Write In Between

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Writer's Wednesday -- Fr. James Martin, SJ

On discerning a non-religious vocation...

One’s primary call comes from one’s deepest desires, which are God’s desires planted within us. Then one “tests them out,” to see how things work out. For example, you may have a great desire to be a lawyer and then find out that practicing law is not what you really desire. So “confirmation” of your choice is also important. In general, though, I would say pay attention to what you find attractive, appealing and exciting.

One of my favorite meditations for this is the one by Pedro Arrupe, SJ, the former superior general of the Jesuits (also included in my book!) Here’s his meditation, called “Falling in Love.” It can be applied not only to individuals, or religious communities, but also to anyone’s vocation in life.

Father Arrupe wrote: “Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”

--this quote taken from A Nun's Life, which hosted an interview with Fr. James Martin, SJ, author of My Life with the Saints, (Loyola Books, 2008).

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