"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.
Friday, March 05, 2010
I must say...
Every so often I come across blog posts discussing vocation discernment issues. On occasion I note that some people seem to have an almost old fashioned protestant ideal of either/or when it comes to state in life - either marriage or priesthood (or religious life). I've also noted their insistence that single life is not a vocation. I suppose that is true on some level, despite the fact it is a state in life. But what if single people are single because they can't get married, or can't enter religious life, not to mention can't become a priest? And what if they don't want to? See - I don't like that type of authoritarian judgement call. To the ordinary old maid or bachelor loser, it can sometimes sound as if there is no universal call to holiness - as if single people have no place at doughnuts and coffee table in the church basement.
That said, I often think of a mentally challenged woman from a downtown Minneapolis parish. (I don't know what to call people with mental disabilities now days - I don't want Sarah Palin people suing me for using the "R" word.) Anyway, let's call the lady Mary Kate. No matter which Mass I attended, morning, noon or evening, Mary Kate was usually there. I've written about her before, I'm sure. Mary Kate had physical problems as well, and I have no doubt she was abused during her lifetime. She lived in a group home or nursing home near downtown.
Mary Kate seemed to me to be a sort of fool for Christ. She would regularly shout out corrections to fellow worshippers as they came into Mass - especially late-comers. I usually got yelled at for wearing shorts - otherwise she was nice to me - I think. Oh wait, once she yelled at me to get away from her when I knelt in her row - I think she knew I had to get to confession. She also had a habit of crying out, "I want to be a nun in Rochester! I want to be a nun in Rochester!" (I sort of enjoyed that.) She prayed all of the time and sometimes she would pray out loud, begging the Lord for mercy, while it wasn't unusual for her to weep. When sympathizers moved in to console her she hissed them away. (Fools for Christ are not always nice.)
Anyway - I no longer go downtown for Mass, so I don't know if Mary Kate is still there or if she may have died. She was obviously older than me, and of course single, and I'm assuming she had no family.
Obviously, the poor thing never even had a vocation either.