They are not soldiers you train and put into action archbishop. The young curate was risking his career, trying to explain the difficulty, the shortage of new entrants, and why it had happened. Old men don’t want to listen, unless it’s the doctor they are talking with.
In the fifties, there were processions of young men, that ran the length of a football field, men who had offered to serve the higher calling, “called” by the Spirit, the Spirit the religious orders cared for and minded as if life itself depended on it. It was years ago, the parade was now a trickle, a drip drip of water compared to the full flow; same way the Spirit had been depleted due to a whole set of factors too long to mention. The basic rule according to Solomon; you nurture the Spirit and the results will deliver. Sadly, that Spirit was squeezed out of existence almost; too many interfering influences, and too little forgiveness, just as happened to so many things, as the new takes over from the old. Would they ever learn sighed Solomon?.
One day, was that too much to expect, one day they would get it right. The Spirit is the Holy Messenger, the one who reminds of the life to come, brings blessings, it was spoken of many times in the ancient scripture, it was told in the ancient tales, how many of us had invited angels into our homes, and the blessings they would bring with them. Today, fear rules he sighed, and it’s not unreasonable either, the threat of violence on those who suffered it, is devastating. Solomon wrote the story so often, a thousand times, get the Spirit part right, the rest is made easy. Spirit connects us, amen.