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Fostering vocations at home
Posted By Eric Sammons On March 23, 2009 @ 7:17 am In The Church | Comments Disabled
Having young children at home, I often think about their future vocations: are they called to be mothers and fathers like their parents, or has God called one or more of them to be priests or religious sisters? I’ll be honest – I think I’d explode with pride and excitement if one of my children became a priest or a sister (unless, of course, one of my daughters became a “priest”). But down deep I know that each person is uniquely called by God to his or her specific vocation and that I should be happy only if they follow their divine calling – not my desire. My job is simply to expose them to the various vocations of the Church and encourage them to listen to the Lord as they get older. He will do the rest.
But I can’t help asking every parent of a priest or sister: “what did you do?” Rachel Watkins at Catholic Exhange, a mother of a religious, addresses this question . I thought her opening paragraphs were insightful:
With a daughter off for religious life I’ve been asked, “How do you do it? How do you raise children open to religious life and willing to pursue it?” Wondering myself, I asked other moms and dads we know who have sons and daughters either in religious or discerning. I asked priests and religious their vocation stories. The results are in. We have no idea.
Seriously, each parent raised their child differently. Each family is unique in size and make-up. Several families are large in anyone’s eyes – 10 or more such as mine. Others are large in society’s eye – four or more and others have smaller families. Some families were committed to Daily Mass, a family rosary, novenas, the scapular, or other familiar Catholic devotions. Some families did all of them, some practiced a few of these and, surprisingly, a few religious tell me their families did none of those devotionals. Some families might be described as rigid in these commitments while others might be seen as more lax. Again, each family was unique.
How then?? In a sentence: They were called.
So I will continue to pray for my childrens’ openness to the Lord and trust that He will guide them to a life that gives glory to Him. (But I’ll still slip in a prayer or two for a priest or religious sister to come from my family…).
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 addresses this question: http://catholicexchange.com/2009/03/23/116774/
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