Vocations Needed. Why are parents so stingy?


#1

I was speaking with our local parish priest/rector the other day and I was shocked to hear some of the statements that he's received from our parishioners. He has discussed the need for priests to numerous members of our church family and he also regularly asks for prayers for vocations. Many of them agree with our need, but they've openly stated, "but not my son(s)." The audacity to make such a selfish comment flabbergasts me. Granted, at least they're honest. Nonetheless, to acknowledge and be capable of meeting a need yet chose to do otherwise just seems wrong to me.

I have three young sons and every time we pray the prayer for vocations, I instinctively tell God that He can have as many of them as He likes (they are His to begin with). I would personally be honored to have sons who became priests. Don't misunderstand me, I don't think I'm any better than the next guy - I''m just as much in need (if not more) of Christ's grace as anyone else.

Why is there such a negative attitude toward vocations in our society? Have we become that selfish? We have bigger homes, more cars, more toys, more money, and less kids. Recently, we had the pleasure of having a Nigerian bishop visit us and one of exhortations was to have more children. I agree with him. It seems we've become so enamored with chasing the "dream" that we've lost sight of what's truly needful in our lives. We have this infinite hole that we're attempting to fill with finite "stuff".

I look at our society (myself included) and I can't help be feel discouraged. Nonetheless, I am encouraged by the thought that God will turn the tide - but, in my own fickle wisdom, I hope it's sooner than later. However, I want to do something positive rather than just gripe about it. Anyone have any thoughts?


#2

Mothers want grandchildren. I think that's where that stems from.

I don't have children, but if I am called to have children I will give them to God and whatever vocation He chooses for them I will support.

To a certain extent our society teaches that is only through 'romantic love' and children that we have nay worth. Some people in our society (a large majority I'd bet) can't imagine a life dedicated ONLY to God with no marriage and no children... to them this seems an empty life. Unfortunately our society teaches us to be bound to the material/physical world instead of seeking the spiritual one.


#3

It is a problem of perspective;

Parent's in general want to have their children for them and with them; when a child decides to dedicate his life to holy orders it he or she essentially chooses to become a child of the church; and to in a very real and practical sense belong to it, either as a Priest, a Brother or a Sister etc.; and this alarms Parent's, who in their desires to do well for the children (generally) harbor a desire for family reunions; weddings; grandchildren etc.

With the dedication of a man or womans life to serving God in holy orders they essentially change the *axis*of their life to that of God - no longer does the life of the child exist as an extension of their extended (biological) family.

It is this irregularity, this charity that throws the families of those pursuing a vocation into a crisis; a fear that their child will become lost or detached for them... Often to the parents it seems more important what the individual is giving up, not what they are pursuing - and it is this fixation upon the sacrifice of the individual that creates a recoil in their family; a fear -- it is the lack of a sensible attention to what the person is pursuing; and an obsession with what they are leaving behind.

:thumbsup:


#4

I'm about ready to give my kids to the first band of roving gypsies that happens to wander by... ;)

Miz


#5

[quote="CSJ, post:1, topic:200449"]
I was speaking with our local parish priest/rector the other day and I was shocked to hear some of the statements that he's received from our parishioners. He has discussed the need for priests to numerous members of our church family and he also regularly asks for prayers for vocations. Many of them agree with our need, but they've openly stated, "but not my son(s)." The audacity to make such a selfish comment flabbergasts me. Granted, at least they're honest. Nonetheless, to acknowledge and be capable of meeting a need yet chose to do otherwise just seems wrong to me.

I have three young sons and every time we pray the prayer for vocations, I instinctively tell God that He can have as many of them as He likes (they are His to begin with). I would personally be honored to have sons who became priests. Don't misunderstand me, I don't think I'm any better than the next guy - I''m just as much in need (if not more) of Christ's grace as anyone else.

Why is there such a negative attitude toward vocations in our society? Have we become that selfish? We have bigger homes, more cars, more toys, more money, and less kids. Recently, we had the pleasure of having a Nigerian bishop visit us and one of exhortations was to have more children. I agree with him. It seems we've become so enamored with chasing the "dream" that we've lost sight of what's truly needful in our lives. We have this infinite hole that we're attempting to fill with finite "stuff".

I look at our society (myself included) and I can't help be feel discouraged. Nonetheless, I am encouraged by the thought that God will turn the tide - but, in my own fickle wisdom, I hope it's sooner than later. However, I want to do something positive rather than just gripe about it. Anyone have any thoughts?

[/quote]

i cannot speak for anyone else but my mom and dad dont want me to be a brother of the sacred heart because they want grand children.


#6

The problem is that a lot of people do not really want to be aware of what being a Christian is about. People do not even understand marriage as a vocation, they do not understand or want to understand what vocation really means.

We have only one teenager boy and we just hope to be able to see his ordination if that is what God wants of him. My wish for him is to be a very good Christian and a very well educated one, the rest is between him and God.


#7

[quote="Cristiano, post:6, topic:200449"]
My wish for him is to be a very good Christian and a very well educated one, the rest is between him and God.

[/quote]

Well said! :thumbsup:

Miz


#8

[quote="Miserys_Fence, post:7, topic:200449"]
Well said! :thumbsup:

Miz

[/quote]

Thanks, but I am also a bit of a pusher! ;)

Today we went to discuss is curriculum for the first year at his Catholic High School, and I strongly encouraged him to consider "Liturgical choir" as an after school elective. He already has mandatory theology and he decided (after a strong suggestion) to do Latin as a foreign language. :D

On my defense he is still thinking of seminary after college.:thumbsup:


#9

:amen:

i wish my mom and dad thought like that


#10

Personally I think the Devil sometimes has a hand in it, when he sees that he can't destroy a vocation by attacking the person directly he tries to destroy it indirectly by going through thier parents, e.g. the devil knew that attacking St. Philomena directly was never going to work so he got her parents to try and talk her out of her vow of Chastity claiming that she to young to have understood what she was doing (she was 11 at the time she gave herself to Christ).

Also there is the fact that many parents want their children to care for them when they are old as well as wanting Grandchildren, I think thats part of my mom's opposition to me entering the religious life (she was ok with the idea of me being a diocesan priest).

Interestingly enough its not just opposition from parents, in the case of beleated vocations opposition sometimes comes from children as well as was the case with St. Jane Francis de Chantel.


#11

[quote="CSJ, post:1, topic:200449"]
I was speaking with our local parish priest/rector the other day and I was shocked to hear some of the statements that he's received from our parishioners. He has discussed the need for priests to numerous members of our church family and he also regularly asks for prayers for vocations. Many of them agree with our need, but they've openly stated, "but not my son(s)." The audacity to make such a selfish comment flabbergasts me. Granted, at least they're honest. Nonetheless, to acknowledge and be capable of meeting a need yet chose to do otherwise just seems wrong to me.

I have three young sons and every time we pray the prayer for vocations, I instinctively tell God that He can have as many of them as He likes (they are His to begin with). I would personally be honored to have sons who became priests. Don't misunderstand me, I don't think I'm any better than the next guy - I''m just as much in need (if not more) of Christ's grace as anyone else.

Why is there such a negative attitude toward vocations in our society? Have we become that selfish? We have bigger homes, more cars, more toys, more money, and less kids. Recently, we had the pleasure of having a Nigerian bishop visit us and one of exhortations was to have more children. I agree with him. It seems we've become so enamored with chasing the "dream" that we've lost sight of what's truly needful in our lives. We have this infinite hole that we're attempting to fill with finite "stuff".

I look at our society (myself included) and I can't help be feel discouraged. Nonetheless, I am encouraged by the thought that God will turn the tide - but, in my own fickle wisdom, I hope it's sooner than later. However, I want to do something positive rather than just gripe about it. Anyone have any thoughts?

[/quote]

:sad_yes:

I couldn't have said it any better....and I'm not even married!


#12

[quote="CSJ, post:1, topic:200449"]
I was speaking with our local parish priest/rector the other day and I was shocked to hear some of the statements that he's received from our parishioners. He has discussed the need for priests to numerous members of our church family and he also regularly asks for prayers for vocations. Many of them agree with our need, but they've openly stated, "but not my son(s)." The audacity to make such a selfish comment flabbergasts me. Granted, at least they're honest. Nonetheless, to acknowledge and be capable of meeting a need yet chose to do otherwise just seems wrong to me.

I have three young sons and every time we pray the prayer for vocations, I instinctively tell God that He can have as many of them as He likes (they are His to begin with). I would personally be honored to have sons who became priests. Don't misunderstand me, I don't think I'm any better than the next guy - I''m just as much in need (if not more) of Christ's grace as anyone else.

Why is there such a negative attitude toward vocations in our society? Have we become that selfish? We have bigger homes, more cars, more toys, more money, and less kids. Recently, we had the pleasure of having a Nigerian bishop visit us and one of exhortations was to have more children. I agree with him. It seems we've become so enamored with chasing the "dream" that we've lost sight of what's truly needful in our lives. We have this infinite hole that we're attempting to fill with finite "stuff".

I look at our society (myself included) and I can't help be feel discouraged. Nonetheless, I am encouraged by the thought that God will turn the tide - but, in my own fickle wisdom, I hope it's sooner than later. However, I want to do something positive rather than just gripe about it. Anyone have any thoughts?

[/quote]

AMEN!
I'm discerning a vocation, and I'm terrified of my parents. I really want to enter a convent with their blessing, but I don't know if that's going to happen.

-Jeanne


#13

[quote="jeanne71350, post:12, topic:200449"]
AMEN!
I'm discerning a vocation, and I'm terrified of my parents. I really want to enter a convent with their blessing, but I don't know if that's going to happen.

-Jeanne

[/quote]

Dear Jeanne

Firslty, its excellent if Christ is calling you to be his spouse, secondly with regards to the situation with your parents the following qoute from the the Late Jesuit Fr.William Doyle in his pamplet "Vocation" (1873) could help "When the devil sees in anyone a religious vocation, he does everything possible to prevent him following that attraction. But of all the means he makes use of, the love of one’s parents is the most powerful and dangerous. He shows it to be so just and reasonable, he makes use of such specious sophisms, that the poor soul does not know to which voice to listen – that which call him or that which bids him go back."

by all means don't think you're alone, my mother is not overly keen on me entering the religious life either, she was ok with the idea of me being a parish priest but not keen on the idea of me joining an order.


#14

Hello CSJ,
I agree with you completely. I would love it if my son and daughters wanted to be a priest or nun. I think it's great. but 98% of people I tell this to think I am nuts!...When I saw my son standing next to the priest as an alter boy, I loved it, he looked like a priest and i would love it if he was called. Our society is moving further and further away from faith:(


#15

[quote="jeanne71350, post:12, topic:200449"]
AMEN!
I'm discerning a vocation, and I'm terrified of my parents. I really want to enter a convent with their blessing, but I don't know if that's going to happen.

-Jeanne

[/quote]

First give them some bad news and then the good news:

Bad news "Mom and Dad in the last few days I thought that I was pregnant!"

Good news "but it did not happen because I did not have relationships, I am planning to join a religious order"

If you survive the bad news that they should be able to take the good news with a grain of salt. :D


#16

[quote="Cristiano, post:15, topic:200449"]
First give them some bad news and then the good news:

Bad news "Mom and Dad in the last few days I thought that I was pregnant!"

Good news "but it did not happen because I did not have relationships, I am planning to join a religious order"

If you survive the bad news that they should be able to take the good news with a grain of salt. :D

[/quote]

hahahahahaha! Amen!

-Jeanne


#17

I believe there is a direct correlation between the use of contraception and the lack of vocations. Growing up my father felt strongly about “carrying on the family name” As my brother was the only grandson, he was highly encouraged to get married and have kids. If they had more kids, maybe the children wouldn’t feel pressured to choose marriage, leaving the priesthood as a viable option.


#18

I may get slammed for this but here goes...................I'm the wife of a permanent deacon. My husband is pretty young, we're both 48 and he has been ordained for 4 years now. We have two children, a son and a daughter. My husband's mother, family wanted him to become a priest. He married and answered the call at 40.

I think many families who are true to the faith want a child to become a priest. But from a parent's point of view, we all have hopes and dreams for our kids. I learned the hard way those hopes and dreams usually are not the hopes and dreams of our kids.

Why, do we, as parents, have to push our children to be something? I strongly feel we need to leave them alone and let them choose what they want. It's their lives and if we were pushed that is more the reason for us to let them decide who or what they want to be.

I do agree many parents get a proud fufilled feeling as a child chooses holy orders. However I also feel many do want grandchildren. Then for those who find out they have a gay child it's a whole different story. So many times it's not as what we want.

I strongly feel we have to love and accept them for who they are and who they choose to become. We set the the seeds with religion, manners, and education and can only hope they make the best choices. So, I don't think Parents are stingy, but in the same respect we should not be forcing any career on them.

Those who are afraid to talk to your parents about becoming a priest or nun, just do it, talk to them. I'm sure they will support you. You may shatter their dreams but remember that is ok, they are their dreams not yours. Follow your heart and I wish you all of god's blessings!


#19

[quote="diamond_girl, post:18, topic:200449"]
I may get slammed for this but here goes...................I'm the wife of a permanent deacon. My husband is pretty young, we're both 48 and he has been ordained for 4 years now. We have two children, a son and a daughter. My husband's mother, family wanted him to become a priest. He married and answered the call at 40.

I think many families who are true to the faith want a child to become a priest. But from a parent's point of view, we all have hopes and dreams for our kids. I learned the hard way those hopes and dreams usually are not the hopes and dreams of our kids.

Why, do we, as parents, have to push our children to be something? I strongly feel we need to leave them alone and let them choose what they want. It's their lives and if we were pushed that is more the reason for us to let them decide who or what they want to be.

I do agree many parents get a proud fufilled feeling as a child chooses holy orders. However I also feel many do want grandchildren. Then for those who find out they have a gay child it's a whole different story. So many times it's not as what we want.

I strongly feel we have to love and accept them for who they are and who they choose to become. We set the the seeds with religion, manners, and education and can only hope they make the best choices. So, I don't think Parents are stingy, but in the same respect we should not be forcing any career on them.

Those who are afraid to talk to your parents about becoming a priest or nun, just do it, talk to them. I'm sure they will support you. You may shatter their dreams but remember that is ok, they are their dreams not yours. Follow your heart and I wish you all of god's blessings!

[/quote]

Why would you get chewed out? I thought this was on point! :thumbsup:


#20

The stinginess begins at the very beginning of their marriage when they deliberetely restrict the fruitfulness of their union, that the union then goes on to be provide a meagre harvest is no surprise.

The solution must begin in marriage formation where it should be emphasised that the purpose of marriage is children, if you don’t want children at the time of the marriage you have no business getting married until you do. The contraceptive mentality among the laity is the heart of the problem.

It is not for us to decide just how much we are prepared to cooperate with God in the creation of new life, who are we to deny Him and to refuse the gifts He offers us? Likewise it is not for a parent to decide whether their child is called to the priesthood or not, again God calls who He wills and we must accept His divine will for us and our children if we truly love Him and also if we truly love our children, for a man called to the priesthood must be priest, if he refuses Gods call nothing but sadness awaits such a child, only a parent who puts their own happiness above that of their child and above the will of God could do such a thing.


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