On Vocation


On Vocation

I have written a number of posts reflecting on St. John of the Cross and the Carmelite way, and I was getting a bit despondent at the lack of interest and/or discussion they seemed to provoke. But as I was reflecting on this I realized several things, the most important of which I shall share.

The lack of response isn't due to a lack of readership, but it is due to the nature of vocation. Some may stop by and read an endless blog on detachment and say--"What's his problem?" or "What was that all about?" Others may stop and read and find it perfectly clear and have no comment. Yet others may stop by and say, "And that means what to me?" All are legitimate responses. What it points out to me, is that vocation really is a gift from God.

From as early as I can remember in my spiritual life, I have had the desire to be as close to God as I possibly could--to "climb inside" God and not come out. Through a tortured path of mistakes, poor discernment, and God's Grace, I finally found my way to the Third Order of Carmel. Previously I had read some of St. John of the Cross and realized that what he was talking about was exactly what I wanted. I remember a discussion with my wife before we bought our first house. She was talking excitedly about how great it would be to "own" a house, and all I could think about, with serious dread, was the prospect of a house now "owning" me. It was yet another thing to care for and take time away from what really mattered.

All along, God has been calling me to detachment, to a gentle movement toward Him. I have moved ever so slowly. But as I said in a teaching to my Carmelite Community last week, "Three steps forward and two steps back is still a step in the right direction." My ascent of Mt. Carmel may take me the rest of my life (of course it will--that too is the nature of vocation), but at least God has granted me a sense of what I am doing, and some reliable saintly guides as to how to go about it. Both of these are great treasures that God in His mercy has seen fit to grant me. And so, because He has also shown me this way, I would like to share them as much as possible; therefore, lack of comment is no object. We must recognize why we do things, reject the human rationalizations and desires, and do what we do solely for the love of God.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 6, 2002 1:29 PM.

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