Friday, June 13, 2008

Vocal Vocations

I got the following email from one of the lay Benedictines for whom I gave a concert earlier this month; they had been praying for my pregnancy.

The news is sad indeed. And there is a lot of sadness, there is no getting around that. We have been praying for you and I informed the inner circle. . . .

And there is more to pray about, if you think back to our conversation in the garden. I am thinking about the total direction of your life, as you prayerfully weather each event and especially weather the direction of these somewhat grisly priests who, orthodox as they may be, seem unhelpful, at least as taken without the required grain of salt.

Concretely my prayer is that you will more and more be able to discern through the sad and the happy events how the Spirit is calling you to a lay vocation where your unique gifts, your motherhood and your song, are used to bless this broken world.

Love in Christ.

This is really something to think about. Right now I'm just stymied. I hope my vocation doesn't end up looking too much like the picture above.


Mrs. T said...

Well, I love the picture, although . . . yeah. I see what you mean. Not in real life you don't want to look like that.

But I wish I knew this lay Benedictine -- the business about a vocation which brings all your gifts together, instead of pitting them against each other (which is how I often feel) strikes a serious chord in me.

Pentimento said...

The picture is pretty funny. I guess it expresses my underlying fear of my own self-importance edging out my parental responsibility.

I DO think that God intends us to bring all our gifts to the table, tied up in some sort of cohesive string. But oh, it is hard to figure out how to do that. Like you, I often feel like I have to jettison certain things in deferece to others. And then I wonder if that's my vocation, to humbly accept having to give up the things I love. I've thought that about singing for a long time, and in fact my dissertation (almost done now) is about a patristic trope that links the abandonment of music to conversion. But perhaps I'm not supposed to give this up. Just don't know right now.

Tertium Quid said...

To this day I know I'm a better teacher than lawyer, but I don't doubt that God called me to go to law school, and many good things have come of it.

Vocation is truly focusing on the here and now. Yesterday I dug with a pick-axe two holes in my yard. I'm bushed. But that what God called me to do. Sometimes we are most useful to God when we think we are worthless.

Pentimento said...

T.Q., I've never heard anyone say before that they were better at the thing that turned out not to be their vocation. I suppose I always thought that what one did best would automatically qualify as the true calling. But on second thought, I see that can't always be true, and perhaps my idea was just a common American cultural delusion that the thing you love the best is the thing you're meant to do - "follow your bliss" and all of that. I have a great deal of respect for your honesty and humility about this. But I want to know why you dug those holes.