He Aspires

He Aspires.

Aspirant.  My son is an aspirant.
What, you might well ask, is that.
Well, I will tell you, and I should do so with fair warning that this may well begin a series of blogs about this subject.  Because its a lot for us all to process, not the least of which is me.  And you all know well that I process through blogging.
But I digress.
Anyhow. My son is an Aspirant.

That is what it is called when your son is seriously considering life as a religious, with an order.  In this case, the Dominican order.
It’s the step before the formal application, sort of an understood verbal or written “notice of intent;” which means he’s let them know he is seriously considering this and they said “Good news!”.
Now that may seem huge to you.  Or maybe not.  But if you knew my son, you would know that he does not make decisions, any decisions, lightly….not even ordering a chicken sandwich.  So when he called them up and said he’d like to be considered an aspirant…..he might have well as jumped off the cliffs like the divers in Mexico.  So it feels like a big darn deal to him. And it is.  It does to us too.

Oddly, and on an inconsequential aside, we all keep getting hung up on the pronunciation:  “aspire- rant” “as per ant?”.  Ok, maybe its just me.  The vocations director says it as “aspire-ant”. I suppose this most apt.  But my years of reading too many books tells me I should pronounce it like “asper-ant”.  Though one of my girlfriends tells me that pronunciation reminds her of someone who has aspirated something and is choking to death.
Maybe that’s not the image we are going for.
With that visual I suppose the vocation directors version is better, eh?
I suspect my hesitancy with the speaking of this word reflects the hesitancy of this new thing in our lives.  In my sons life.
And yet, even so, its not hesitant at all, really.

I know in my very bones and deepest corners of my soul that he is made for this.  Indeed, I know and believe he was made for this, from the beginning.
I think I knew it before he did.
But maybe all moms say that.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Or him.

That running ahead is part of the difficulty with all this.  He has to discern slowly, listening and praying and listening some more to hear the will of God.
Sounds like a tall order, no?
I mean, we aren’t talking audible voices, or voice, like the classic Bill Cosby routine about Noah. Although come to think of it, listening to that routine on the radio on long car drives unfailingly made my sons just fall over laughing.  Maybe I should’ve taken note?  Anyhow, the point is that this discerning thing is a tender nurturing thing.
It’s his call.
Oh, so literally.  It is his call.
And while I could see it coming, yeah, a long way off and his dad and I saw it sooner than he did….its still his to discover, unwrap and examine with wonder.  And he is.

If you want to know what its like…well obviously I can only say what I see.  But…on his part, in some ways, it seems its kinda like falling in love.  I see that same rush of wonder and excitement and quiet marveling wow.  His eyes sparkle and his words spill over as he describes what’s “so cool” about this or that.  It makes me grin to sit and listen to him.

So.  For now, his dad and I watch and listen and pray for our son as he prayerfully considers and discerns Gods call.  If you’ve a mind to, please pray for my boy.  And maybe throw one or two prayers our way too as his dad and I look ahead to this special road, filled with different challenges and joys and very big adjustments for us all.

Because what WE aspire to, for our son, is for him to joyfully step forward into whatever life God is offering: teacher dad plumber or priest.

* Note: this post is not precisely real time. I wrote it months ago. But only have permission, now, from Chris to post it. And so I will, a short series perhaps, about a rather unique process and time in all of our lives. *  

15 thoughts on “He Aspires

  1. I am so glad this is now general knowledge. No parents could have prepared a child better to say “yes”, if that is his vocation.

  2. this is a really beautiful, thoughtful post. definitely keeping him (and this process) in my prayers. what a special calling… what an amazing time in his life!
    keeping you in my prayers too, coffeemom :). you are a good, good mom!

    • Thanks sweet becca. It really is an wondrous time for him, and for us. It is a beautiful road ahead but not without difficulties. Aspirant is pre-application (that post coming up…:) ) . so, those prayers are really appreciated, for us all!

    • Sonja, I know! It’s really cool. Father Benedict is the Vocations Director and Chris says he’s just great. Those Dominicans…gotta love them…and even tho Aspirancy is the bare beginning….a thinking of applying….it was a huge huge step for our Chris. But, it’s beautiful.

  3. Awesome…so happy to find your blog…

    I am a Catholic mom to (currently) 6 – we are adopting a child with special needs from Eastern Europe in the next few months…

    My oldest son graduates from hs tomorrow… And I have had an inkling that his 20 month younger brother (now a junior) just might also have a vocation to the priesthood…will keep your aspirant son in my prayers…

    • Carla thanks and hello, nice to meet you! Glad you found me, now I get the fun og going to see your blog too. And thanks for the prayers for my son! Will put you all on my prayer list too! Thank you for saying hello and following!

  4. Just sitting here having lunch and your beautiful blog post, family, and, Son’s possible calling just popped into my head!! When that happens I will be praying for you all. I know I have shared books that I have read, with you, here on your blog. While eating lunch:-) both the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and the Diary of a Soul(Saint Therese Lisieux) came to my heart and I felt I would share with you, again!

    In reading these books, especially, The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in my Soul, Saint Maria Faustina shares in her words, as well as the words of Jesus, how important chosen Religious are/were in helping the world know of Jesus Divine Mercy, they were so encouraging for Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska. In the Diary of a Soul, St. Therese Lisieux also shares how important her “confessor” was in guiding her in journey……I don’t know why, BUT, I just thought of you and your family while thinking about these Saints during lunch!

    I have been a cradle Catholic, going on 53 years:-). It is only since becoming older, and, an adoptive Mama, and, struggling in many areas of my life journey, which includes my Spiritual journey that I have come to realize the precious Treasure God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit continue to provide through their chosen Religious. I also have been amazed time and again in the Old Testament regarding the gift of the Priests God gave us all, as well as, again, in the New Testament, God’s Son, our Savior,Jesus!! I have received such a H U G E blessing through my quiet time with God and His Word. AND, I have also just such a new found reverence for the chosen Religious….they are truly a Sacrament for all of us, in my humble opinion….an outward expression of God’s love for us, here, on earth.

    May your family be blessed in many ways as you journey along with your precious Son, he will be Blessing and be Blessed!!

    Thank you for sharing, and, such a JOY to visit your blog!! Happy summer to your family….and, for all of us in the Body of Christ we will continue to lift your Son and family in praise and thanksgiving to our Father who continues to provide us with His amazing Gifts!!! Peace to you….

  5. This IS a big deal. Really special. I’ll be praying for him. The Dominicans are very close to my husband’s heart — he spent all his time with them at the Dominican House of Studies in D.C. when he was studying at CUA and if he’s had a vocation to religious life, they would have been it. Hey, maybe Chris will come to Washington at some point and you can visit him and I can finally meet you in person! I’m thinking selfishly here. Anyway, back to Chris… I’ll be eager to hear how things go for him and your own process as Mom though out…


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