Monday, April 14, 2008

Declining vocation - a cause for worry

Encourage vocation by example

We just celebrated Vocation Sunday on 13 April 2004.The acute shortage of priests is a real worry for our Church all over.This is due to a tremendous lack of interest from our youngsters to answer God’s call into priesthood and religious life. There is also a loss of passion in our respective vocations whatever it may be. Our profession has become a means of income and not a vocation. In general we have become more passionate and loyal to the monetary rewards rather than the real substance of our profession.

Christian education traditionally instilled the right values at an early age. The decline in this education over the years is a major cause of the loss this passion in our vocation. The Church is losing out on this very important obligation in continuing proper Christian education for the younger generation.

Decades back we witnessed the love of Christ alive in our community in the various Christian institutions. We had the mission schools, hospitals, and orphanages, homes for the aged, schools for the disabled and halfway homes for the wayward. We were taught serving men was the way Christianity has to be practiced. In fact this unique feature of service to man was what differentiated the Christian faith from others.

Today we cannot proudly claim to have these institutions of Christ’s love anymore. Many of these institutions like hospitals have become business enterprises where only those who can afford seek treatment. They are functioning against the true spirit with which they were set up – to serve the poor.

Today the emphasis has shifted to more self-centered activities of prayer, meditation and rituals aimed at imploring God to help us in our daily lives. We have become more like our brethren from other denominations and faiths. We memorize the bible and recite prayers but paying little attention to their meaning.

We have prayer sessions, petitions and all forms types of formations to entice young men and women into the priesthood and religious life, but will these alone be sufficient? What we really need is role model, in parents, teachers and clergy.Regretably this is sadly missing these days.

Life has become materialistic and the quest for wealth a necessity. In the intense competition for material gains we seem to ignore the all important duty of instilling good values in our children. All we do is instill the attitude to complete to do better that others and in this race moral have little relevance.

Over the years our priests and religious too have alienated themselves from the masses so much so that they have become indifferent and insensitive to the needs and plight of the people. Instead of being the servants they have become the masters of their parishioners.

There is a need for our priests and religious to reach out to the masses. Unless they bring back the love of Christ alive into the community, they will not be able to attract the young men and women into their flock. The passion for vocations must be instilled in our children from a very early age not by preaching but by our own examples.

Dr.Chris Anthony

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