For many years, I have been contending with a call to the vocation of deacon, and stepped into a focused period of discernment about eighteen months ago. That process has continued, and I’ve entered into a sort of formal process for continued discernment, both on my part and the part of the church. Long conversations with the director of vocations, and the first of many extensive questionnaires. This have encouraged a great deal of meditation and continued prayer on my part. The formation period is extensive and rigorous: four years of study, with coursework completed in parallel for the completion of a masters degree in theology. This in addition to my existing responsibilities: husband, father, and employee. I trust that with the grace of God I will be be led through this process, or perhaps out of it completely. I have but to surrender, you see, confident that He will not take me anywhere that I can’t contend without His grace. Lead Thou me on indeed.
As for reading…well, when you ask the director of vocations for reading suggestions, you’re going to get recommendations on a whole new level. My reading for foreseeable future is going to consist of The Incarnate Christ: A Thomistic Study in Christology by Thomas Joseph White, OP and The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology by The Very Reverend Adolphe Tanquerey, S.S.D.D. The first author is described as “a stud” by Father, and the first few pages are certainly studly. He said that the Tanquerey book took him the better part of a year. Like I said: a whole other level. Luckily I have some business travel starting shortly, so there’ll be some flight time and hotel evenings to fill.
Update: after a four-hour late-night flight, I’m about 150 pages in. There is lots here to unpack. I’ve certainly read more about the hypostatic union than I have in my life to date.
I’ve also tossed Making Small Groups Work into my bag. There seems to be quite a bit of interest in small groups at our church (for a variety of interests, by a variety of groups).