27 March 2011


I am in the midst of a very vocational weekend. Friday was the anniversary of my ordination, and this weekend is our 3 To Get Married Retreat for engaged couples. On top of that has been Love and Responsibility Week, which has been all about marriage in its earthy and heavenly manifestations. It is blessing to live this way: vocationally. I do realize, however, that most people do not. On the other hand, I actually have to temper some of the enthusiasm for vocational living that appears in some of the devout students I work with. It can become overheated!

Yesterday, we had a speaker on campus from BYU whose thesis is that friendship is a far better basis for marriage than emotional passion. He was speaking empirically using the sort of research data that a place like Vanderbilt believes in. I was comforted that his conclusion was much the same as the point I had made in my first Fireside Chat a few months ago, and I didn't have to do all the research. (Faith is such a shortcut to truth and happiness!) The same path is really true for vocations to the heavenly wedding feast -- priestly celibacy and consecrated virginity: intimate friendship with the Bridegroom. And such intimate friendship takes time.

To live vocationally, begin the hard work of emotional intimacy or friendship, as non-academics would say. The emotional fireworks are so much more realistically launched from this foundation and can better sustain the long haul of committed love.

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