Ernest Shackleton is reported to have taken out an ad for one of his polar expeditions. It allegedly reads,
‘MEN WANTED for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honour and recognition in event of success.’
There is some question as to the historical truth of the ad, but no one questions the valour and courage shown during the actual voyage.
As I start my second week in vocations, and as the Combermere night-time temperatures begin to fall below zero, I am thinking about taking out a similar advertisement.
‘MEN WANTED for hazardous and challenging journey. Low wages, cultural indifference, long hours and spiritual darkness. Once set on the plow handle, there will be no looking back. Final rewards, so incredibly worth the sacrifice.’
The amazing part of this story is the fact that there are still people willing to make the journey of faith in answering a vocation. They do not come because it is easy or culturally accepted, but precisely because it is a challenge.
So, walk to the South Pole, or become a priest in the new millennium; both will have their moments, but one is everlasting.
Please pray for vocations. Seminarians are a hardy breed, but they need our support.
(Photo of Ernest Shackleton)