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Men's Real Vocations Are Not Their Careers

I discovered this great, short article written by Jennifer Fulwiler of the Catholic Register. (To check out her awesome blog click here.)  Here is a snippet:
"It's a tricky situation. For the dad who is the sole source of income for his family, part of being a good father certainly involves bringing home that paycheck. He has to take his job seriously. Unfortunately, though, this idea is too often expanded to mean that men have carte blanche to put their work-related goals at the very top of their life priority lists. Their stay-at-home wives have the "sacrificing career goals for the family" stuff covered, so they're free to pour themselves into the workplace."
 To read the rest of the article click here.

The Question Everyone Asks

"What do you do?"
This is the question that I have heard thousands of times in my adult life.  It is the question of our American society, the question that everyone asks at any birthday, graduation, baptism, confirmation, and holiday party.  In many ways this question is an indirect statement of the supreme American idol, careerism.  At first this question was the guiding force in my discernment of a career.  I only wanted to select a career that made me look good in front of others.  Anything that was deemed too menial or commonplace I would reject since it made me look "less than" in front of others. Later on as I came back to my faith, I realized that a career although important is not the sum of my vocation as a husband and father.  My primary responsibility was to serve my wife and children, not my career.

The Dilemma

The difficult reality is that our American Society is not family friendly.  To rise up in one's career one often has to make enormous sacrifices which means giving up time spent with family.  To make matters even worse men who place their families ahead of their careers are often times scorned in their workplaces.  Men are often faced with the dilemma of either choosing their careers or their families.  As a society we need to reform this mentality and and create a society that is more family friendly.  (I will write a post on some of my ideas in the near future.)

As a man I take my career seriously.  I take pride in the fact that I can provide a decent home for my family.  However, I am also ambitious by nature and I want to be the best at what I do.  I want to make tons of money and live in a beautiful home. I want to witness to others through my success. But often times this is not what God wants. This might be what America wants. This might be what my friends and family want. But ultimately what God wants from me is to "seek first his kingdom." Once I do this then everything else will be given to me. 

In Conclusion

The best way  in which I can serve Christ is through faithfully living out of my vocation as a husband and father. Ultimately the Lord wants me to decrease in order that he can increase in my life.   The Lord wants me to rely more on him than on myself.  The Lord wants me to be more like St. Joseph who always placed the needs of Mary and Jesus ahead of his occupation.  Once I do this then I will have something more important and greater than a career; lasting peace and future sainthood.

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