Starting on my way

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Well, time for an update. Since my introduction nearly two months ago, a bit has happened. As I said at the time, I was involved with a Jesuit-run volunteer group. As the training went on, I found myself feeling more and more out of place amongst the other members. It's not that I haven't had fun with them, or haven't learned anything; let's just say that we don't seem to be practicing the same religion. And for me to be in the midst of them for a whole year while abroad just didn't seem right. But all the while I tried to convince myself that this was something that I was going to do, no matter what.

And perhaps there lay the problem - it was something that I wanted to do. I was willing to put off my vocational discernment just so that I could induldge myself. Because that's what it ended up being - and indulgence; after all, there's plenty need of works of mercy where I live, that I needn't go abroad. But the Lord has His ways of making His will known. The more I tried to convince myself that I wanted to go, the more the vocational question nagged away at my heart. "How can you put such an important thing off for so long? How can you tell God 'Yes, I will follow you, only give me just a moment'?"

So while on a 3-day pilgrimage to Fatima I thought the whole thing through; a friend's comment - "what glorifies God the most: your going or your vocation?" - helped to go the rest of the way. So now I am ready to finally formally start my discernment. I have even begun to broaden my horizons. I am no longer limiting myself to the Jesuits; I've begun to consider the Norbertines, the Institute of Christ the King, and a few other more traditionally inclined orders. I'm going to try and visit them towards the end of the summer, if all goes well. Also, I will start my discernment with a priest in Fatima sometime mid-May.

Well, I guess that's it for now. You are all in my prayers.

Pax Christi,
Mark of the Vineyard

EDIT: I forgot to mention: on the 3-day pilgrimage I had a talk with a Jesuit scholastic. If I had any doubts as to whether or not I was just making my vocation up, he helped do dispell some of the fears. As he was telling me his story, it was as if he were reading my mind, as if he knew all the questions and struggels I had gone through initially.


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