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Thinking about vocations

For once, not mine.  Recently we had the second collection for the Religious Retirement Fund.  Around these parts that also translates to someone, usually a Sister or a Nun, make a plea in the stead of the homily.  But, surprise, surprise I’m not going to grouse about the violation of Canon Law and the rubrics of the Mass.  Well, not more than I just did.

For whatever reason after who knows how many of these appeals it struck me that not once have I heard more than a cursory mention of the need for, and beauty of, new vocations to the religious life.  This last one probably spent more time on the topic than any other and even that was in the vague area of only a minute.  Now I know the purpose of this appeal is for money for a particular fund but the severe need for these funds is directly related to the fact that many orders now have more retired members than active ones – get more people doing the work that paid these orders’ bills for so many years and just maybe the need won’t be quite so drastic.

Maybe it’s the American in me, but I also think that some people have an aversion to donating money to a cause, even a good one, that shows no sign of improving.  It’s a terrible thing to say, but I do wonder if that issue doesn’t run through peoples’ minds, particularly in this country of the Rugged Individual.

So, here’s my thought.  If you’re going to be given the ten minutes of homily time anyway, instead of spending nine minutes on facts and figures and one or less on vocations, spend five minutes on facts and figures and five on vocations.  I know this is a thing incredibly easier to say than do, but if someone stands up and shows that they are on fire with love for their vocation and their order, shows a genuine joy, they will draw people like a magnet.  And if you can convince people to dedicate their lives to the religious life you can bet you can convince others to open their wallets even wider.  The two are intricately related, and in the great both/and tradition of Catholicism if you treat both of them fully the whole will be far greater than the sum of its parts.

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