Funk, Priesthood, Military & Jobs – UPDATED

I know that header could describe the state of the whole nation, right now; we’re in a funk.

But really, I am simply down with a bit of a fever/sore throat/immune system thing, and shivers. So I am taking it easy today.

Woke up with this on my mind, though:
“someone’s son has to be the priest; someone’s child must be the soldier, and the cop.” I have no idea why that was with me. When my kids were growing up my husband and I always made it clear that whatever would make them happy -including the priesthood or the military or law enforcement- we’d support them in their choice.

The priesthood was tricky, of course. Neither of us wanted the kids to feel pressured to become priests -that’s a calling that parents can help their child hear, but cannot themselves make or demand- but we did let them know that when thinking “what they wanted to be when they grew up” they should think specifically in terms of vocation, not “jobs” or even “career” but “calling. Were they called to a married state or a single one or a religious one? Were they called to public service, or to academia? Had we had daughters, we would have said the same, letting them know that the religious life was certainly on the table of vocation choices they should consider.

Neither of our sons feel especially “called” to standard 9 to 5 corporate work, although I suspect Elder Son might consider studying engineering, if he had it to do again. Both are inventive; Elder son, currently looking for any work, simply to be practical, has the heart of an inventor. Buster is still in school. The priesthood was an annoying attraction for him -a notion that kept popping up and he would wrestle back down to the ground– because he has always wanted marriage and a family. Now, of course, he is wondering if Roman Catholic Anglicanism (or, Anglican-Rite Catholicism; what are we going to call that?) might not -eventually- become something that puts all of that before him.

I’m feeling too icky to get into all the controversy about married priests, women priests, celibacy, etc. All I know is Buddhists never have to put up with people sneering at them about a celibate all-male priesthood the way the Catholics do, which kind of de-legitimizes the “concerns” of the sneerers, in my mind. It’s quite amazing to me that the Dalai Lama and the Pope can hold nearly identical positions but one is considered “enlightened” and the other is accused of leading us into “the dark ages.”

Anyway, before I head back to the couch with a bit of tea, how about a poll?

If you are Catholic, have you encouraged or discouraged your child to consider the priesthood or religious life?
Encouraged
Discouraged
Actually never thought about it at all
It never came up
  
pollcode.com free polls
How important is a Eucharistic Church, to you?
I’m Catholic; Very Important
I’m Catholic; Unimportant
Non-Catholic; Very Important
Non-Catholic; Unimportant
Undecided
Not sure what it means
  
pollcode.com free polls
Would you support your child’s choice to serve in military?
Yes, anytime
Only under certain presidents
No, never
I’d first try to dissuade
Unsure
  
pollcode.com free polls
Did you ever consider ministry or military, yourself?
Yes
No
  
pollcode.com free polls
If NO, do you regret not considering it?
Yes
No
  
pollcode.com free polls
Are you satisfied with your career choices?
Yes, very
Yes, for the most part
Sometimes
Rarely
No, but I had few choices
No, but it’s too late to change
No, I hate my job
  
pollcode.com free polls

Finally, knowing what you know now would you do things very differently in your life, or would you mostly have done the same?

For me, it took me a long time to figure out that what I thought I had wanted would have been a bad -even disasterous- choice, and that in the end, God blessed me and gifted me much more than I deserved (or even understood) by putting me where he did. That’s not to say I don’t regret certain days or actions -there are a some days, some rants, some selfish moves and more than a few sins I wish I could “take back” and do over, this time making better choices- but all-in-all, I’d rather have my life as it has unfolded. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

UPDATE I:
Kim Priestap’s nephew takes his oath

UPDATE II:
Deacon Greg notes a bit of serendipity: “did you know next week is Vocation Awareness Week?” Actually, I didn’t know it. Perhaps that is why I woke up with that question being whispered in my ear? He has a nice piece up about the wives of deacons, who embody another sort of vocation. And Webster sings the praises of his Ace

UPDATE III:
The vocation of parenthood – a very great mystery. I don’t know how I could get through a single day as a parent, without faith.


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