Some of our pre-show talking points didn't make it on the show, so I'm following up with a blog post. This also helps me synthesize what we talked about, and remember it better. Hopefully this blog will become a regular thing. Let me know in the comments or on Twitter, @CatholicPat.
We talked a lot about St. Francis de Sales's book Introduction to the Devout Life. I really suggest it, it's such a good book. It is available from Lighthouse Catholic Media for $6.
Ethan and I talked before the show about a line of scripture from the Parable of the Sower and the Seeds, "Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." [Matthew 13:8; RSV-CE]. St. Augustine, and others after him, have interpreted that verse as meaning the three vocations: Married/Lay life, Religious life, the priesthood. In other words, priests have the potential to gather 100-fold, religious 60, and laity 30.
I told Ethan I took issue with this. He defended the position by pointing out that priests are responsible for the guidance of hundreds of souls while a married man is only responsible for a dozen at most. If both live out their call to evangelize all of their souls, the priest bears more fruit than the lay man.
I find it hard to believe God would call a person to bear "less" spiritual fruit than another person, and I think this verse is meant to illustrate that even if you're a seed that fell on fertile ground, you're not done with the growth process, and there's a chance you'll fall short of God's call for you.
On today's show, Ethan made the point that living your own vocation takes precedence over pursuing whatever devotion you see as "holy," because holiness is different for every person. This means that if you live out your vocation, no matter how materially insignificant it seems, you are bearing the most fruit spiritually. Conversion of people is still, in some senses, a material measure of success. If you were born to bring your wife and only child to Christ, and you did that, you are bearing more fruit than someone who only brought 50 out of the 100 people to whom they were called to minister.
Do you agree with me? Sweet. Do you disagree? Let me know! Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow Ethan and I on Twitter, and LISTEN TO THE CRUNCH NEW EPISODES ON SUNDAYS.