VOCATIONS AND HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

During July, I spent a couple of days helping out with two vocations retreats run by this Diocese: the Fiat camp for teenage girls and the Quo Vadis camp for teenage boys, both held in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The Vocations Office sponsors these camps every July to help teenagers listen to the Holy Spirit and use their own intelligence and relationships to discern God’s callings in their lives, whether married life, calling as a religious brother or sister, single life, or priesthood for the young men. I saw in the hundred or so campers for each week, as well as in the nuns and seminarians who assisted at the camps, a joyous devotion and desire for the true adventure of faith. Throughout the day, they prayed together, listened to people who are currently living the
different vocations, discussed their own thoughts and experiences, and enjoyed sports, games, and wonderful meals together. It was truly an inspiring time for them, and for those of us who helped out.

When we look at newspapers, television, internet news, and the like, we often see a world torn by violence and crime, weighed down by greed and decadence, weakened by materialism and isolation, and oppressed by various forms of tyranny, whether overtly repressive regimes or what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called the “dictatorship of relativism” in the West. We can easily ask, as the Psalmist does, “why do you stand off, O Lord?” or “how long shall the wicked exult?” Psalms 10:1, 94:3. But then when we turn to good families, gatherings of the faithful, and the apostolates of the Church, we see the Almighty God providing His response.

The powers of the world will exult in their little triumphs, fight each other for dominance, and try to suppress the light of heaven. But in the humble, simple people who live out their faith and assist each other on the way to salvation, God is not only maintaining His kingdom on earth but preparing for a better world. And so, when I was there at this camp for the youngsters, who are the future of the Church and the world, I saw God’s answer to the chaos of the world in their divine and humble joy at serving Him and His people. I saw what Jesus meant when
the children came to Him and He said, “To such as these belong the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:15.