With it being the second Tuesday of May, Fr. Vince Kuna, C.S.C., has sent in his latest post in his series Diary of a Mountain Priest, chronicling his adventures as a parish priest at Sacred Heart Parish in Colorado Springs, CO.
Last month, I welcomed Fr. Jim Gallagher, C.S.C., Director of the Office of Vocations for Holy Cross, to Colorado Springs. In my role as vocation mentor, I arranged for him to preach a couple Sunday Masses. We also spoke to freshmen and seniors at St. Mary’s High School and capped the week with a visit to our parish’s Youth Ministry Group. Both Fr. Jim and I remarked that we enjoy working through the discernment process with young men, helping them to realize God’s plan for them.
I liken the discernment process to a well-told comic book story … where an ordinary man gradually realizes he possesses some truly extraordinary powers. Geeky Clark Kent realizes he is Superman. Peter Parker puts away his reporters’ pen and spins webs, etc. This has even trickled into literature of a more explicit Catholic nature. Anne Rice writes in her Christ: The Lord series about Jesus of Nazareth who from an early age slowly begins to learn (with good tutoring from his mother) he possesses a divine nature and will soon be superhero for all of humanity. Even the Archdiocese of New York promotes as its tagline for priestly vocations: “The world needs heroes.
With due respect to the City of Gotham, I’m reminded of a line from the writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Show me a hero, and I’ll write you a tragedy.” Indeed, recent years brought to light some grave sins from a few of the Church’s priests. In vocation mentoring, my approach is not to look for young men who are the coolest amongst their peers. For at this pivotal moment in the Church, She doesn’t need rock-stars or even heroes, but holiness. I ask any inquiring young man one initial question: “What path in life do you think brings you closer to God and by extension, other friends and family closer to our Lord as well?” When they intimate an answer in the context of holiness, they can then begin the path of discovering what vocation God is calling them to.