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  • By Ryan Wolford
    Oct 15, 2009
    "Paths of Love is recommended for all discerners." Old ladies see a youngish, seemingly single male in church and they immediately think you have a priestly vocation. And if you’re in church and it’s not even Sunday, well that removes all doubt. But is it so simple? Isn’t it possible to love the sacraments and desire holiness, and pursue it in the married life? After all, marriage involves an intimate lifelong union with an image of God, the raising up of young images of God, and no lack of daily sacrifices. Nevertheless, because of the “objective superiority” of the priestly or religious life (this is not Bolin’s idea or mine, but a strong tradition of the Church, affirmed by our recent popes), it would seem to be justified, even praiseworthy, to pursue these unless one sees a strong reason not to. The pursuit of holiness, as Joseph Bolin says, is more important than the means by which it is pursued. But that doesn’t imply that the means are unimportant. For those who are... More > serious about their religion, “What should I do with my life?” is essentially a religious question. Bolin gives a practical, while substantive guide to the question of discernment. He shows the continuity of thought in the matter from St. Thomas Aquinas all the way to the modern popes. This book, I hope, will help remedy the tendency of young Catholic discerners to take an overly mystical approach to discernment. Many look for miraculous or semi-miraculous signs from God that will give them absolute certainty in their path. But (as few of us have yet reached the mystical heights of contemplation) such “signs” too often merely affirm what we wanted for ourselves. God created us to be rational and free, and in the choice of a vocation, as in all our moral choices, he expects us to use our reason and free will, as enlightened by faith. Human acts seldom admit of absolute certitude, and sometimes what He asks of us is to dive in, even when we don’t know for sure. I'm afraid Bolin's final answer may leave one unsatisfied. This is not a criticism of his book, but of us readers. Purity of heart, he says, is prerequisite to all vocational discernment. That is, we must try to banish all selfishness from our hearts, and then apply Christian prudence to our choice. Were you looking for an easier solution? Sorry, but you were going to have to work on that purity-of-heart thing anyway. Paths of Love is recommended for any Catholic ready to seriously pursue his vocation to holiness, and to discern in which way of life to do so.< Less
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Product Details

Joseph Bolin
June 24, 2008
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.47 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6.14 wide x 9.21 tall
Product ID
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