Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Due to the German band I play in and the German dancing Daughter does, we have performed at a fair number of Catholic venues. Something that has really struck me is the ages of many of the nuns and priests "in-training". They are just so YOUNG. We played at a retirement home (which was a blast), and I swear that the novices couldn't have been over eighteen! They looked so fresh-faced and happy. At another event, there were a couple of new priests that had to be in their early twenties. I overheard one of them passionately talking to a parishioner about some sort of research he was doing. His energy was infectious. What they all had in common, though, was their joy in their vocation. I look back to who I was at eighteen, and I couldn't be farther from that ideal. I was talking to another band member and we both couldn't get over how these young nuns could have already decided the rest of their lives. Sure, they can leave the Order (and I would posit most Catholics know a former nun or two), but I would imagine they enter the Order with the plan to stay. I think of that young priest with all his excitement over life and how he has chosen to frame it. I think any religious leader would tell you that it is not an easy life and it truly is a calling. I just can't imagine making that decision at such an early age and within a religion with so many boundaries. But, maybe that is exactly what they are looking for.