This is one of my favorite photos. How old was he? It's hard to remember. Maybe 6 or 7. He is "saying Mass" at Grandma's house on a toy chest that his Uncle Craig made. He planned for the event, inviting family members days in advance. You can see by the photo that he is taking it seriously.
I love the contrast between the various toys and clutter and the event unfolding in the middle of it all. He is undisturbed by those details and was slightly annoyed that I took a picture at that time. Which is why I only took one. I made those vestments for him for his 5th birthday. They were never "play clothes" for him but something a little more. He never skipped any Mass parts that he knew of and even included rousing homilies. I never quite knew whether to laugh or to cry at the fervor and innocence with which he exhorted us to virtue!
Does he have a religious vocation? Time will tell. He doesn't know yet. He would be a wonderful daddy and has an amazing example in his own father. He also seems suited to a priestly vocation in certain ways and does seem drawn to it. I'm certainly glad that the decision is not mine to make! We will do our best to teach him to properly discern his vocational call and then leave the rest in God's hands.
In this Year for Priests, we have an excellent reminder and opportunity to not only pray for priests but for seminarians and blossoming vocations as well. I am taking full advantage of it as the realization strikes that God could indeed call one of my sons. It appears that baby boys do indeed grow up.
This next photo is Crash a few years ago wearing the same vestments. He does not seem as attracted to the life of a priest....but one never knows! If he does, we will have to inquire about the seminary policy for replacing broken lamps:). Three and you're out? What if it's just a blown light bulb? Of course, that sounds a bit easier than finding a wife who doesn't mind an occasional howling at the moon (or at whatever) and a terrible urge to torment females in his household. Of course, he'll just wink and flash his charming smile and all will be well. He has his mother wrapped around his little finger, why not a wife, too?
O Holy Spirit, Spirit of wisdom and divine love, impart Your knowledge, understanding, and counsel to youth that they may know the vocation wherein they can best serve God. Give them courage and strength to follow God's holy will. Guide their uncertain steps, strengthen their resolutions, shield their chastity, fashion their minds, conquer their hearts, and lead them to the vineyards where they will labor in God's holy service.