Fr. Jaques Philippe’s book, Called To Life, is providing me with a lot of material to consider. It also fits with my concurrent reading of Maria Cilley’s book, Sink Reflections.
Over at Suscipio, where a group of us are reading Called To Life together, we responded to several questions from chapters 1 & 2: HERE. Today I blog on one of those questions.
1. How does pride keep us from responding to God’s smaller, everyday calls?
Pride says that the little things do not matter. The problem with this is that little things not done make the big things impossible. Pride ends with an enslavement to the messiness that our homes become– and this is a battle for me.
Pride is often accompanied by Fear. Pride and fear block us from responding to the mundane tasks that are part of our vocation and cause a narrowing of our sphere of life.
Fear can freeze us into inaction. Perfectionism is a combination of fear and pride and tells us that if we cannot manage a task perfectly then we should put it off until we can. Marla Cilley, in her book Sink Reflections, demonstrates that our cluttered homes are often the result of our perfectionism. She urges homemakers to take 15 minutes and no more and collect clutter to be tossed in the garbage or given away. It goes outside and is GONE, never to bother the home again, and the perfectionism is bypassed by the timer. Letting go of pride and fear is an exercise in humility. Imperfectly done work will eventually bring us to a place where we are free to respond to other calls from God.
Fr. Philippe writes of the many mundane inputs that can be understood as representing those calls from God. There are the large inputs, such as our major vocational decisions. My call to marriage gives a broad general shape to my life. I can see right away that my husband has input into my vocation and I have come to enjoy consulting him on adding or removing activities from my life. I find his input is often objective and accurate. My entire family can be a source of input into my vocation. In their needs, I can discern the call of God on my life. God uses my marriage and family to help me heed His call.
Our creator places in us traits that are clues for us to recognize His call. What do you like to do? While not every interest is part of our vocations, some will be. My opinion is that God allows us quite a lot of leeway in discerning His call and He will use whichever of our interests we develop as a path to our serving Him.
I write, I love to write, I am fairly good at writing. Writing is part of my vocation. Learning to write in the midst of the distractions of an active family has been part of my vocation. This blog helps develop in me the discipline of writing and gives me an opportunity in a wider sphere of influence than I could otherwise enjoy. This and other activities help to shape my vocation and provide me with guidelines for recognizing what is and is not part of God’s call.