Question of adding up. The new call for the animation of vocations: “The ‘fragrances’ of the vocations ministry ..." (4/10)

The pastoral ministry of animating a vocation and animating vocations today focuses on the proclamation of the "vocation kerygma", that is, on the announcement of life as a vocation. Catechesis, homilies, the celebrations of the sacraments, the liturgy of the hours, the popular devotions, the liturgy of the Word, etc., will be profoundly evangelizing insofar as they are vocational.
Fabián Martín Gómez Pastoral | 2018 Nov 29

Who has not walked into a garden and stopped to smell and enjoy the pleasant smell of flowers? When we are attracted in a special way to the aroma of a flower, we stop before it to retain that fragrance as much as possible. And, if it is in our hands, we pluck that flower that conquered us with its perfume and we take it home to enjoy its aroma longer. Of course, in a couple of days the flower withers and loses its pleasant essence little by little; we would like to have more time with its good smell, but everything has its end. We do not always have a garden from which to pluck flowers. In this sense, the aromatizers and perfumes come to replace the good smell of the flowers with which we try to set our living environment.

Regarding good smells: Have you ever wondered how a perfume is made? Surely yes. And possibly "google" has solved this curiosity. However, let me say something briefly. There are many methods to obtain perfume, but I will mention one in particular: distillation by evaporation. In this procedure, large quantities of natural products such as flowers, plants, roots, etc..., are subjected to cooking at high temperatures. After evaporation, the oil that keeps the aromatic essence of those elements is obtained by distillation. To get an idea, you need, for example, two to three tons of roses for a one hundred milligram perfume bottle.

Well, today I would like to talk about perfume or the good aroma of the animation of vocations. It is as if, after an effort of more than fifty years -from the Second Vatican Council until today-, we are little by little understanding how to reach the essence of the animation of vocations. During these years, large amounts of human and material resources have been used to dedicate them to a task not of distillation, but of the search and discernment of what is essential in vocational animation. In fact, the "blessed crisis" of vocations that is so widely spoken of in different areas of the Church has been like the fire that has given way to the boiling of creativity in the Spirit. Thanks to this sometimes difficult and disconcerting process, but full of trust and hope, little by little the "fragrance" of the pastoral care of a vocation and vocations is being given.

Perhaps it is a bit daring, but even so I venture to say that the "environment" where the good smell of the animation of vocations is spread is what we commonly call the "vocational community". The vocational culture creates and recreates that environment that vocations need to take root, grow, flourish and bear fruit. And what perfumes this environment is the proclamation of the vocational kerygma. Yes, the vocational kerygma is the distillate that collects the fragrance with which we set our Christian communities, especially when a bad odor has sneaked into our culture or the vision of man without a vocation.
What is this fragrance that perfumes our Christian communities and that we call "vocational kerygma"? A diocesan priest, Emilio Lavaniegos, defined it beautifully in his masterpiece, The vocational kerygma: "Your life is not the result of chance or error, it has originated in love and has been created by God. Therefore you can be sure that you are unconditionally and definitely loved. This original love has imprinted an order on your existence, according to the model of Christ. Your life has an objective meaning that you need to discover little by little. It is a gift that is not exhausted in yourself, because it is ordered towards others. Developing that gift is your task. When you assume this design and this direction, your freedom acquires a new sense, absolutely original. "

The animation of vocations has the mission and task of setting in place the odor of this certainty of faith-vocational kergyma-that cannot be silenced in the Church. The pastoral care for the animation of a vocation and vocations is to spread the announcement of life as a vocation. It is about reaching all of us who are the people of God to accompany them in the response to the beauty of God's calls. Yes, I say calls because God the Father never tires of calling us, after all God the Father is the eternal lover who calls us to live a response of love.
Therefore, all the activities aimed at living, celebrating, sharing and witnessing to the faith and the living encounter with Christ must be flavored with the perfume of the announcement of a provocation: what does Jesus want from you? Answer: "Here I am, Lord." Any activity that claims to be evangelizing will be beautiful to the extent that it exhales the good aroma of Christ that passes by, stops before you, looks into your eyes with love, calls you to follow him and awaits your free response. Catechesis, homilies, the celebrations of the sacraments, the liturgy of the hours, the popular devotions, will be strongly evangelizing insofar as they are deeply vocational.


Fabián Martín Gómez, Augustinian Recollect

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