Monday, October 14, 2019

"Vocatus — for the discerning." read the door. The "t," he noticed, was a discrete crucifix.

He'd gotten the email asking him to make an appointment almost a month ago. The woman who'd taken his call wouldn't answer any of his questions, saying only, "Our certified spiritual genomicist will walk you through your results."

The softly lit waiting room was unremarkable, stock chairs and table lamps, blue industrial carpet. 
By Brian0918 
Or it was until you noticed the bowls of branded rosaries on the side tables, "Vocatus ™" on one side of the center medal, an image of Our Lady of Graces on the other. Virginal white plastic beads. High grade, but plastic nonetheless.

Click, click. The guy next to him was nervously fingering a rosary in his pocket. Definitely not a candidate for the Trappists, he thought. And what about that guy in the corner, in a leather jacket and jeans so black he nearly vanished into the shadows. Goth or Jesuit?

"Xavier," called the receptionist and he followed her down the hall. A thin man in a Benedictine habit stood up behind a desk and reached across to shake his hand and introduce himself with a word, "John."  A bar chart was up on the monitor, he saw.

"Sit, please," John gestured to the chair across from him.

"We appreciate your interest in discernment, and let me start by saying that your results indicate you have a strong vocation." He turned toward the monitor. "As you see, the markers for mysticism are clear, you carry all three of the known genes: NUM3, XTC9 and NEF1. These, in combination with the ascetic gene, at 7q31.2," he touched a pad and a gene map appeared, marked up in red, "suggest the Carthusians could be a fit for you.  Now, here we see..."

I went to a talk last week by an anthropologist who mentioned genomic markers for experiencing the numinous, which has me musing about  a world in which vocations directors would use gene maps.

1 comment:

  1. If only discernment were that easy . . .!