Vocation Update II

Monday, March 17, 2008

Responding to Deo Juvante's kind suggestion that we all give a Vocational Update, here I am!

I have been muddling along quite happily during the last year, thinking I was "in control", but recently the tables have started to turn a bit on me. Some unexpected things happened -- some good, some bad. And I think it may be God who is doing the turning. If you let me explain...

Though this should be an atmosphere where we "feel confortable with expressing themselves fully in truth and sincerity", I am conscious that this is a blog viewable by anyone on the Internet, and thus must maybe be either guarded, or completely factual and neutral, about what I say.

Anyway, to explain where I'm at: I planned to apply to the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh for entry in September 2009. However, like I wrote the first time, I have been attending Masses in the traditional form of the Roman Rite, celebrated by a local Priest. That shouldn't exactly be a cause for conflict, but it is easy to see how the contrast can sometimes unsettle one. A number of things have happened in the meantime (some planned, some not).

The first thing that happened was that I have started serving Mass. I had previously asked my Parish Priest if he would teach me to serve Mass, but this fell through; however, the FSSP Priest was happy for me to learn to serve the Traditional Latin Mass, and so it is becoming a regular occurrence. Pray this continues; what's the phrase? "Serve the Lord with joy and gladness"?

Secondly, a group of us from the local Latin Mass community went on a lenten retreat guided by that Priest to Pluscarden Abbey, an ancient Benedictine Abbey in the north of Scotland. It was a good, solid, traditional retreat, with plenty prayer, Mass, and old fashioned "Conferences" (talks).

At the end of February, I also went on an Enquirer's Retreat with Priests for Scotland; it was good to speak to other enquirers, and to speak, in general terms about the Priesthood, and the Applicants' Year.

Another weird things that happened was that there was some consternation in the blogosphere that I indeed blog! There seems to be some strange scaremongering going on, if you ask me, and it's not very nice. Some are saying I'm too traditional and that the national Seminary in Rome know "all about me" (aye aye, and if you believe that, you'll believe anything), but at any rate it seems there's still a bit too much distraction away from the real job at hand, if you ask me!

It is indeed still my plan to visit Wigratzbad (the FSSP Seminary in Germany) this September; in fact, I am really looking forward to it. Though I might not visit Rome thereafter, as I have been told it is an odd thing to do, and may mark me out from the rest. I am therefore saving money like mad for the plane tickets (even selling some of my beloved books!), and trying to relearn German, because certainly the "signs and wonders" from God, as small as they are in my life, seem to point in this direction.

This week I'm busy as anything with the triduum (if you think it looks complicated, it is!). I'm deliberately trying to not think too hard about discernment, as -- like I said last time -- it is possible to think about things too hard. Once I have visited Wigratzbad, then I am going to try and work it out. Equally, it will then be time to decide whether to put myself forward for the Diocese, for the FSSP, or for both.

Please pray for me at that time.

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