VOCATIONS AND THE TRAMPLED VINEYARD
“And now I have set foot in thy gates, O Jerusalem ...”
the Mass Exodus
of Vocations following Vatican II
vineyard has indeed been trampled and the hedges breeched. It
is undeniable except to the most doctrinaire of those who pulled
down her walls and whose disaffection from the Church remains as
virulent as the Psychedelic miasma of the 60’s that still hovers
as a pall of smoke over the ruins. The swath of the destruction
of Religious Life ... consecrated life lived in community as it
had been for well over 1000 years ... in the name of “Renewal” ...
has been so overwhelming as to render the Church effectively unrecognizable
from a mere generation ago. Vestiges remain, but they are vestiges
only, redolent of a continuity no longer grasped, and in large part,
no longer construed as real.
All that had been holy within had fled when the walls were pulled
own in the
that became a requiem”
— and the world rushed in, pillaging what was sacred, and leaving
in its wake profane litter and utter desolation — a mausoleum of
dreams that once flourished in a monastery.
We still await the “renewal” 50 years later — even as we
watch our Churches close and our monasteries crumble. We had traded
vestments for vests and habits for habiliments. We went into
the world and we became the world’s own. We became of the
world, converted to the world, sanctified every obscenity
and called it holy, placed the self, and no sacrifice,
on an altar of our making ... and declared the “Renewal” a success
But winds are stirring in the East. The generation that wandered
for 40 years in the desert can now, at long last, see beyond the
Jordan ... but they themselves who had been feckless with God will
never cross it. Another generation will gather up our bones and
cross that bourne. It is our children who will proclaim that,
the Lord brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter; and our tongue with rejoicing!”
(Psalm 125.1). Our captivity to the world may well be at hand, our
exile from the land of our fathers at a close. It is not us, not
us, but our children who will utter as at the end of an arduous
“And now I have set foot within thy gates, O Jerusalem!”
Do not, then, be discouraged
by the paucity of present vocations. Did not Christ himself say,
are called, but few are chosen”?
Our Holy Mother St. Colette said, “The
end is approaching, many are called but few are chosen. Many
solemnly pronounce their vows, but alas, how few there are who are
faithful to them, and in these vows faithful to God who knows
A life lived with God, in God, for God, calls for nothing less than
conspicuous heroism, unflinching courage, unfailing love —
in short, a total response to God's invitation.
Not in numbers does strength and power reside, but in love Christened
as holy, for God Himself is holy; in the unstinting self-giving
of the soul to God, “Qui potens est”
as Mary joyfully declares in her Magnificat!
Do not be afraid that you are little, have little ... for it has
pleased Christ to do great things through that which the world esteems
small and insignificant.
Ours is to trust, to hope and to pray, in obedience to
for holy and zealous vocations to the Priesthood and Religious life
— for the fields are, perhaps as never before,
“white to harvest”!
“Who is mighty”
(St. Luke 1.49)
2 St. John 4.35
A Poor Clare Colettine Nun