February 2, 2013 4 Comments
It is marvelous to contemplate how subtly and elegantly Jesus works within my soul in order to draw me closer to Him and prevent me from being diverted from the course He has laid for me.
I have noticed in the past a certain tension, or perhaps incongruity is a better word, within my thoughts and inclinations when I turn my mind towards the possible states in life to which I hope and trust that my Lord will call me.
Intellectually, I recognize that married life is the vocation to which it would be easiest for me to attain, and yet it remains the most difficult in which to imagine myself. I can conceive of the idea of being married, and with a few more semesters and the marketable skills I hope to acquire out of them, I might actually possess the means to do so. Yet actually picturing myself as a husband and father is nigh impossible. I take this with a healthy pinch of salt, as I know from experience that in the right relationship with the right person, I have found picturing myself married to her specifically to be the easiest thing in the world! Still, in the absence of such an exterior locus, it becomes difficult to lend credence to the idea that such a vocation, however desirable and theoretically obtainable, is any more likely in a practical sense than owning a house on the Moon!
At the other end of the spectrum, it is no trouble at all for me to imagine myself in the priesthood, and to formulate ideas and images of what such a vocation and such a life would entail. However, such musings always come to a grinding halt when I consider rationally what an enormous challenge it would be for me to complete six to eight years of rigorous seminary studies in philosophy, theology, Greek, and Latin. To be perfectly blunt, despite being blessed with relatively high intelligence and a creative, agile mind, my ADHD means that I am a person who has to strive and push beyond his limitations in order to pass 100 and 200 level undergraduate courses. Contemplating years of tough academic work at the graduate level is like standing at the base of a sheer-faced and inhospitable mountain, with my only climbing gear being a good pair of tennis shoes.
Then, of course, there is the third option of being called as a religious brother, but while intellectually this seems less steep of a climb than that of the priesthood, and it is easier to imagine myself in this state in life than as a married man, there is almost no tug in my heart towards this vocation. While the ideas of being a husband or a priest stir a certain fire of excitement within my breast, there is none of the same attraction towards being a brother, either active or contemplative.
As you might imagine, this previously has been the cause of some degree of frustration. Yet behold what a perfect balance exists in the midst of this apparent turmoil! What for so long has seemed to me like a needle spinning, incapable of finding a solid bearing, in truth has been pointing my soul along a loftier and purer course. Unable to fix itself firmly upon any one of these three general vocations, my soul is left at last with only setting, to orient itself towards Him who is the Author and the Purpose of all vocations.
My heart longs for Jesus, and my Lord, merciful and understanding of how easily I am distracted, how quickly I can get caught up and sidetracked by novelty, has preserved me from such temptations by setting my own thoughts and inclinations against one other in a perfect balance, so that in the end, I can do nothing save rely on Him alone. I need not trouble myself with deciphering the details of my future. Jesus has already shown me, in this and in so many other ways, that He is the One who is directing my life and safeguarding me from that which would draw me into myself and away from Him. All I need do is continue to seek His face and His love, and when the time comes to travel a specific course, my Jesus will be one to set me upon it.
His is the hand that rests gently on my rudder, His breath is the wind that fills my sails, and His Most Sacred Heart is the true north upon which the compass of my soul is fixed. By the grace and mercy of the Holy Spirit, may it be so now and forever. Amen!