Take the Risk: Join In the Adventure of a Lifetime!

Posted: 9/14/2015

Wilmar Zabala, vocation counselorOur Vocation Office mails information packets to those who inquire about a Glenmary vocation. It contains attractive Glenmary magazines, brochures and prayer cards. Also included is a vocation assessment form, which is a series of general questions about a discerner's education, family, faith, health and values. His answers help us get to know him. They also help us know which topics we need to focus on in follow-up discussions to help him in his discernment.

There is one section in this form that always gets my attention: "Excuses that I have used for not pursuing my vocation up to this point." Why? Because I have noticed that discerners consistently check off these two particular excuses:

1. "I'm afraid I'll fail."
2. "I've made mistakes in my past."

Allow me to offer this food for thought:

"I'm afraid I'll fail."
In his book Mother Angelica's Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality, Raymond Arroyo mentions Mother Angelica's "Theology of Risk." He quotes her as saying, "We have lost the theology of risk. There is an inner confidence that we've lost. We've lost zeal. We've lost guts. Unless you are willing to do the ridiculous, God will not do the miraculous." It's normal to be afraid, but the problem lies in doing nothing when you are afraid.

The risk taking into which you are challenged to dive is the same as that faced by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa). She was a nun who wasn't discouraged when told that she couldn't possibly take care of all the poor people in the world.

It's the same risk taking as that for St. John Paul II, who as a seminarian never gave up his dream of becoming a priest, even at a time in his country when a public display of faith was a crime punishable by a sentence of slave labor.

Certainly, both had their failures, which they used to motivate themselves instead of letting them harden their souls.

Are you afraid to fail? Don't be! Sometimes a healthy dose of failures that make you cry, forgive, let go, grieve and accept vulnerability are useful in forming your character and motivating you to do something worthwhile for yourself.

"I've made mistakes in my past."
God is a God of wonders! If you are open to change, God will make all things new. God always has the last word!

Remember: unless you are willing to do the ridiculous, God will not do the miraculous. Take some risks and join in the adventure of a lifetime we call Glenmary Home Missioners.