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.


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