In Response to Your Anonymous Comments
I want to take a moment to respond to the comments on the little story about my boys showing an interest in being priests. Because of the stinging tone behind some of the statements my first thought was to delete them. However, I feel like the better thing to do would be to explain a few things.
Keep in mind that the boys I was talking about are 5 and 4. They don't feel pressure about anything...at all. Becoming a priest is just a part of our vocational/career discussions around here. We talk about being priests right along with being policemen, doctors, teachers, garbage collectors (I kid you not), and superheroes. My goal is that they will prayerfully consider the priesthood as a real option as they search for God's will. My goal has never, and will never be to force them or pressure them into anything.
My boys are blessed enough to be very close to numerous holy priests, one of whom happens to be their uncle. And yes, we are very proud that he’s a priest and not shy about saying so. He made a decision to listen to the Lord even though he wasn’t certain he was being called. He heard his call during a rather divisive time for the church and chose to follow it anyway. We are proud that he is a priest, but even more proud that he heard the Lord and followed him. We are also proud of their uncle who heard the call to teaching, coaching and marriage. We think his soccer games are awesome. And we are very proud of their other uncle who graduated with multiple honors, a plethora of life experiences and a fantastic job waiting for him.
The Catholic Church has been experiencing a shortage of priests for some time now. This is not because God has stopped calling people but rather that people don’t listen to Him. A priest once told me that he thought that a lot of people’s unhappiness stems from the fact that they lay in bed at night wondering what their lives would have been like if they’d only… Most people never take the time to pray through their vocations. They simply live their lives doing what’s “expected” of them. They get a degree, get a job and get married.
I tend to think that the shortage would be less if parents talked about the priesthood and religious life in normal conversations with their children. I don’t think this puts pressure on them but rather opens their minds and hearts to the possibility.
As to the final comment about it being all about me – I became a mother on August 29th, 2000 and since that moment life has ceased being about me. With each child I have, I learn a little more about what humility really means and what sacrifice truly entails. My life is driven by seeking God’s will for myself and my family, trying to stay in the center of that will and raising my children to do the same. If that somehow comes across as self-centered, I have really missed the mark.