Blog Template Theology of the Body: Vocation, Vocation, Vocation III

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Vocation, Vocation, Vocation III

Two helpful books which I think are especially comforting to anyone facing any sort of discernment, one particularly good for women, and another one for men, and each good for both! (I am SUCH a gender essentialist)

1. Discerning Vocations to Marriage, Celibacy, and Singleness

This little book is amazing; it's good for completely undressing your soul and seeing what's really there in terms of desires, existential quiddity, and potential. I loved it; the whole idea is to apply personalist views and a very tender view of the human heart to the discernment process, and to order all under the love of God. Think of it as a lots of appointments with a very gentle spiritual director.

2. Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul

This book by John Eldredge took the Evangelical crowd by storm a few years ago; it's the product of a poetic imagination, a lot of enthusiasm about What It Means To Be An American Male, and a lot of confidence in Whatever Drives You (oh dear). The whole thing could be vastly improved by some systematic thinking on matters of just how reliable our fallen hearts really are, and the proper meaning of "freedom," qua "wildness," etc. There is a sad dearth of references to definite examples of godly manhood in the Tradition- where did we ever get off talking about "a Christian husband" without a fundamental reference to Jesus Christ, for instance?- but I appreciate Eldredge's allowance that women have a "wild heart" too, and a capacity for adventure. Read it if you need courage before facing the other stuff.

3. And perhaps The Best One: Decision Making and the Will of God. Its just wonderful- very full of Biblical wisdom, and thoughtfully critical of a lot of half-baked trends in the Protestant discernment process.

Happy Reading!