Cosmas and vocation

by Paul Burmeister

Pierre de Calan, a career banker (French), penned Cosmas or the Love of God, his only novel, late in life. I recommend this book to readers who are interested in the values of a quiet, reflective life and in a unique perspective on vocation. De Calan poses several very important questions about vocation and calling.
In Cosmas, the Novice Master holds the flawed Novice close to his heart, even closer than he thinks he should. Question: Does the Spirit entrust us with gifts and situations wherein he does not give us clarity or wisdom in all matters of love in action? Is it true that we hold unclearly and unwisely to certain things that will never be right, because we are compelled to love them?

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(This brings to mind the often-cited practice of "tough love," which means love that is tough or hard on the receiver. In my experience, most love is tough—tough for the giver too.)