Sunday, March 14, 2010

Newman Club Retreat & Vocation

Well, this weekend we had a Newman Club retreat. It went alot better, I mostly shut up about contentious stuff so it worked out. Actually it was a great time. We had alot of time for reflection and prayer. I relearned alot of things, and had a great discussion with a Peruvian Catholic philosopher about the stuff I'm taking in my Existentialist class. I definately need to read more papa jpII (I want to pick up 'love and responsibility'). I found some more latent Calvinism that I had to root out (I'm not even joking) and how it effects my relationships with others, God, and in my reception of the Sacraments (i've kind of been a crypto-Jansenist perhaps).

Anyway, the biggest moment of the retreat was my continued 'mood/feeling/disposition' - I don't know if it's strong enough to be a calling. It usually happens most strongly when I'm praying the Rosary. We had a time of confession and adoration, and we - by some twist of fate - got to sing 2 hymns in Latin which were beautiful. It was basically the priest and I singing, and I had the feeling that I'm supposed to become a Jesuit. It was the weirdest thing, because lately I've been having alot of problems with the Society, and have been looking at other religious orders. But strangely enough, it's like I'm not even feeling a calling to the priesthood so much as a calling to be a Jesuit. Perhaps one would call this a 'calling' (remembering my reservations about the term) to the religious vocation of priesthood?

So that was basically it. I met some pretty young Catholic girls, but this didn't seem to make me change my feelings, or even want a different life. I have no idea. I talked to my priest about it and he said I should wait at least 5 years as I'm, 'a newly minted Catholic'. That's probably good advice.

Today we had time to start watching "the Black Robe" about the Canadian Jesuits who were missionaries (maybe it's all the movies that's doing it?) and martyrs to the Huron. We only got about 40 minutes in, but I felt so simultaneously inspired by it, and unworthy/unable to live such a heroic life. By God's grace perhaps I will.

The funny thing about vocations is that seemingly the only thing we say about them is "it's not just for priests and religious!". This goes on to the point that I began to wonder if priesthood is a vocation (I immediately realized the ridiculousness of such a quandry), but it goes to show you how much things change sometimes.


  1. Andrew, take this for what it's worth, but I think you should definitely continue to consider the Jesuits and see where God leads you.

    Why? Well, they need renewal, and solid awesome Catholics like you are who God will call. Two, they have historically been great missionaries and intellectual and spiritual greats, so renewing such a blessed order would be worthwhile.

    I wouldn't say to wait 5 years. Most orders and communities I talked to when I was discerning after converting said the minimum time is 2 years. Also, I believe the Jesuits have a long formation time, perhaps 12 years(?), so "you may as well get started now." And if God doesn't call you to them in the end, well, you will not have wasted any time.

    We're having a vocations boom here in Austin, Texas, and many men are joining the Jesuits.

  2. I'm thinking of emailing them for my area and seeing if I could talk to someone about it. I talked to a priest tonight and he made it sound like the Jesuits were the praetorian guard of the Church or something. He said they're very difficult to get into, but for some reason I didn't feel worried. He said that they are VERY careful with making sure people are really called. So I figure, at least if I start now (or after I'm done my bachelor's), I'll know. Even if they tell me I'm not cut out, I can still try.

    Thanks for your comments, I feel odd that I can share things like this with Catholic people I know on the internet but not really with my own family.