Catholic Inklings

Musings and sharings on my devotion to an ancient religion.

Tag archive: vocation

World’s Toughest Job

This is a reprint of a blog I did two years ago for St. Aloysius Parish.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, a young woman who works for an abortion clinic has released a video of her own abortion procedure to show “a positive abortion experience” for women who are considering one. Her intent is to, “share my story and inspire other women to stop the guilt.” (See the full article from News 12 NJ here). While (even though I am an Italian, Catholic mother) I do not support people living their lives bound by guilt, I do believe that guilt is a very useful tool for knowing when you’ve done something wrong—not a sensation to be avoided so that you don’t have to acknowledge your sin. The video shows the young woman having an abortion with no sensibility of the magnitude of her action. She does not even make reference to the fact that she has just coldly and deliberately ended a life. She says that she feels, “in awe of the fact that she can make a baby.” How strange that she can separate the fact that she “made a baby” but admittedly has no remorse or sadness about killing the child.

The true horror in this is the complete lack of value our society places on human life—particularly helpless, defenseless life. It is deeply offensive on a natural level—our most basic biological instinct is to protect our young. It is devastating to those who would have children but are unable. It offends the attachment that every woman who has carried a child and loved that child before it was ever born experiences. To nurture life, to elevate the dignity of others, to encourage and protect—this is what we are made for. But, this woman is on a campaign to assist women in deviating from their nature and forgetting who they are and who they are meant to be. (The Catholic Church has a program to help women who have terminated a pregnancy to know God’s forgiveness and to seek wholeness again called Project Rachel.)

In direct contrast to this, a group decided to create a “fake job” and held actual interview for it. The requirements were things like: 24-7 work hours, no vacations, no holidays, no sleep, etc. The job was Motherhood. When it was revealed to the applicants their rouse, they expressed a deep appreciation for their mothers. It shed light on the sacrifice that mothers make every day, but with such tenderness and dignity. It’s not guilt based—because it shouldn’t be—but it expresses the deep committed love that mothers have for their children…no matter what. Even when they are teenagers (Thanks for letting me live, Mom).

Motherhood is a terrible, wonderful, confusing, delightful, exhausting, joyful vocation. It is not for the faint of heart, but it strengthens hearts. It’s not to be taken lightly or for granted. It is one of the most perfect expressions of how God loves us that there is. To all mothers, and all who would be; God has given us a great gift—the gift of valuing human life like God does—unconditional, unending love. Let us be a force in the world to share that gift and to lovingly help others to share it, too.

The Master Would Not Approve

When I was a kid, my dream job (besides working for The Peace Corps) was to write for a show called Mad Movies. If you’re old like me, you might have seen this show on Nickelodeon in the 80’s. The show was old movies with new soundtracks dubbed over them to make them hilarious. I thought making fun of old movies would be an awesome job; that’s what I wanted to do that with my life. You know… or work for the Peace Corps…

 
Well, I didn’t do either. I wound up working for the Catholic Church. Though I teach and write a lot, and both of these venues necessarily include humour.

 
When I was in high school another show came into my view: Mystery Science Theater 3000. It was like Mad Movies, but with robots! And you get to hear the original dialogue, which is often as funny as what the guys added. Many of the jokes become staple phrases in my home, and my family watches episodes on YouTube together as often as we can.

 
My younger son recently said, “Oh no…I’m growing up to be Torgo.” (Don’t ask me why—I can’t remember and I probably forgot on purpose.) Both of my boys periodically approach me awkwardly reaching for my hair while humming the Torgo Theme. We are all in agreement that The Master would not approve of most of the things that happen in our home. When I ask the kids a question, the answer is often a whiny, “I don’t know!” in the style of Zap Rowsdower. And, even though they haven’t seen “Devil Fish” yet, they know that when I sing the modified “Juicy Fruit” theme, that it’s from there. I enjoy having been able to share MST3K with my children, even if it means that, since we’ve started watching them together, it’s inspired my little peanut gallery to comment on every TV show or movie that we watch.

[Read blog on Geekdom House]

But Not Gigolos

The other day, while chatting with my family, the topic of politics came up. Yeah, yeah—you’re never supposed to talk about politics or religion, but God knows it’s impossible to avoid either of those topics in my house! We spoke of our disgust for our current political state—how there is no party that represents our beliefs and values consistently, and our need for GOOD politicians. My mother said, “Maybe when Ben grows up, he could get into politics. He’d be a good politician.” “Not my son!” I snapped back. The thought of my son being in the midst of that element was too much for me. Ben asked why and I said, “Ben, I would support and be proud of you in almost any line of work that you feel God calls you to. Almost. Not a drug dealer, or gigolo, or politician, or anything like that.” And then, in a clearer moment, I got to thinking…how selfish is that? Not the drug dealer or gigolo thing; but my not wanting him to be a politician. If that’s where God calls him, I have to be okay with it and pray that he would be a good one.

[Read blog on St. Aloysius website]

It Is Your Destiny

fortress-of-solitude-superman

If you were brought up on superheroes and sci-fi, and if you were brought up Catholic, then you probably have an excellent understanding of destiny. You knew from an early age, or at least suspected, that there is something special about you, and that you have a particular role to fulfill in this life. You were born for something great.

Every hero knows, sometimes from within and sometimes because they were told, that there is something that they, and they alone, must do for the salvation of the planet. Superman, Luke Skywalker, the various Green Lanterns, Spiderman—pick a hero—they have an understanding that the power they have been given saddles them with a responsibility to change the course of history. They didn’t just grab their tights and go for it, though. They struggled, hung out in quiet solitude, engaged in a discernment process with people of better understanding and let their calling grow in them until they were ready to find their opportunity to strike out.

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