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 Post subject: Good book for vocational discernment
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:15 am 
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Sons of Thunder
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Hans Urs Von Balthasar, The Christian State of Life.

In depth discussion (and if you know anything of Von B, you know what I mean by "in depth") of Catholic theology of vocation. He says that every Christian has a vocation, a "State of Life" to which he or she is called, either priesthood, religious, or lay. Investigation of the relationship between the three states, theological, historical and literary background, etc. Book is well organized. This one is for those who don't mind getting hands dirty with some deep writing--it's 500 pages long. I worked through it slowly, starting late summer, finishing up this December. Has stuff like this:

Quote:
It is only because God's love for us is so infinite and undivided that we are commanded to love eternal love in return with all the powers of our being. But love does not urge itself or its self-giving upon the beloved. It inquires into the will and wish of he beloved and regulates the degree of its self-gving accordingly. To love with all our strength does not mean indiscriminately to drag into the house and throw at the feet of the beloved all the outward and inward gifts that we possess. To do so might prove embarrassing to the beloved. At the very least, it would be indiscreet, and might well result in the rejection and return of these untimely gifts. This does not mean that love cannot from time to time offer a gift of friendship, perhaps as a surprise. But, for the most part, the gift proper to it is to place itself and all it possesses at the disposal of the beloved, allowing him to decide, to choose, what will be given to him. This presumes, on the part of the one who loves, a disposition of self-giving that is no less perfect than that required for a literal and voluntary renunciation of all one's possessions. True love is radically and fundamentally disposed to renounce everything so that everything may be held in readiness for the first sign of the will of the beloved. It is ready to follow any path, whether rough or smooth. It is ready to follow the way of the commandments as the way of the councils. Such a love is perfect even when the ultimate gift is not required of it. It is perfect as the servants in the Gospel are perfect who, whether their Lord comes or not, stand throughout the night with girded loins and burning torches. Those who love in this way listen for the voice of the beloved whether the call comes to them or not.They are content even if more is not demanded of them as it is of other, more privileged, souls. They accept it as a sacrifice not to have been called upon to sacrifice all that they were willing to sacrifice. pg.56-57

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:34 am 
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Jedi Master
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If 500 pages sounds like more than you care to work through, you can try Michael Scanlon's What Does God Want? It's a much more basic (yet still helpful) look at how we can learn what it is that God wants from us.

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Need something to read?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:02 am 
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Jedi Padawan
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That does sound good, but Scanlon's might be a better place to start off. 500 pp. of von B would really tickle one's brain.

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"Beati estis cum maledixerint vobis et persecuti vos fuerint et dixerint omne malum adversum vos, mentientes, propter me. Gaudete et exsultate, quoniam merces vestra copiosa est in caelis; sic enim persecuti sunt prophetas, qui fuerunt ante vos." Mt. V. xi-xii


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:13 pm 
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Sons of Thunder
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By the time you get to the Von B, I think you pretty much have your vocation discerned already. You are reading him just to see what he has to say about it. Which is a lot of good things, and I emphasize the word a lot. It's a standard text at the major sem here.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:20 pm 
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Sons of Thunder
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Fr. Groeschel's book SPIRITUAL PASSAGES is considered a classic. It is a medium size read, easy on the eyes and mind, but has many gems in it. It was recommended to me by a nun whom I engaged in conversation one day at the wedding of good friends.

I thank her for telling me about it.

Brother Ed


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