“Green Leaves, Red Flames, And Glimpses of Vocation”: Some Lovely Stuff

from A Queer Calling:

…One summer while on retreat, I sat at the dinner table nearly every evening with a priest who seemed to understand my uncertainty intuitively. Frequently, I asked him questions about how he understood the role of celibacy in his vocation to the priesthood, if he experienced loneliness, and if he had any regrets about forgoing marriage. This priest could tell that I wasn’t casually exploring monastic life with no real intention of committing to a celibate vocation of some kind. Though I never shared anything with him about my sexual orientation or relationship, I believe that he could actually tell I had a sense of where God was leading me, and was trying to figure out how to get there despite doubts about meeting my need for human companionship along the way. One evening after our meal, he pulled me aside and drew something from his satchel: an icon of the Mother of God the Unburnt Bush, though I did not yet know this name for it. Then he said to me, “I’m leaving tomorrow to go back home to my parish, and I feel very strongly that the Mother of God would like you to have this icon.”


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