This post originally appeared at Aleteia.org on October 8, 2017
For a long time after reverting to Catholicism I would trip up over the idea of “duty”. Over and over again I’d read about discerning the will of God, and I’d consider that whatever God’s will for one’s life, it always included a sense of vocational duty.
But I had a stubborn resistance to being told what to do. In my mind I associated duty with oppression, or at least with unfortunate, toilsome obligation. Wasn’t this what the Protestants were always charging Catholics with: thinking we had to work for our salvation?
I came to realize that I had been thinking of my duty – within my vocation as a mother, for instance — as what I begrudgingly needed do in order to repay God for all His providential goodness, or to improve my chances of meriting a future reward. And I didn’t like a lot of the things I was supposed to do.
And then in a moment in which thoughts tumbled together and a clear picture emerged — something that I can only explain as grace — I realized I had been totally wrong…
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