Sunday, 28 August 2011

My religious vocation...

As I mentioned in my previous post, a few young people during WYD in Madrid asked about my vocation; why I choose to be a Dominican and how I knew God was calling me.

As I will make my Solemn Profession on the 11th of September, and so is bro. Colm and bro. Matthew does today in Trinidad, I feel it is maybe time to offer some short reflections in the next few days on this matter, time allowing... (and off course any comments and questions are welcome, which I will include and try to answer)


This Sunday provides us with some beautiful reading, and a beautiful but maybe challenging Gospel, to illustrate the call of God. Psalm 63 is my favourite psalm for meditation as it speaks directly to my heart: 'O God, you are my God for you I long, for you my soul is thirsting. My body pines for you, like a dry, weary land without water...'. Everybody's soul is thirsting, and only God can provide the living water to quench that thirst!

In the first reading we read about Jeremiah who says 'You have seduced me, Yahweh, and I have let myself be seduced;'. Quoting this might seem like a romantic portrayal of the call by God, but it is not! God is looking for a personal relationship with us, a PERSONAL relationship, and God is inviting us all the time, and maybe yes, trying to seduce us... trying to win our hearts...

God speaks to each ones heart, He touches each one in a way that cannot really be uttered or explain in words. This does not mean that it is 'mystical' per se, the call of God (for everyone, not just the call to religious life or the priesthood but to all vocations in life) is for most people not a mystical revelation but on the contrary a very gentle, barely noticeable, whisper in our heart. It is God inviting us to respond to His call to give ourselves completely to Him, God quietly seducing us to respond...

But so often we resist, try to do our own thing. When Jesus says to Peter in the Gospel 'Get behind me Satan! You are an obstacle to me' Jesus illustrates that Peter is trying to prevent Jesus to take up the cross which comes with faithfully following God, a cross given to us to purify ourselves and give ourselves fully over to God in complete trust, to make us completely selfless in love.

But however much we fail, and however much we turn our back to God, God's invitation does not change, He keeps calling, and as long as we even slightly keep the door open to His voice we will hear His whisper. Like Jeremiah I sometimes say sometimes to myself 'I will not think about Him, I will not speak in His name any more' and will do my own will, but then there is this fire burning within my heart, a love for God which is imprisoned in my bones to the effect that I have to confess too God that 'You have overpowered me: you were the stronger', the stronger in love.

How could I not respond to the love God has given me, how could I ban His invitation from my heart. In the quite of the meditation, in the complete loneliness of my being I realise that only God can truly satisfy me, and whatever the cost, whatever the cross, that someday God will fulfil His promise and I will be united with Him...

Until that time I want to proclaim His love to others, the discovery of the gift of His intimate love He wants to give to everybody, and to you too! Like Jeremiah, it has resulted that I have given up resisting it, to restrain it wearied me, I cannot hold it in...

3 comments:

kkollwitz said...

Thanks for this , especially the bits on Jeremiah, which I may be able to use in my Catechism class.

Also welcome back to RAnn's Snippets.

RAnn said...

Glad to see you again, and may God continue to bless you on this journey.

Kathleen Basi said...

I love today's readings as well. So much to draw from them, and that particular psalm is one that really resonates in my soul. I am always struggling with the tension between annoying putting myself forward by thinking I know everything about God and the call to use my gifts in His service...often a difficult balance to tread.

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