by the Rev. Mark Connolly
The great poet Shelley once said that the most abused word in the English language is the word love. He felt that the word love was so intertwined with romance and biology that its true meaning was lost. I think if Shelley were living today he could also say that the word commitment is equally abused. Commitment is an umbrella word that incorporates many qualities such as loyalty, perseverance and willingness to work very hard especially when things are not going as one thought they would go.
The couple who took that vow which said, "for better or worse", know what the reality of commitment is all about. To work at a marriage year after year, to sacrifice for another in a marriage year after year, these are the ingredients of a true commitment.
There is no vocation that is easy. And to succeed at any vocation, married, single or religious life, demands commitment. Commitment to a vocation means that you make every effort to succeed at it. Commitment is just plain hard work. We have by reason of our Baptism as Catholics an obligation to fulfill our commitment to Christ and his Church. We have the same obligations as citizens born in this country to do the best we can to nurture, to help our country. We cannot take anything for granted in our relationship with Christ, nor our country. These are blessings that God has given to us and denied to others.
Commitment then is fidelity to a promise. It is perseverance to that promise. It incorporates the quality of trust that God will help you achieve that goal.
Commitment in any vocation demands a strong sense of work and prayer. St. Augustine once said that we must work at everything as if it depended on us and pray as if everything depended on God. These words apply to commitment no matter what your vocation in life might be.