Thursday, October 25, 2007
I was at a meeting recently of vocations directors. We were reflecting on how we were doing. Some were feeling a bit dejected because there was no interest being shown in their order or congregation. Others were desperate and wondering what the future holds if there are no vocations. Some others again were content to sit back and trust in God's providence. And then, to my horror, one or two vocations directors noted that it was probably inevitable that their congregations/orders would die out and that that was fine with them - and God!!And it is at the latter brother vocations directors that I despair! How terribly sad. No concept of the desire of their founders. No understanding that God called members of their congregations to build up God's kingdom in a particular place and time. No appreciation of the labours of the vast amounts of good religious who gave their all to promote the charism of their founder. No trust in the goodness of young (and not so young) men still considering, pondering where God is calling them. Ultimately, no trust in God.It is God who calls. The onus is on us to listen. Listening is not a passive activity, but an active and vibrant pondering of God's presence in our lives. It takes extravagant and sometimes outrageous gestures of action to respond to that call. Thousands of people are making those gestures. There is no such thing, in my opinion, as an inevitability that religious orders should die out..............but congregations and orders really need to let go of the modern day fatalistic attitude that is so pervasive!