Better take this call
WE SPEND SO MUCH OF OUR LIVES WAITING: in queues for the movies, in line at the bank, to get on the latest thrill ride, at the hospital for the test results. But one thing that requires no waiting is the call that comes from Jesus. All you need to say is, "Here I am, Lord."
Yet so many of us choose to wait. Why? Think about what makes you wait, and what steps you can take to respond. Ask yourself what you hold sacred, when you feel most true, and where you find goodness. Your answers to those questions will set you in the right direction for answering God's call and finding your vocation—the best way for you to live a holy and blessed life.
- Adapted from Take Five for Faith: Daily renewal for busy Catholics,
published by TrueQuest Communications
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Cullings from VISION Vocation Network
Catholic monks part of a secret mission to save Islamic treasures
The Benedictine Monks of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, led by Father Columba Steward, O.S.B. and the staff at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, are helping to preserve precious Islamic literary works that were threatened with destruction by militants in Mali, reports The Economist.
The secret evacuations began at night. Ancient books were packed in small metal shoe-lockers and loaded three or four to a car to reduce the danger to the driver and minimize possible losses. The manuscript-traffickers passed through the checkpoints of their Islamist occupiers on the journey south across the desert from Timbuktu to Bamako. Later, when that road was blocked, they transported their cargo down the Niger river by canoe.
The man behind the project was Abdel Kader Haidara. In 2013 he put out a request for help to digitize the more than 370,000 manuscripts, including Korans, Hadiths, and studies on grammar and rhetoric, that were brought to safe houses. He received an answer from a monastery on the other side of the world.
Father Steward of Collegeville sees digitizing these sacred texts as part of the Benedictine tradition of literary preservation dating from the sixth century when Saint Benedict of Nursia set down his Rule. “We had scriptoria for very practical reasons,” referring to the “writing places” of medieval European monasteries. “You can’t do theology without philosophy,” he says, standing in his own 21st-century equivalent. “You can’t try to be a self-sustaining monastery if you can’t take science seriously.” So, as a policy, any relevant text was copied. Over one and a half millennia, knowledge has been a matter of survival for the Benedictines, allowing one collective to pick up where another left off, in low times and in high. Today, thanks to machines, the library is copying more efficiently.
“Benedictines are fundamentally optimistic about the human project, says Father Steward. "That’s why we’re not frightened by science or novelty. When people look at what we’re doing with Muslim communities, they say, why do you do this? I say, this is the time God has given us. We can’t pretend we live in the sixth century when Benedict wrote his rule, or the 13th, or the 1950s. We live now. And part of the reality is cultures which are threatened trying to figure out how to work together on this fragile planet.”
And so, "guided by a Christian teacher from the sixth century, monks of the 21st century archive texts about an Arabian prophet from the seventh."
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Discover Your Path:
Best of VISION
Read our e-book Discover Your Path: Best of VISION Vocation Guide found on Amazon.
“Discovering our vocation in life is absolutely impossible without coming to some awareness of our own life stories and a deep appreciation of the advice and support of friends,” writes Friar Douglas Adam Greer, O.P., in VISION 2002. “Getting to know what makes us tick, what energizes us, what vision of life gives us hope, pounded-out and pulled-together in the mortar and pestle of friendship, is the process through which we come to make an informed vocation choice.”
The articles collected in Discover Your Path will help you pound out and pull together information and insights into where God might be calling you—a process often referred to as “vocation discernment.”
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