It is meant to keep us from preferring abstractions to reality. ResourcesCultivating Imaginary Loves and Real Hatreds It is to make sure that we arent loving Chinese rice farmers we have never met while secretly and actually hating the spouse who wont leave the living room couch. To do so is, as Screwtape urged, a perfectly devilish strategy to create within us, completely imaginary loves and utterly real hatreds, all the while never suspecting a thing. God, if he loves us, will not permit us, prophesies Bonhoeffer, to live, even for a moment in a dream world. Instead, his ardent affection will shatter illusions we hold about community so that we drop our pet projects and cherished aspirations for the communitys future in favor of embracing what and whom he has placed immediately before us. God Makes our Neighbors Chesterton understand another angle of this as well when he surmised, We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbor. Hence he comes to us clad in all the careless terrors of nature; he is as strange as the stars, as reckless and indifferent as the rain. He is Man, the most terrible of the beasts. That is why the old religions and the old scriptural language showed so sharp a wisdom when they spoke, not of one’s duty towards humanity, but one’s duty towards one’s neighbor. Neighbors are the actual people with whom we shake hands. They shave in the morning, and drive pick-up trucks which theyll drive too slowly while you are in a rush. They might wear too much perfume, or else wear a cute pair of shoes you wish you had. They have an address which might be eerily similar to ours. Or an office right next door.
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I can turn to more private, contemplative habits such as reading, writing reflective memoirs or walking meditation. Some call this a focus on being rather than doing. Fourth, some retirees are moved by gratitude or other reasons to see their retirement vocation as giving back. They look for ways that seem right for them to be of service to their families or to the community. Its not so much a need to be busy and active as it is a need to be useful. A friend has found great meaning in mentoring a young man through adolescent years and now the young man is prepared to launch a promising career in the arts, thanks in large part to the older mans patient, time-intensive mentoring. Retired persons intent on giving back find useful, creative ways to serve, shaped by their talents and passions as well as their vision. Some retirees will see themselves in one or another of these types. Others blend two of them, maybe more. One older retiree we know moved through all four as his vision changed. He started by taking another demanding job, then got tired and quit and did nothing, then found himself deepening into a contemplative practice, and that moved him to a self-giving service opportunity. There is a lesson here. As aging and retirement progress, our living vision affects not merely outer changes in the way we arrange our lives.
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The.ocation of a doctor or nurse might be healer. The vocation of a dietician might be nourisher. AC Associate Professor of Music Debra Brubaker 79, in a Jan. 23, 2002, chapel service about her faith journey, spoke of her battle with cancer that helped her to see her life and faith and music in new ways. Subscribe to the ShoreLines’ Newsletter All Contributions are Tax Please join us in offering prayers of thanksgiving for our generous benefactor who made this website possible. Our mission is to develop servant leaders for the church and the world. Roman Catholicism recognizes marriage, single life, religious, and ordained life as the four vocations. 3 not in citation given Martin Luther, 4 followed by John Calvin, placed a particular emphasis on vocations, or divine callings, as potentially including most secular occupations, though this idea was by no means new. 5 Calvinism developed complex ideas about different types of vocations of the first type, connected with the concepts of Predestination, Irresistible grace, and the elect. In other words, we have to believe that God knows more than we do about what will make us truly happy. In former times it was the custom for noble families to place their younger sons in the seminary or some monastery without considering the tastes or qualifications of the candidates, and it is not difficult to see how disastrous this kind of recruiting was to the sacerdotal and religious life . Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. He discovered the concept of servant leadership and it has transformed his life. There is no paved main road to take us where were supposed to be no path set in stone carved with our name. Cyprian, “De habit virgin um”, xiii P.L., IV, 463; St.