31 March 2009

Back from Savannah, GA

I was down in Savannah, Georgia. This trip was a series of firsts. I had never been to the South before. Despite my age, I am a new driver, and I had never driver so much before. And I never heard a tornado warning go off during Mass before.

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is a gorgeous perpendicular gothic-styled church. A friend of mine who is stationed at Hunter Army Airfield accompanied me to the 5:30 PM Mass last Saturday. During the homily a noise could be heard outside. The priest told us that there might be a siren warning and he did not know what we should do. His homily on the passion of the Lord was over, and quickly spoke on trusting in the Lord in uncertain times. The thunderstorm did get a little more lively, but there was no tornado: thank God. I don't think I ever looked around at the beautiful stained glass and saw implements of death before.

On reflection, I think that this is a pretty good metaphor for vocations. There was no external guarantee that I was in the right place; I just had to trust that I was. On the flip side, the beautiful setting could have been quite dangerous if a tornado had touched down. I was reading Br. Stephen's Blog earlier. He quoted Fr. Robert's homily of last Sunday who spoke on the topic of vocations despairing that some are seeking the ultimate of certainty and self-fulfillment. Fr. Robert continues:

Of course any real vocation – be it religious life, family life, single life, et cetera is anything but these things. Vocation is a mystery that demands compassion -- suffering with, dying with, and rising with the Lord Christ. We search and search for that ultimate vocation – not realizing that what we are searching for is right in front of us – the passion of our Lord, the passion in which we are to share. The form we do this, is really secondary, and often unknowable.
Christ tells us to die to self and to pick up our cross. Christ does not tell us to be self-actualized and empowered. Christ continues to confound the wise of this world.

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