Help Wanted

As with any family, there are certain expressions that you hear frequently inside a monastery.  One that sticks in my mind is, “nothing goes to waste.”  When living under a vow of poverty, it’s amazing how creative you can be in using and reusing ordinary items.  Necessity is truly the mother of invention and there is a certain satisfaction in “thinking outside the box” to meet the needs of the house. 

But sometimes you don’t have all the parts and pieces to solve a problem.  Sometimes you need advice and assistance from others.  Sometimes God gives your sister, your friend or neighbor the solution you need to accomplish what He has asked you to do, simply so you can have the joy of humble collaboration.  One sister’s empty bottle becomes another sister’s water or paint container for her art.  One sister’s experience may give her the insight to solve another sister’s problem.

When I finished my aspirancy and returned to life outside the cloister, this mindset stayed with me.  Conservation took on new meaning and I was excited to continue the challenge of “thinking outside the box.”  But just as with the sisters living in community, God gives us family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ with whom we may collaborate and from whom we may seek counsel. 

Help Wanted SignSo, I am asking for your advice and assistance.  There is a real problem impending vocations, including mine.  If you’ve been following my blog, you know that up to nearly half of those men and women discerning priestly or religious vocations in the United States have student loans.  Recent studies indicate that many religious communities have to ask serious discerners with educational loans to delay their applications, or turn them away altogether.  Imagine having up to nearly twice as many possible vocations, just by overcoming this one problem! 

My fellow aspirants and I have spent a great deal of time and prayer discerning our vocations with our respective dioceses or religious communities and have all been accepted to enter, except for this one hurdle.  We are working full time, have minimized our living expenses (some of us have moved back with parents or are residing in discernment houses), and have embraced the opportunity of inviting others to support vocations with The Labouré Society.

My question, dear readers, is this: how can we better partner together to foster these vocations to the priesthood and religious life?  Is God inviting you to take a more active role in promoting and fostering vocations?  Do you have a gift or talent God wants you to contribute?  Is there someone you know who may be interested in learning more about vocations and The Labouré Society, someone I or one of my fellow aspirants may contact?  Perhaps God has given you an idea that seems “outside the box,” but which we can work together to bring to fruition.  The possibilities for creatively solving this problem together are endless.  So please share your insights and talents and invite others to join us – imagine what we could accomplish for the Body of Christ through collaboration!

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