Vocations: December 2009 Archives

Br Stephen's Obedience.jpgOne the subtle joys in life that I relish is the fact that some people respond to the Lord's call to follow and serve Lord and His Church. Among the various ways to respond to the Lord is the monastic way of life under the Rule of Saint Benedict, living side-by-side others doing the same. Some may follow the monastic way as a Benedictine monk (nun) or perhaps as Cistercian monk (nun); AND just for the record, Cistercians are an 11th century reform of Benedictine monasticism. In this country there are few monasteries of Cistercian monks (only 4) but there are 12 houses of the reform of the reform called Cistercians of the Strict Observance (AKA Trappists).

Just the other day Brother Stephen from the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank (Sparta, WI) professed his temporary vows for a period of three years. He came into full communion with the Catholic Church, left a good job and put himself under obedience (friendship as Luigi Giussani would say) unto his salvation. Many God give him the grace of perseverance.

See what I am talking about by going to Brother Stephen's blog, Sub Tuum.

The monks of Our Lady of Spring support themselves by their industry, Laser Monks. Perhaps you can patronize their good work! I have bought things from them and so has my mom.
I stumbled upon these vocation videos of the Polish Dominicans and Franciscans. If you don't understand Polish, don't fret, neither do I. And since there's no talking, just music, just sit back and enjoy the brief videos. THE fun thing is just watching the Dominican Franciscan friars. You get a great sense of the spirit of the friars of both groups just by watching the life.

It's like watching a foreign film--you don't understand the language but get the point--immediately. Video 1, video 2 and video 3.

You wouldn't believe it, but young people discerning a vocation to the consecrated life and/or priesthood in the USA, today, face the problem of debt.

Personal debt is one thing and we all have to watch our spending. And we are the ones who to repay the credit card companies, not someone else. It is a very true experience to say that consumerism often replaces Christ as the focus of our lives.

BUT the significant problem at hand is the amount of education debts young people have to pay off before following the vocation given to them. Many young people went to the university, received a good education and now felt called to serve the Lord and the Church as a priest or sister and can't because they have repay their college loans. It is the responsible thing to do. It is also the thing that will prevent someone from actually fulfilling their calling. Large college debts make a person ineligible from entering a religious order or a diocesan formation program. Some religious orders will make some arrangement if the debt is "reasonable" especially if the candidate is "worthy." Many will not because their own income is not capable to lend that kind of assistance. Again, personal debts are the responsibility of the person. The video on the Mater Ecclesiae website (see below) speaks of grants and the tough call made in discerning who gets help, who doesn't. These grants assist in paying off those college debts.

Perhaps as an act of charity we could make a charitable offering to one of the agencies helping these young men and women deal with their educational debts. Christmas is a time for giving with love.

This article, "Debt, the Vocation Killer" gives some perspective on the matter. Plus, there are worthy organizations that help in dealing with the educational debt like the Laboure Society and Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Vocations category from December 2009.

Vocations: November 2009 is the previous archive.

Vocations: January 2010 is the next archive.

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