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My story

Ade is just finishing his first year of formation with Capuchins. We are praud to be able to share his story and reflection on vocation.


 

Dear all,

It is a great privilege to share some of my story and understanding of vocation with you.

My name is Ade Green, I am 37 years old and a postulant of the Great British province of the Capuchin Franciscans. I am in Ireland taking part in the joint postulancy program living with the friars at Raheny.

When I began reflecting on what I might have to share with you in regards to vocation I was led by the Spirit to try and distil some of what I have learnt about this over the last 7 months. It seems to me that in order to discern what God may be calling each of us to it is important to have an understanding of what vocation might mean.

Vocation, I suggest, is the call of the Lord to becoming who we truly are, a cooperation with God in the discovery and living out of our wholeness with and in Him who created us. It is a matter of being rather than doing. I am convinced that the journey of vocation offers an opportunity to walk into being completely alive and catching glimpses of our selves the way that God sees us.

In deepening the awareness that God called me by name, that He knows me and knit me together in my mother’s womb, affords me the courage to look into myself and to live out the life that I discover there. That being that I have discovered, that me-ness, is one of the ways, I believe, that God speaks to us, and the call to vocation is here in who I am.

Throughout my life I have heard whispers of and encouragements towards my vocation, in the moments when I have surprised myself in the choices I have made. I moved from my home town of Plymouth at the age of 24, a little lost and not too sure of where I was heading. Friends and those I considered wise, suggested that I might be suited to nursing. I looked into it, and my first thoughts were that if I were going to try and be with people in their time of need I wanted to be with those who others did not want to be. On the same day I came across an advertisement for jobs in a Mental Health hospital. Where I then worked for some years. It is only in recent months that I have seen that this is quite a Franciscan thing to think. A whisper and an encouragement that was heard through discovering something new about myself This suggests to me that the directions of our lives and the getting to know ourselves are some ways in which God calls to us.

Another interesting moment in my life occurred when I was around 12 years old. I was visiting a Monastery in the South West of England called Buckfast Abbey, there they have a Monasticism museum. I wandered a little way from my parents, and was probably a little bored, when I came across a mannequin dressed as a monk. Once I had recovered from the initial surprise, I was caught in a fascination, there seemed something slightly weird but very compelling about this figure. I decided to introduce myself to him in that very English of ways, a handshake, to my horror his hand came away in mine, I stuffed it under his habit and made a quick escape. Again I see this as a whisper of myself, I have never forgotten that encounter and remained fascinated by the idea of men and women living their life totally for God.

In my later teens, I, like many of my peers, drifted away from the life of the Church. I didn’t make any particular decision, but I was beginning to find community with my friends and social groups that I wasn’t finding in my Parish life. However, I never lost faith that God existed in some form or other, and that I wanted to know Him and see Him. My road back to the Catholic Church was somewhat winding and often painful, but once I had listened to my desires with an open heart I realised that I needed to return.  Once I had gained a sense of being at home, and having found a community of people who believed much the same as I did, I began to consider this thing I was hearing about – vocation.

I came to understand quickly that this call from God is for all of us. That we are all named and called by God to discover who we truly are and to walk humbly with Him in our uniqueness. When I think back on this time I am always reminded of the passage from Judith, Let all thy creatures serve thee, for thou didst speak, and they were made. Thou didst send forth thy Spirit, and it formed them; there is none that can resist thy voice. Once we have begun to hear the voice of God in the many ways that he speaks to us, through our brothers and sisters, through our person, through our story, how can we resist His voice? I for one cannot, and I have endeavoured to follow what I have heard, and of course am still hearing.

My vocation is a great gift, one that is being revealed to me every day, it is the means by which I can come to know God more intimately, and to love Him more deeply. Consequently I can also know myself, others and all of creation more intimately and love them with a deeper and more Christ like love. It is the greatest love affair that I can have, and as a wise person once said ‘love will do anything’.

I would like to leave you with a few words of Thomas Merton:

“Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice out there calling me to be something I am not. It comes from a voice in here calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfil the original selfhood given me at birth by God.”

May the Lord ever give you His peace, please pray for me.

Ade Green

 

Postulant

Postulant Ade