My parish has recently set up a CTS bookshelf. CTS is the ‘Catholic Truth Society’, the publisher to the Vatican and their book(lets) are excellent. I’ve used them since discovering then as a cheap source of good information in the Catholic bookshop when I first became interested way back when I was too scared to set foot in a Catholic Church.
In this context, ‘vocation’ doesn’t mean so much what career one will follow but what one’s state in life is to be. So one might be called to marriage, the Priesthood, or single life, for example. A career would run parallel to one’s vocation.
I was hesitant to read Fr Wang’s booklet. It might tell me something I’d regret hearing. Because if God wants me to be a Religious Sister in a Bolivian orphanage … he’ll have a fight on his hands. And I know I might lose. Maybe it’s better to pootle along in ignorance!
But I knew I had to. I’ve drifted along for long enough and it isn’t really making me happy. So I took a deep breath and plunged in with a highlighter pen. Because if you’re going to fight with God, you need to do your research. I’m so glad I did. And I’m so glad I used that highlighter because now I’m going through it again and really thinking about those yellow highlights.
The good news is that I do not believe God wants me to be a Religious Sister, in a Bolivian orphanage or otherwise. Fr Wang is quite clear on this. Thinking about it gives me the heebie-jeebies – otherwise known as ‘desolation’ – which is a definite sign that this is not God’s will for me. If you think about it, that makes sense. God is good. God loves me. So why would he want me to choose a life the thought of which fills me with dread?
So I’m going to go through the booklet again, working with the ideas on discernment and decision making that Fr Wang presents so clearly and kindly. Some doors are closed to me – and I’m sad about some of them, happy about others. Some doors are open. I’ll let you know if I decide to walk through.