. the book of Revelation. Cf. several parables.

The Church is the Bride of Christ. So all of us here in the Church---men and women---are getting ready to be united to Him as his Bride.

Working backwards, here on Earth. We are stained with original sin, so the following doesn't work out for every individual as perfectly as it should. But in the original plan, we're supposed to get ready for the marriage of the Lamb by committing our whole self to a marriage consecration, or a marriage-like consecration, one that requires the gift of our whole person.

A nuptial commitment.

A commitment that is grounded in promises that we are bound to keep.

The marriage of the Lamb is eternal. Timeless. Here on earth we deal in time, so instead we say that the promises are permanent.

So each one of us is ordered toward a permanently vowed life.
A vocation is God's personal call to each of us. He calls us into the fullness of life with himself. We share in this ultimate relationship by consenting to his call. We take the vow. We live the promise. Since he has made us unique and social, we live that promise by honoring the uniqueness of our character and living in solidarity with one another. That's why the vowed life can take on forms as diverse as married, consecrated celibacy or priesthood. Each represent a way of fundamentally living our uniqueness of character in relationship with others.

When we live our vocation to the fullest, we answer our call. That means we answer the One who has called us to himself. Imagine that! The One through whom all came into being desires to share his eternal life with us! With us! In spite of our sins and failures, in spite of our fears and selfishness, he wants us to be with him! How can any of us miss out on such a love as this? Why would any of us want to? We wouldn't--if we knew that is what we'd miss. Many of us don't understand.

My hat's off to the host of the bearing blog. This Fool has done all of us an immense service. There are prophets among us still!