Thursday, December 18, 2008

What do you think of this answer from

Kassie asks:
During the past Holy Week, I fought a strong call be be consecrated. I finally realized that I was being selfish with Christ and that I needed to offer him back all that he has given me, and that I can give up anything for him after what he has done for me. Immediately, I experienced peace. The question of whether I was called to consecrated or married life was no longer imperative. I felt as though Christ was helping me find my generosity by asking for the biggest gift I could give him, and when I realized that I could give him that, he was happy. Now, I am unsure if the call to consecration was just me being afraid that he would ask for the biggest sacrifice, or whether I really do have a vocation. I am 17 years old and a Junior in high school, and am unsure how I should go about preparing for college without knowing exactly what Christ wants. Was he simply testing my generosity in order to bring me closer to him (I am so much closer to him now and have received so many graces) or is he asking for a vocation?
Sincerely, Kassie

Dear Kassie,

We go through many stages in discovering our vocation: searching, apparently groping in the dark, moments of clarity, consolation and conviction, and times of doubt, distraction and temptation. These and others are unpredictable and vary from one person to another, and at times the whole journey can be quite a roller-coaster of emotions and perceptions. To get to your situation: 17 with one year of high school to go, you have experienced the peace that came from offering yourself totally to Christ, yet now you are wondering if you really were being generous, and you are unsure of how to prepare for college if you don't know exactly what Christ wants.
Kassie, I think it will help you to stick to the facts, and the first one is that you did sincerely offer Christ everything out of gratitude for all he did for you. You simply put him in the center and told him nothing else mattered. The most important thing to do now is to keep him there, right in the center. When you get worried about other things, keep coming back and never let go of this anchor: there is only one way to repay Christ for all he did to save us from sin, and it is to give him all we are, and do whatever he wants.
Now, does he want you to consecrate yourself to him? Here, you have another fact to consider. When you decided to put Christ at the center, the thought of consecration came into your mind. That does not happen to everybody, and it may be (only "may be", not "is") a first indication of a vocation. So, it is good to look around and see if the other signs of a vocation are there in your life (Is there an attraction? Are your motives spiritual? Do you have the normal maturity for your age? Are you aware of what you would be giving up? Are you doing it freely, not out of fear? etc.) It would be good to speak about all this with your spiritual director if you have one, or with a priest you trust.
Then, a final fact, our vocation is God's plan for our lives. So trust him. He is not going to want you to do something and then not give you the opportunity to find out what it is. God after all is intelligent, much more than you or I, and we wouldn't make a mistake like that. So, if you start looking he is going to place what he wants you to do in your path. I think it would be wise to think Christ may be calling you, and the best way to find out if he is, is to start looking into where it may be. There may be a religious Congregation or a Movement you know or have heard about that has made you curious, start there. I imagine if you start looking now, by the time you are half-way through your senior year you will have a fairly good idea if you have a vocation or not, and where it is to. And that will give you a good idea if you should be looking into college or into following the vocation right away. God bless.

Fr. Anthony Bannon, L.C.
Text and Photo from

No comments: