Friday, May 9, 2008

Join the Navy!

Let me tell you a few things, all of you, all potential discerners. And everyone else.

A Vocation is a calling from God. It's special. And a lot of people "hear" it, but so few respond. And part of that is the noise of this world, and part is the plague of "option overload." Too many of our youth (all of them, in fact) have grown up with so many options that they don't even know how to CHOOSE anymore!

It's not a matter of wheat bread versus white. It's a matter of Italian or Wheat or French or Honey Oat, or Parmesan Garlic, or Asiago Wheat or Pumpernikle Sesame Rye with candy sprinkles burned on top.

It's too much! As much as this society talks about "choice" and provides "choice", our youth are paralyzed by "choices"! And in the end, they can't choose!

Poor Sister Clarice is such a perfect example of this! (Sorry, dear Sister...and you're're the only one I have to pick on. I can't wait to have "sons"!) And your dilemma isn't really your fault. It's the culture.

And that's why I've started this community. As an aid in discernment. Everyone is confused...even me!

Let me give you a piece of advice, but I'm going to tell a story first! (I'm old..I get to do that.)

I knew a young lady who wanted to be a Navy SEAL. I think this was before "GI Jane" came out, or maybe she made this "decision" as a result of the movie. Who knows? In any case, she'd raced on her high school swim team, she was a lifeguard, and really, she just LOVED being in the water.

So you see, she DISCERNED that she had a calling to serve God in the water. Her college dorm room was filled with FISH decorations, for goodness' sake!

What I've never been able to figure out, though, was that her college major was chemistry with a minor in biology. I'd have thought 'twould be the other way around.

Well, that girl ALSO had a big cross to bear; she had back problems. And that Navy SEAL training ain't easy! Yet she never stopped talking about it. Becoming a SEAL was a HUGE part of her life. It was what she was ALL ABOUT!

But you know what...she never took the first step!

In order to become a SEAL, the basic requirement is that one JOIN THE NAVY!

You got it right..that girl NEVER joined the Navy! How was she going to meet that goal?

Never mind that they didn't allow women to be SEALs anyway! But she never considered other options, such as the Coast Guard, which DOES allow women to serve as Rescue Swimmers! They may not be SEALs, but darn it, they serve in the water and they use the same talents (but to a better end, if you ask me. They're not combat oriented and they SAVE the combat-oriented who tend to call on them for help.)

So, my dear brothers and sisters and sons and daughters...if you feel you are called to something, take the first step! Don't just learn about it and study it with a microscope! Actually put your FOOT on the darned thing! Even if it doesn't seem possible, sometimes you have to take a step or so to get there.

No, that young lady would never have become a SEAL, even if they did allow women. But in joining the Navy she might at least have found the skills for something else. She's now married and I think she has children. Which is just WONDERFUL. However, I can't help by ask whether she would have contributed her gifts to our country by joining the Navy, and STILL managed to be a married mother. (Also a Vocation in need of discernment....)

So that's the moral of the story, you young people.



Sister Caprice said...

But...Mother Frangelico...I don't WANT to join the Navy! I HOPE that's not what you're asking...?

Mother Frangelico said...

No, you silly girl...I'm not suggesting you join the Navy. I used that to make a point! TAKE A STEP! Anywhere! In SOME direction! GO!

Christopher said...

I told my pastor and parents I wanted to take that step, towards religious life. No, check that, by God's grace I will take that plunge into postulency. Yet, my parents got mad and my priest said that I should be a diocesan priest.

Mother Frangelico said...

Dearest Christopher,

Why did your parents get angry? Was it the Call in general to discern this or do they feel you should go another direction?

And your parish priest...did he qualify his advice? Why diocesan versus religious?

You MUST follow where God is leading you, but realize at the same time that God also speaks through those we know well. If you discern a religious calling, they will help you recognize your gifts and where you belong.

I know that this is almost impossible, but find a Spiritual Director. Discernment is difficult, especially when you meet opposition. But a good Spiritual Director can help you keep the proper perspective, no matter what comes your way.

God bless you!

Christopher said...
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