In the two-and-a-half years since my wife and I became aware of our son’s vocation call, it’s been interesting telling people about it.
I remember telling some good Catholic friends about it the December after he told us. Their first response was surprise, followed closely by something that looked almost like sympathy.
We’ve seen that look over-and-over among our Catholic friends. They are all pleased, but they also understand the level of commitment that comes with the vocation.
“Is he old enough?”
That’s an interesting question. When I was his age, I was newly married. I’d made a lifelong commitment of fidelity and obedience and no one seemed to mind overmuch. It would be wonderful to believe that everyone knew how mature I was for my age and that I’d make a wonderful husband. It would be wonderful…and inaccurate. Nobody really knew what lay ahead for me — for us — but I guess we trusted in God’s grace.
As an aside, it is interesting that many people perceive priestly vows as more binding and difficult than those of marriage. Perhaps this is because a priest is taking a vow of service to God. Or, perhaps it is because people don’t fully understand the rewards of the priesthood.
Whatever the case, God has blessed Cathy and I with a long and satisfying marriage.
We approach our son’s vocation with the same faith. (We try to, at least.) His period of discernment has already lasted longer than our engagement and he has quite a bit of time yet to go. If he continues on this path to the point of ordination, he’ll be blessed with the ontological change which occurs in all priests.
Is he young? Yes. But so were we when we got married. So were thousands of priests. All any of us can do is put our trust in God and move ahead.
Of course, this isn’t the only question we’ve been asked. There have been lots of others. We’ll be addressing them in future posts. If you’d like to ask us a question, feel free to post in the comments or e-mail us at SeminarianParents@gmail.com