Sunday, May 25, 2008

Enthusiasm is Important

Last week I was away for a somewhat belated post-Easter break. I was pleased to go to the Pyrenees with some young men who are considering a vocation to the priesthood. Unfortunately my camera's battery needs to be re-charged before I can access the photographs so I'll have to wait before posting about the trip.
Meanwhile, here's my response to the penultimate question for the recent article on vocations:

Q. What more do you think priests could do to promote vocations?
R. When I first told a priest I was thinking of the priesthood I was sixteen or seventeen years old. For me it had been a hard decision: I was giving up my life, handing over my future. As priests we should think about how we would react today if a young man presented himself in similar circumstances. He may or may not have a vocation. But he should be received warmly and with encouragement. At some point, like Peter, he may be overwhelmed by the sense of his own unworthiness. Like Peter, he needs to hear the words, ‘Do not be afraid’. Sometimes as priests we do not recognise how important our response will be. It may be too soon to pop champagne corks, but we should be very, very careful not to put someone off by our indifference or lack of enthusiasm.

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