Something you wrote really struck home, namely: "Some young men and women have recently come home for short periods of discernment." Some years ago, I was one of those young men. I had been to the Legion's summer Candidacy meat grinder in Cheshire. No discernment at all, to speak of, just a hard-core sales pitch to join LC if they liked you. Of course, while they rolled out the red carpet for the clean-cut young men from Christendom College (very nice guys, actually), I saw 3 different overweight young men visit for a day or two, and basically get blown off.
My story could be called "How the Jesuit Saved My Life." I came home in late August one summer after Candidacy very torn over whether to return to Cheshire for Novitiate, or go to a solid Catholic university for further studies. The LC superior warned me "If you don't follow your call to the Legion now, the same opportunity won't come around later on."
While I was home, I contacted a Jesuit priest for help with my internal conflict. "I want to be generous, and give everything to God, but I just don't feel right about it," I told him. "Is that selfish? If God calls me to do something I hate, then shouldn't I just follow His holy will?" The good Jesuit responded: "Frank, one of the bedrock principals of discernment from St. Ignatius is that one should never make a serious life decision without a sense of true peace, be it marriage, religous life, job change, etc. If you don't feel at peace with the decision to join the Legion, that's a clear sign not to proceed."
An older person, as I am now, has the sales resistance to push back against the LC's high-pressure tactics. Younger folks, generally, do not have that same sales resistance. They are idealistic and eager to please those whom they hold in esteem. That was certainly the case with me at that age.
The one smart thing I did that summer was to listen to the Jesuit. I'm so thankful to God that I never made the mistake of joining Maciel's circus.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Glad He Didn't Join the Circus Afterall
Stolen from the combox on life-after-rc: