One of my best friends is brilliant. He must be one of the most erudite and intelligent people I know. He is actually a genius. Yet, he is mostly hidden from the world, working hard, having his wife and children as any good dad, and husband, as a priority.
He is one of the "good men" kicked out of seminary in the rough days of liberal and gay mafias running Irish seminaries. Too many men were discouraged from following their true vocations by narcissistic priests who, frankly, lost their Faith and followed all types of "isms".
These priest lost touch with reality, the reality of God's Kingdom on earth. Because of their personal sins, they discouraged and even dismissed the best of the lot in seminaries from Dublin to Rome to New York to Davenport to San Francisco. The loss cannot be regained, as many, like my friend, chose another way to serve God.
I have another friend who is a lost vocation. Yes, this happens. He, too, was refused for orthodoxy.
He found his way in the Church through teaching and writing.
Those priests and bishops who lost their first love of Christ, who lost touch with the beautiful mysteries of the Catholic religion have no clue as to the gems they tossed aside.
I think of my several male friends who were asked to leave the seminary, or not accepted because of being real Catholics as lost as well in some sad way. The talents, the gifts, the call God gave them could not be realized in this world. They were called to holiness and to wear the indelible mark of the priest into heaven.
I have also met women who knew they had vocations but in days gone by, before the resurgence of the newer traditional orders, could not find an order which was in habit, obedience to Rome, and not into New Age nonsense. These women, like the men, were called to serve God in a specific role denied to them by the sins of others.
Those called but unable to follow their vocations live in a daily suffering, knowing that the doors shut cannot now be opened. I pray that God may, before these men and women die, give them peace and a deep consolation of His love that even this terrible suffering is part of God's plan.
Those closest to me live in England, which, like Ireland, saw some of the worst abuses in seminary training in the 1990s. May God forgive those who rejected these men and women. May God open doors, even towards the end of life for these chosen ones to live as God, in His Perfect Will, desired them to live.
I read this book when it came out in 2002. The grief one feels for those men is one of loss, the loss of gifts to the Church. There are too many of the men and women, the victims of the sins of others in power, who have forgiven their bishops, rectors, prioresses.
May God forgive those rectors, bishops, vocation directors--may God forgive them.