24 March 2015

Blessed Jordan of Saxony: Tips on Vocations

In preparing for a talk I need to make for our Serra District Conference this weekend I came across this article Blessed Jordan of Saxony: 5 Tips on Vocations.

Blessed Jordan of Saxony was the first successor of St. Dominic as Master of the Order of Preachers. He wrote the first work about the Order, his Libellus on the Beginnings of the Order of Preachers. He was renowned for his prudence in administration, as well as his ability to attract and receive vocations to the Dominicans. As a result, he is the patron of vocations for the Dominican Order. Here are five examples from Bl. Jordan on finding one’s vocation and leading others to theirs.
1.      Bring a friend.

Bl. Jordan recounts in his Libellus how the preaching of Bl. Reginald of Orleans inspired him and many men to join the Order of Preachers. Although little known in our time, Reginald was a well-known and well-educated cleric who joined the Dominican friars—our first “big catch.” His dynamic and fiery preaching brought the first great wave of vocations into Dominic’s fledging Order. Jordan, and his dear friend Henry, were among these.
Jordan recounts how Reginald’s preaching moved him to recognize the Dominican Order as a “sure road to salvation.” His friend Henry, though, was dragging his feet. Jordan remained determined to enter with his best friend and companion in holiness. But Henry resisted. Then one night, they searched out a church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and as he and Henry were praying there after Matins, Henry received a vision and the grace to enter the Order. Finally, on Ash Wednesday, they went together to the Dominican priory in Paris, and entered the Order. They may have been the first pair of friends to enter the Order together, but they certainly were not the last.

There is much talk about "discerning one's vocation" these days, particularly as it relates to the priestly or religious life. But this story told by Bl. Jordan reminds me of how the Apostles responded when Christ called them.

On one feast day, when he was receiving a student after the sermon and many students were present, he said to the assembly, "If one of you were going to a great feast and banquet alone, would your companions be so indifferent that none of them would want to accompany you? You see that this young man has been called to a great feast thrown by God; are you going to let him go off alone?" These words had such an impact that one student who had no previous intention of entering the Order came out in the middle and said, "Master, at your word, I join him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." And he was received together with him.
Pray for many more young men willing to accept such a call. Here is the link to the original article for the remaining ideas.

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