a job or a life

Mar 21, 2012

The Christchurch Press this morning carried an article about a new priestly recruitment drive in Spain. The bishops of Spain are using the high unemployment in their country as an opportunity to get young men to consider priesthood. The pay is not great, they say, but the job security is good!

Well done Spanish bishops.  We need to do whatever we can to ensure that young men consider priesthood as the viable and attractive life choice that it is.

I can’t understand a word of the bishops’ Youtube clip (in Spanish) below.  So I’m not sure whether or not they make this key point: too many people settle for a job or a career when there is a better option available.

A young person might choose a job or career by weighing up the pros and the cons of a few options that s/he finds attractive. 

But as Saint John Henry Newman prayed in the late nineteenth century: “God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another”.

This prayer announces the difference between a ‘job’ and a ‘life’, a ‘career’ and a ‘vocation’.  Baptised people need not settle for jobs and careers. 

If you are baptised, God is calling you to a vocation, a life.

This life is not so much chosen, as heard and received.  A vocational call, whether it is to marriage, single life, religious life, priesthood, or another unique way of serving God, is revealed in the depth of an individual’s heart.

The heart is never satisfied with money and success. The soul of every person seeks much more. We are made for LIFE. And VOCATION is the pathway to LIFE.

There are many pressures and fears driving people today to grasp at jobs instead of seeking the desires of the depth of their hearts.

Perhaps a crisis of unemployment could serve as a wake-up call for many.  High levels of unemployment are a tragedy for workers and their families. May we never again experience this here in New Zealand.

But we do need to allow the deepest longings of the human heart to be audible to those who seek work. May they never settle for doing a job, when living a life by following their unique vocation is the more available and ultimately satisfying and secure option.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts



Most people think of the Ascension of Jesus as being a ‘departure’ moment. Jesus was here and now he is gone. We imagine Jesus going up into the clouds and the disciples waving farewell from below.
This is an unhelpful image.
It is essential that we understand what does happen and what does not happen in the Ascension event.
It would be easy to wrongly think that in his ministry showed us how to build the city of God on earth, and now he has gone and the mission is left to us.

touching the sacred

touching the sacred

A few years ago I was on Rēkohu Chatham Islands for what has become one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most sacred days, the ANZAC day of remembrance in gratitude for those who gave their lives, their health, their youth, their service that we may live in peace.
The art above was produced by one of the students at the local Te One school.

every which way

every which way

A good number of Food For Faith readers have discovered one of the more recent FFF initiatives, the weekly Homily Studio.
The recording of this half-hour podcast is one of the highlights of my week.

in the room

in the room

Today’s reflection marks the end of the FFF Lent-to-Easter daily email posts. Thank you for your company on this journey.  While these daily posts (for those who have signed up for the Lent / Advent reflections at this link) will take a break until Advent, those who have signed up to receive every post or regular posts at this link.  You might take a moment now to visit this page now to check your email preferences.

During retreat this week I found myself pondering just how difficult it is to accept that God, in Jesus, is really with me today.

disciplined discipleship

disciplined discipleship

As I write I’m nearing the end of retreat days with a group of fifty priests from across the USA.  As I mentioned a couple of days ago the diversity and youth of the group is remarkable with the majority being aged under 40 and a good number ordained for fewer than five years.