Two resources for vocation discernment have come into my ken the last few days, and both are well worth sharing.
Kyle Heimann is a young married American musician, graphic designer and father, among other things, who has an almost Australian cheekiness. He is just released a micro-book, Choosing the Right Urinal, as a help to discerning a vocation. He finds, as you might have guessed, that a “restroom” can provide more than one metaphor for vocational discernment and indeed for the spiritual side of life in general. It takes no time to read, bears re-reading and reflection, asks some very good questions, makes some very sound recommendations, and it’s free online!
One word of warning: it is a very blokey book. It is written by a man very much from a man’s point of view and experience – the very title gives that away. Nevertheless, women should not feel that they cannot read it with profit. Its principles are universal. But there is no allowance made for feminine delicacy. No blushing please.
The second resource derives from a document given to me by Fr Christopher Jamison OSB of the UK National Vocations Office. It is short essay entitled Vocation Discernment: Three Approaches. The author, Joseph Bolin, examines the insights of St Thomas Aquinas, St Ignatius Loyola and Pope John Paul II and uses them to refocus vocational discernment from “What do I want to do?” to “What am I meant to do?”. The unifying thread is the love of God, both our love for God and God’s love for us. Lest it appear to be rather too theological, I can assure you it is quite readable and accessible. Indeed Bolin gives some excellent practical insights into the marks and signs of a vocation which are eminently sensible and sound.
Some online searching has led me to the website of the author, Joseph Bolin. He is a theologian and now also a seminarian in Vienna. So you can read the article I was given here, though it is actually a summary of a larger work of his, Paths of Love, on vocational discernment which you can read here. His website is excellent and full of resources for those still considering a vocation to religious or priestly life, though the principles apply to the discernment of any vocation. Look through it at your leisure.
And not to forget – HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!
UPDATE 2 July 2012 – Joseph Bolin, currently with us for a conference on vocation, is a seminarian no longer. He was ordained by the cardinal in Vienna last week. Auguri, Padre! as the Italians would say. And of course, ad multos annos.