Father Kyle Schnippel has posted his most recent column for the Catholic Telegraph, on the joy of a vocation to the priesthood, on his blog. I though about the subject of his column this evening.
Our parish has adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every Monday until 9:00 pm. At 8:00, we pray the rosary, followed by prayers for vocations. We pray for priests, seminarians, and those called to the consecrated life.
Not everybody is called to a vocation as a priest. Some are called to live as married people, and some are called to live as single persons in the world. But all are called to holiness, and I think that all are called to joy. Those called to the priesthood undergo more discernment and make greater sacrifices. One would hope that they would have a more thorough spiritual formation. The rest of us need to take some time for discernment and formation, too.
Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that we all received in baptism and confirmation. Priests, by virtue of their typically more thorough formation in Christ, are more likely to be filled with and radiate that joy. But the rest of us can and should find that joy as well, one that is, in Fr. Schnippel's words "not an effervescent bubbly joy that would sour quickly, but a deep sense of purpose. . . ." As a husband and a father, regardless of what other apostolates I might be involved in, God has given me a purpose. It is in the daily sacrifice of self to that purpose that joy is found.