The Apostleship of Parenting

The Call

The Catholic Church makes a big deal out of being “called” for religious life.  If you’re not called, then you’re stuck saying , “paper or plastic,” the rest of the your life.

“Call” comes in many forms.  Creation calls us to life and that call continues today.  A “Call.”  Kinda of an old fashioned word.  Rotary or touch?  Mail or email?  Facebook or Twitter.  And, called to what?  A different way of life?  Or is it transforming the life that you now live.  (My vote is on the latter.)

Religious people need to preface their vocational talk with the “The Call.”  A good “Call” story to be told around the supper table is very helpful if you wish to succeed in religious life.  If you weren’t called, then why are you here?”  Or, how do you answer a telephone call that hasn’t rung?

I never received this “Call.”  If the line was busy then perhaps God tried the next guy on the list.

Parenting

I have yet to meet a parent who embraces having a child as a “Call.”  The “Call” is often cold and quick.  This small thing in front of you needs your attention, like, right now.  And that releasing sigh before falling asleep, forget about it.  The “Call” has been summoned and a response needs to be given.

Parenting.  Underrated along with numerous advice – and all with no solutions or remedies; this growing being in your humble home just continues needing attention (and food) and seems to learn at a rapid rate.

Learn.  What I really mean is absorb.  These tiny creatures are zapping into themselves every syllable that is uttered.  They will house these new-found words and hold them and repeat them back to you because you told them to them.  Rascals, they are.

Toilet, feeding, more feeding, lots of sleeping, more toileting, answering the “Why?” question 14 times a day, homework (more homework than you ever produced) until they begin needing transportation and the journey continues forward.

“Call.”  The apostles of Jesus left their fishing jobs, which they probably didn’t like in the first place (since he didn’t ask all the fishermen to join him), they will doubt everything that you say (sound familiar, oh parent out there?), not understand a thing that you’re saying (“Don’t use such big words, mommy!”), not talk to you for months (“She just doesn’t understand me”), fumble along with you through towns and villages (“How many more miles, daddy?”), and when a final, loving time arrives they will disown you (one of them the first pope, by the way) (“I’m working through my parental issues in this support group”), and at your crucifixion they are not even  present (“Oh, mom, the work is unbelievable and the flights are all full”).  After the resurrection they will recognize you (only after multiple introductions, “It’s me, your dad!”).

Finally, after you’ve left this glorious world, they will say, “Wow, that’s my mom up there.  I’m proud of her.”

Proud and scared, parents enter the world of the “Call” and respond to that “Call” through their children.

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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