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Bishop reflects on the ‘seduction’ of vocation

Bishop Francis Alleyne

GUYANA

Sunday, April 21 was designated Vocation Sunday and from that day until May 19 is Vocation month.

In sharing his own thoughts about vocation, Bishop Francis Alleyne OSB of Georgetown referred to the text from the prophet Jeremiah where he says, “You have seduced me, Lord, and I have let myself be seduced; you have overpowered me: you were the stronger” (Jr 20:7).

Vocation, the Bishop said, is like a seduction, where seduction can be seen as being taken in by or brought under the spell of someone or something and ready to surrender to it.

He observed the word ‘seduce’ or ‘seduction’ is more often associated with romance where a person is captivated by another, or two people by each other, and it can be a complex mix of motives that stirs the attraction: a person’s appearance, their personality, their interests, the sense of certain chemistry.

“But we can also be ‘seduced’ by popular trends, by fashion, music, social media, material gain or winning people’s attention and adulation. More severe and threatening and even destructive seductions can take the form of compulsion or addiction e.g. to substances, to gambling,” Bishop Alleyne said in his message via Catholic Standard.

He said, over these days, as faithful are invited to think on the notion of vocation, it would be “worthwhile” to pause and identify and name the things that hold our attention, the things that occupy time and energy, the things or the people that are gravitated towards, especially those things from which a sense of identity or worth or acceptance is gained.

Bishop Alleyne observed some of the sources that faithful turn to in their reflection on vocation are the lives of the Saints, the lives of founders of religious congregations, people who followed the spirituality of the founders and others who were “seduced” by the Lord and aspired to live their lives with fullness, resolve, integrity and in service and for the good of others. To this end he invited faithful to ask themselves “What is the spirit in each of our hearts? What is the fire within? What are the ways that we are prompted to follow the example of Jesus?” as they reflect on vocations.