Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How Well Do We hear God's Answer

As we approach Christmas we end our Advent preparation by recalling the biblical scenes of Mary being approached by God's messenger with His invitation to become the mother of our saviour and her acceptance, and of Joseph's vision and decision to choose love over bitterness and law. As a husband and father I recognize the ideal and example set by Mary and Joseph for my own journey.

Some times we in the married vocation find it hard to understand those who enter the celibate life but here in these events are inspiration for all of us. In a meditation on the Annunciation in the On-Line America Magazine Father Jame Martin says,

"On a retreat some years ago I was struggling with my vocation as a Jesuit. Walking along the New England shoreline, I wondered: How, as someone who takes a vow of chastity, would I ever experience the love that I desired? Would I be lonely? Was chastity what I was meant for?

Suddenly (and without asking for it) I was flooded with memories from my years as a Jesuit: friends I knew and loved, patient and caring spiritual directors, warm and friendly community members, holy priests, brothers, sisters and laypersons—all whom I had met through my life as a Jesuit, who I had only met because I was a Jesuit. I understood this as a clear response to my questioning: my vocation is not only the way that I love God, but also the way that God loves me. It was a resounding yes from God.

Not surprisingly, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. At the same time, the notion that the Creator as communicating with me in this direct way was disturbing, and yes, frightening. It was hard to reconcile the two emotions. "

Read the rest of Father Martin's article. The section quoted above is adapted from Fr Martin's best seller, 'My Life With The Saints".

With a few changes this experience could be my own as husband and father.

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