Last Tuesday Pope Francis met informally with a youth vocation group at the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican gardens.
“Our Lady is so important in our life. She accompanies us in our life’s decisive choice, our vocation choice, because she accompanied her Son on his vocational path which was so hard, so painful. She accompanies us always.
When a Christian says to me, not that he doesn’t love Our Lady, but that it doesn’t occur to him to seek Our Lady or to pray to Our Lady, I feel sad. I remember once, almost 40 years ago, I was in Belgium at a congress, and there was a couple of catechists, both university professors with their children, a beautiful family, and they spoke of Jesus Christ so well. And, at a certain point, I said: “And devotion to Our Lady?” “But we have gone beyond that stage. We know Jesus Christ so well that we have no need of Our Lady.” And what came to my mind and heart was: “But … poor orphans!” It’s so, no? Because a Christian without Our Lady is an orphan. Also a Christian without the Church is an orphan. A Christian is in need of these two women, two Mothers: the Church and Our Lady. And to make a “test” of a correct Christian vocation, one must ask oneself: how is my relation with these two Mothers, with Mother Church and with Mother Mary. This is not a “pious” thought, no, it is pure theology. How is my relation with the Church, with my Mother Church? And how is my relation with Our Lady, who is my Mum, my Mother?
This does us good: we must never leave her and go on our own. I wish you a good journey of discernment. The Lord has his vocation for each one of us, the place where He wants us to live our life. But we must seek and find it, and then continue to go forward.
I would like to add something else – beyond that of the Church and Our Lady. We are living in a culture of the provisional: yes this, but for now only. Will you marry? Yes, yes, but only as long as love lasts, then each one to his own home again …!
A Bishop told me that a young man said to him: “I would like to become a priest, but only for ten years.” The provisional is like that. We are afraid of commitment. And to choose a vocation, any vocation, but especially those vocations of state: marriage, consecrated life, the priesthood, one must choose unconditionally and with commitment.
Very good. In this regard, I think that one who has his way securely marked out is the Pope! Because the Pope …. where will the Pope end up? There, in that tomb, no?”
A poor translation but an important message,