The Vocations Office

Written By Fr. Rob Johnson

I don’t know why the show “The Office” is so popular, I’d be interested what a psychologist would say to that, but I wonder if it draws so many people In because of the utter ordinariness of the setting.  Sure, it’s full of moments of hilarity and over the top characters, but at its heart it just seems to be a story about people going to work, getting through the day, worrying about and working through relationships…ordinary life. 

It’s interesting that the very last line of the show is Pam asking: “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things, isn’t that kind of the point?” 

After almost two years of priesthood, I think that is a darn good insight and question.  As a priest of Jesus Christ, you get to do supernatural things on a daily basis.  Absolve sins, hold Jesus Christ in your hands at Mass, claim human beings for Jesus at baptism, the list could go on. 

On top of how profound those moments are, you get reminded again and again that there’s a lot of beauty in ordinary moments too.  Seeing and visiting with the same parishioners each day at Mass, high fiving kids after Mass on Sundays, sharing a meal with families in their homes, waking up early to pray for those entrusted to you. 

There is a lot of work and responsibility placed on you in priesthood, but I don’t know how else to say it besides, the life is a lot of fun, in the ordinary moments as well as the extraordinary.  And not just with the people you know and meet, but with your brother priests as well.

I love playing golf with Fr. Mark Tracy, grabbing dinner with Fr. Jeff Goeckner, catching a movie with Fr. Chris House, going to a Cardinals game with Fr. Zach Edgar, hearing Fr. John Titus’ thoughts on life, getting together with my priest support group (quite the crew with Frs. Friedel, Stock, Tracy and Rankin) to spend a little time in front of the Blessed Sacrament and then cook dinner, have a bourbon and tell stories or play a board game.  It’s a brotherhood for which I am deeply grateful. 

I’ll close with the wisdom I often remind myself of from Fr. Walter Ciszek: that the will of God is the concrete circumstances that we find ourselves in.  God is not waiting in some far-off place and withholding His Love and Will until you figure out your life, He’s with you in the here and now, wherever you find yourself.  Every vocation is a real call from God lived out in real, concrete, ordinary circumstances.  Always remember that there is a lot of beauty in ordinary things, it’s kind of the point.