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Formation – Consequences of saying ‘NO’ to vocation, Fr. E. Busuttil, S.J.


Let’s think a bit and see what the consequences of this no may be; in what position do they place the young and where are these “vocations left on a whim” usually going to lead?

1) Consequences for the individual

God had prepared religious life for me and planted in my path a series of graces, motions, and helps that would accompany me step by step, help me and finally lead to salvation and who knows if to holiness.

I, because of me, of my own free will, I refuse that path and set myself on another. How will I find myself? Certainly, I will have those sufficient graces that God does not deny to anyone, nor will it be absolutely impossible for me to save myself, but will I have those effective, superabundant, continuous graces that God had prepared for me in the other life and without which my poor nature, already so weak, probably will not be saved except with great difficulty and with much effort?

I do not know! Certainly, the mercy of the Heart of Jesus is very great and can even reach that point. But we cannot demand it as we could claim it if we followed the path that He himself has offered and prepared for us …

It may be that God has foreseen that you, in the world, will surely condemn yourself, and then, to save you, He gives you the vocation and takes you away from the world. In such a case, if you do not follow the vocation of God, would you not go straight, because of you, to a certain ruin?

The fact is that generally these young people end up in sin and the most exact and palpable confirmation of the well-known proverb is made: “the corruption of the best is the worst”[1]. Finding themselves immersed in a state of continuous remorse, they seek to drown it by giving themselves, more exaggeratedly than the others, to amusements and “distractions.” They often take the position of the indifferent on matters of religion. They start by abandoning prayer, then Association and then … everything else.

And not only that, but they will also be the eternal off-center. They will not know how to be good parents or good husbands or good householders, because they are not made for that; his path was another. Moreover, many times heaven punishes them precisely for what they have left the vocation for, which, almost always, is some love or the desire for marriage. They will find themselves “unlucky” in precisely that: a complacent, sick woman, often surprised by a premature death, sick or too unruly, disobedient, disrespectful, and often impure children.

2) Consequences for Jesus

It must have been a great disappointment for the Heart of Jesus, who looked at the young man of the Gospel with effusion and love, to see him leave … sad; hear him say no face to face.

Here is what a fourteen-year-old boy wrote to me about this:

“I believe, Father, that we cannot imagine how much the Heart of Jesus dislikes when he calls a young man and he refuses to follow him and does not respond to his call.

How many are called! But how few are those who follow the voice of God! On the other hand, how happy he must be when he finds a generous soul who wants to follow in his footsteps and says: Yes, I will follow you to love you always, since you have loved me so much! Thank you, Jesus,!

Yes, Father, I want to suffer for the Sacred Heart. And who will not want to sacrifice himself when he thinks a little about the love that Jesus has for us and all that he has done and does for the love of his creatures? Well, what does it matter that I suffer a little for that Heart that loves us so much?

3) Consequences for the Church and for the world

A book said: If Saint Patrick had not said yes at the age of fourteen, when he felt the call of God, would Ireland be Catholic today? If Saint Francis Xavier, who baptized hundreds of thousands of pagans, had not responded to his vocation, where would all those souls have gone?

And if Don Bosco, Don Orione, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Francis of Assisi and so many other saints had said no to Jesus, where would be all the good that their institutions and their holiness have done today?

I am not San Francisco! Do you think perhaps that the saint was already holy when he accepted his vocation or that he knew then what God wanted to do with him?

Saint John Bosco used to say that around each priest gravitate a certain number of souls entrusted to him from all eternity and that he has to save them. If he does not reciprocate, those souls will be left without a pastor. Other young people will be called, it is true, but they will have to save “their” souls.

Let us show the young man how much good will depend on his generous and loyal YES, and on the contrary, how much irreparable destruction can come from a selfish NO.


[1] “Corruptio optimi, pessima”.