When we hear those infamous words “the call,” those of my generation think about it as something restricted to saints or vocations for the religious life. We view the words as something sacred, yet something unattainable for us mere mortals. It is left to those special ones chosen by Christ to do the “important” work here on earth.
We could not be more mistaken. God has chosen each one of us, and our unique contribution to do his work. In the Confirmation program at Saint Eulalia’s much of the program is based around the word “chosen.” Each of us is made in His image. The image of God. With that as a starting point, it could not be any other way.
“I have chosen you to be with me.”. “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” (paraphrase of John 15:16 and Mark 3:13)
So when we hear “the call” we, first of all, have to break this down to a more practical level. We don’t get just one call in our lives. There may be calls that are louder than others, which seem impossible to refuse (like my move to California recently for example), but there are many more calls which are reminders of how God wants us to live out our lives.
Perhaps I can reflect on the calls which have been vital in my life. The ones which really changed everything?
If there are many calls, then perhaps the most critical point is for me to listen more attentively so I might hear them. So instead of waiting for a lightning strike that is going to knock me to the ground to get our attention, I should instead be listening for small, still voice in the heart where God is with me all the time.
St. John Paul II always talked of small steps, of micro-conversions during each day, each one moving us in an almost indiscernible way to be closer to God. Each one of these steps moves us closer to God, as we help our neighbor, resolve an ancient dispute or love the unloved.
So the call may not be massive life event (although sometimes it can be) but can be smaller calls during each day. And the call to Holiness is a silent but continuous call which is as present as the air we breathe. Let me look for the small calls, God’s voicemails if you like, to see where I am being called today.
All calls are not equal.
The fire alarm invites us all to leave the building,
Calling us to safety and anxiety.
While the call for supper invites us to share,
With loved ones in spiritual and bodily nourishment.
Of all calls, the ones imbibed with love should never be screened out.
Because the source validates the message.
And should be acted upon.
Copyright 2019 Reflection, Poem and Photograph by Michael J. Cunningham OFS
You may re-use this material and republish with permission unless used for commercial purposes. If you are using the materials for commercial purposes, please contact us.
Please feel free to forward this email to a friend to sign up for the program at www.spiritualbreak.com or at https://materdolorosa.org/spiritualbreak/