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Vocatus

July 26, 2013
Having just taken my solemn vows to the priesthood, I’ve been reflecting on being called, on how God calls us all to more than we are, to live into our gifts for God’s kingdom.  My reflection has taken me back down the road which I traveled to get here.  Along the way, I spent years finding reason not to follow God’s call.  Through it all, I consistently recorded my thoughts through writing in my journals and writing poetry.  So I am revisiting some of that writing.
 
This is a poem I wrote many years ago, as I was wrestling with God and with my future, with the many years spent turning aside from the deep call of ministry.  I started discernment shortly after this time. 
 
One of my favorite quotes is this:  Vocatus atque non vocatus, deus aderit, which translated is Bidden (called) or unbidden, God is presOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAent.  The quote was famously carved above Jung’s door (and painted in my own house, as a reminder), and he said this about it:   “It is a Delphic oracle though.  It says: yes, the god will be on the spot, but in what form and to what purpose?  I have put the inscription there to remind my patients and myself: Timor dei initium sapiente [‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’]  Here another not less important road begins, not the approach to “Christianity” but to God himself and this seems to be the ultimate question.” 
 
For me, vocatus is God calling, God present, God inviting and luring.  Like Jung’s insight about approaching God, the journey to discover our charisms is perhaps one of the central tasks in our life in God.  We begin by listening, for God’s call begins with silence, with creating space in which to hear.  In hearing the call we begin to enter wisdom; we enter the Mysteries. 
 
Listen…what is God calling’s to you?
 

Vocatus

 
Like the crisscrossing trunks of the trees on the lawn
my mind wanders here and there.
Grounded by my roots
          of what it means
          to believe, to worship, to be the body of Christ
but growing upward toward open sky.
New horizons pull me to the blue.
 
Sometimes I feel separated from the root,
or split, as these trees are,
into two arches reaching skyward and sometimes weighing each other down.
All those branches grow each spring
with leaves prolific,
an ever expanding canopy that
filters the sun and the rain
to the green grass below.
 
How can I resist growth and yearn for it at the same time?
I feel both weary and alive,
tired of upward movement
yet energized to see farther into myself,
into this crazy world.
 
A restlessness that never leaves me,
that I must use,
toward the elusive Something More…
I’ve grown pale these many years,
settling at the roots and ignoring the sun that always calls my name.
 
Always.
 
I turn to the dark,
prefer the cloudy days.
The light hurts my eyes;
it scares me to have to look at myself in such
Brightness.
 
And yet.
And yet this call,
to move toward what was always meant to be,
toward the pain and surrender of being myself,
of living into who I am and am to be.
 
I can no longer bear the safety of silence,
must move into the light,
must feel the stretch of bone and muscle as they grow,
the flex of movement.
This tension is leading me
toward wholeness
toward myself, toward the world.
The holding back is hurting me now.
 
And so I let go.
 
I fall into the open sky,
into the great Unknown,
and I begin to dance, heart and soul,
to the divine Rhythm of call and celebration and creation
made Whole.

From → On Faith

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