Christian life doesn’t end with a profession of faith or hearing of God’s call – that’s when it begins. This idea is at the center of “Called: What Happens After Saying Yes to God,” a new book from Casey Cole, OFM, published six months after his solemn profession.
“Called” is based on a series of blog posts written by Casey over a period of six years while he was in formation, or training to become a friar. The book is a collection of honest reflections on the realities of someone who is trying to live life according to the Gospel. Joys and struggles are represented in equal measure – a glimpse of the highs and lows that follow when one accepts God’s will for his or her life.
In the introduction, Casey describes the realizations that followed his decision to say yes to God’s call and to become a Franciscan friar.
“Life did not get easier when I turned my will over as I had expected,” he said. “No, the journey of faith, to my surprise, became much more difficult. My guess is that I am not alone in this experience. No, I can actually state with tremendous confidence that I am not alone because this experience is universal to each and every Christian who feels called in the silence of his or her heart to be a disciple of Christ and is inspired to say yes.”
And that is who “Called” is for – the everyday Christian who is trying to be a more faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. While the book may also appeal to young adults who are discerning a call to religious life or older religious who may wonder why young people are called to join a religious order today, its primary audience is the average woman or man who is trying to follow Christ.
“This story is our story, the story of discernment and discipleship that we all share as Christians,” Casey writes. “What I have experienced and struggled with as a Franciscan friar about discernment, prayer, relationships, humility, mission, and failure are not extraordinary in their own right or worthy of following on their own. The point is not to give an account of what it means to be a 21st-century Franciscan or that so others will follow the path in a literal way. What I have experienced and struggled with in this life is worth telling because it applies to us all, each in our own individual way as Christians.”
Advanced praise for “Called” includes comments from Jeff Cavins, founder of The Great Adventure Bible Study System; Sr. Sharon Dillon, SSJ-TOSF, former executive director of the National Religious Vocation Conference; Daniel Horan, OFM, author of “Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis;” Fr. James Martin, SJ, author of “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost Everything;” and Bishop Robert Reed of CatholicTV Network.
“Intensely personal yet deeply ecclesial, Casey’s story is my story and yours; it is the path of God’s pilgrim people,” said Bishop Reed. “As a brother to Francis of Assisi, who chose poverty in this world, Casey will help reveal the mysterious working of God’s grace in your quest to follow the Christ, who became poor that we might be truly and eternally rich.”
“Called: What Happens After Saying Yes to God” is available on Franciscan Media’s website, as well as through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever else books are sold. Casey continues to blog at www.BreakingInTheHabit.org. More than 11,000 people subscribe to his YouTube channel of the same name.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.
- “Casey Cole, Ramoncito Razon Profess Final Vows” – Aug. 30, 2017, HNP Today
- “Casey Cole’s New Video Series Shows Varied Lives of Friars” – June 29, 2017, HNP Today
- “Three Friars Ordained Deacons” – March 13, 2018, HNP Today
- “Book by Kenneth Paulli Released” – March 6, 2018, HNP Today