With this issue, after reflecting for two weeks what vocation is and how to discern one’s vocation, we would like to follow it up with a third article on how to remain faithful in one’s vocation. However, I do believe that the third question could not be answered fully by just one article. So many forces are at work or should be permitted to play in order that we could remain faithful to our call and this issue does not pretend to answer everything. Let me cite two of them in addition to to my reflection found in the head article.
First and foremost, we need God’s grace. It is said that it takes three persons to make a marriage work - the husband, the wife and our Lord Jesus Christ. Prayer is important and not just individually or in private but praying together. As the saying goes, “the family that prays together, stays together.” This is still valid. The presence of our Lord in any loving relationship is essential. We must remember that we love “because He has loved us first” and He has shown us what true love consists of - “offering one’s life for one’s friends.”
Another important factor which should be permitted to work is the community. It has come to my knowledge that priests who “dropped out” from the ministry do so, not primarily and directly because of women, but because of the failure of the community, especially of his fellow priest, to stand by him in his darkest hour. Usually as in all human crisis, it is the first and the softest shoulder available that one could lean on to, that wins over. And so it is in marriage, for when the marriage is on the rocks, the counselor is cautioned (so we were taught) to be extra careful less his counsellee fall for him. Thus, during this period of crisis, the presence of the community, especially that of their fellow married couples who are in a better position to understand his or her situatuion, is of great help.
Hence, in all cases, solidarity with God and with others are important so that one could remain faithful to his/her commitment - to his/her vocation. Most often the crisis in the vocation comes because we have not really allowed God and our community to become more involved in our lives. It can also be that this insufficiency stems from our wanton disregard of each others plight because all of us are minding our own turf, living in our own world and not caring much about others who are suffering. We must remember that we are called as a community and we could not really grow in our faith apart from the community. In any vocation then, the presence of God and our community is essential if we wish to remain faithful till the end.