18 April 2006

Enough is Enough!

Reality shows on television were generated -- not out of creativity -- but out of need. When the writers and actors unions were threatening a strike, the producers had to figure out a way to keep audiences entertained without actors and without writers. And shows fashioned on MTV's "Real World" (possibly the first popular reality show) were born.

In the style of reality shows, A&E recently launched a documentary-type series, God or the Girl, about four men discerning a vocation to the priesthood. Despite an innocuous interview in a Zenit article, a very articulate and well-written critique was published in an on-line journal by Rev. David Nuss, director of vocations for the diocese of Toledo, Ohio. Click here to read it.

Not having cable television and not having seen the show ourselves, it would be unfair for us to comment on this new theme in reality -documentary- television. Having been through the discernment process for a religious vocation (albeit for religious life, not for priesthood), however, it is fair to say that the mystery of a vocation can hardly be captured in a television series; it can barely be articulated in words to family and friends, let alone to a network of curious viewers. Perhaps one good that may come of this series would be a greater interest in the process of discernment and an honest consideration of a religious vocation on the part of some interested viewers.

St. Francis de Sales made three resolutions prior to offering his first Mass as a priest on 21 December 1593:

To make every moment of his day a preparation for Mass the next day; to be as disposed at Mass as he would have himself be at his own day of judgment; to unite himself in all things with Jesus Christ.

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