The question of discerning a vocation is agonized over by many generous young Catholics today. A solid Thomist, who wrote this book in 1961, Father Butler shows that this type of question shows a totally wrong approach to a religious vocation - an approach that began with misguided theology in the 20th century, which then trickled down to the popular level, confusing both aspirants and spiritual directors. Though Fr. Butler deals primarily with vocations to the religious life, he also gives the classic guidelines on priestly vocations. The author states, based on the tradition of the Church, that religious vocation is not uncommon, rare or extraordinary and that it does not require an introspective search for some special voice or attraction. This book provides welcome, intelligent guidance both for spiritual directors and for those considering the religious life or that of the priesthood!
The Rev. Father Richard Butler, O.P., was a priest and author of the twentieth century, born in 1918. He also served as a Doctor of Philosophy and Lector of Sacred Theology. His Religious Vocation: An Unnecessary Mystery illustrates the normalcy and God-given nature of the call to the religious life, serving as a sure guide for spiritual directors and youth who are still discerning. Father Butler also wrote The Mind of Santayana and The Life and World of George Santayana. He died in 1988.