An Unusual Path to Priesthood


Question: What is spiritual about loving your vocation?

James Martin: Well a lot of Ignatian spirituality talks about desire and that is sort of a bad word in some spiritual circles because some people equate it with just selfish wants, like I want a new car, I want a new iPhone, I want a new PC, something like that. Or they think of it as sexual desire, which is: oh my gosh, God forbid we should talk about sexual desire. I mean that’s healthy, right? But desire on an even deeper level is the desire that we have to be who we are, to be our true selves and the desire for God. There are also desires that lead us to our vocations and what we want to do in life. For example, a married couple might discover their vocations through desire, so the desire for sexual intimacy, for emotional intimacy, for a sort of connectiveness. I mean that brings that together. People understand that in terms of desire. Desire works the same way in terms of our jobs and our vocations. Someone who is interested in video might be interested in it because they feel this attraction to it. It’s really interesting. They feel this desire for it. Someone who is a doctor might find talking about medicine and the body and things like that just really attractive, so desire is a really important thing to pay attention to and ultimately our desires I believe our deepest desires are God’s desires for us really and the deepest desires we have to be our true self, to really live out who we’re meant to be and what we’re meant to do are the ways that God has of drawing us to happiness and also ways that God has of drawing I think to fulfill God’s desires for the world, so I don’t think we should be too ardent on desire in the spiritual life or in any part of life.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit