Tuesday, May 8, 2007

...now what?

Okay, so over the last couple of weeks I've had a lot of thinking and a lot of surprises and I guess I'm pretty much admitting that I've got some sort of vocation, some sort of calling. Though said admitting didn't happen without a lot of angst and 'say what' and generally looking over my shoulder to see who They where looking at oh you meant me?


So I'm in a state of 'err now what?'. I think I probably need to do some looking around and seeing what one does with a vocation. I mean, okay, one can go to seminary. And then...be a priest. Or teach theology. Or do mission work. Or many, many things I don't know about I'm sure.

...of course the first resource I find when I poke at Google is a DVD entitled 'Fishers of Men'...for the purpose of 'actively invite[ing] men to consider a vocation to the priesthood'. My emphasis. This from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

When I go on to read their FAQ on priesthood, ordination, and the seminary I note two things: one, they're pretty profligate (date I say deliberately so) in their use of 'he' and 'man' and such. The second? That reading the question-and-answer about 'What is the meaning of the laying on of hands?' and 'Why does the ordinand lie prostrate during the ordination?' brings up such a longing in me...

I'm going to skip the whole discussion of women priests for now, because it's been addressed so thoroughly by others. And if there's an issue for me, that's not it; the church I go to has no issue whatsoever with women as priests. I don't believe they have any problems with me being bisexual, either. I suspect if there's an issue it'll be the fact that I have two boyfriends. How that's going to shake down, I don't know. I certainly don't have the theological knowledge to address it myself, other than to point out that plenty of guys in the Old Testament had more than one wife and what goes around, comes around. Which argument I don't think would get me very far.

In any case. That's not so much the question right now. The questions is, in fact, 'what now?'. Jesus said 'Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.' And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

So how does one go about that these days? I have no net to forsake. I have a job I could give up, but then I'd have no money and it's hard to do the good thing when you're living in an alley. Besides which, the cats would be upset.

I don't feel the need to figure this out right away. I've got time. I've got other things to worry about, too. Which I feel bad about -- what's the lack of sufficient job compared to a calling from God? -- but again, I need to have my life in order before I can go helping others.

So I guess I pray, and I think about things; I talk to people, and do some reading. If any of the many clergy out there who read this have a 'vocation story' you've posted to your blog, I'd love a link; reading about other people's experiences has helped me a lot in dealing with mine.


Songbird said...

Sometimes the net is not a job; sometimes the net is what you understand your life to be. Remember, Peter and Andrew and James and John were not simply punching a clock. They were living a lifestyle everyone expected them to continue, participating in the incredibly important first century family structure, playing the roles they believed they had to play.
Then they met Jesus.

the reverend mommy said...

I think prayer is a wonderful place to start. Discernment is a really interesting journey and I wish you God's blessing of wisdom as you journey.

JWD said...

You might be interested in checking out this website, sponsored by an excellent organization called The Fund for Theological Education:
Explore Ministry

Mary Beth said...

Hi! I've been playing with the idea of seminary for years...oh, that sirent call! but I am convinced that I'm not called to ordination. I've discerned that even more strongly via my association with the RevGals over the past few years.

I'm a very committed lay member of my church, and I truly believe that's where God wants me to be.

Furthermore, I'm pretty sure that I'm not a strong enough person, emotionally, to have my spiritual life be inexorably linked to my paying job. Does that make sense? I am working on boundaries and get better all the time, but still...

(you may read all about my many neuroses at my place if you care to! :) All this to say, I hear you.

seeking chivalry said...

I see where you're at, songbird, and it's a good point. And I can totally see that this might (okay, almost certainly will) wind up taking me somewhere totally other than where I expected to be.

Thanks for your good thoughts, reverend mommy!

This site looks great, jwd -- I look forward to exploring it.

And Mary Beth? Thanks for the reminder that vocation doesn't always lead to priesthood. I need to keep my mind open and find out where I'm meant to be, instead of just going where I (think I) want to.