The 1966 essay “Vocation” by Hans Urs von Balthasar, previously unavailable in English, appears in the Spring 2010 issue of Communio. (Original title: “Berufung.”) Read the full article here (pdf), and the Introduction to the issue here.

From the article:

Today, qualified, contingent assents cripple vocations everywhere like mildew. People either want to commit themselves only for a time (and thereby take away from God the possibility of being able to dispose over the whole man), or only for a certain kind of work they have in mind, that attracts them or seems timely (and thereby bind the hands of their ecclesial superiors, preventing them from disposing over those under them), or often, say, in world communities, already draft the group’s statutes in such a way that they allow for such half- or quarter-readinesses, and are content with this. Everywhere that this takes place, one asks only initially and superficially what “the Church” needs, or even what “our time” needs, or even worse, what today’s priest or religious “needs” in order to develop his personality harmoniously, and no longer, what God needs. . . . full text (pdf).

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