How is it that the poems of a 17th-century aristocrat still resonate with us?
Even in the secular imagination, dying has become a vocation.
If your mother is drowning in one location and two strangers in another, should you save your mother or the two strangers?
Nussbaum, a psychiatrist who labels himself a “bad Catholic,” delves with religious fervor into the mystery of his calling to serve people who suffer. Guided by mentors like Basil of Caesarea, Hildegard of Bingen, and Stanley Hauerwas, he envisions medical care as a precious craft honed by the development of virtue.
Cultivating character is the lifelong work of evaluating and choosing between various virtues. It's difficult, and it’s our calling.
Reading about Henry Marsh’s vocation to neurosurgery, I thought about my own calling as a minister. I was startled by his depiction of detachment from patients.
Are the rest of us so different from our brothers and sisters in Libya or in Charleston? Are they heroes with whom we can never identify?
The feast of resources on discipleship, faith and work, and theologies of vocation continues to grow. Doug Koskela provides another serving, this one intended for young adults.
My brother is nine and I am ten. Wood already obeys his hands when he asks it gently to work with him.
Ministry is incarnationally specific. Pastors are called to see their place and people with God's "lover's eye," and to love them for their particularity.
"People sometimes come in guarded and defensive. But they want to be understood, and they want to minister well."
One time at a women’s retreat, I was asked to tell my call story. I told this woman the whole, convoluted story—about serving as a missionary in Japan, about being restless in my work and volunteering for leadership roles in my church, about discovering old journals where I had written about my desire to study theology, about my memory of sitting in church as a teenager and hearing the pastor give the sermon and saying, “If I was a man, that is what I would want to do.” I told her that it had taken me a long time, but I finally realized that God was calling me to be a pastor. She was not impressed.
David Keck offers a refreshing addition to the conversation about vocational expectations. Eugene Peterson’s vision of holiness resonates with Keck, but Keck takes a different tack.
The thing about preaching and pastoral care is that we often recognize our own problems in everyone else. I suppose that’s why pastors are so often hypocrites—we’re always preaching about our own issues. Then we have to live with the words that we doled out.
I was sitting in a seminary classroom, taking part in an internship program, and the professor was waxing eloquently about calling. It was all good. She was quoting Frederick Buechner and Howard Thurman, and describing vocation as our deepest joy and what makes us come alive.