“Each baptised person is called to be a disciple, which is accompanied by a responsibility to share in the Church’s mission.”
A vocation is God’s unique invitation, addressed to individual persons in which a free response is expected. This response is not a single act, but a life long process, a journey of faith. We do not “have” a vocation; we discover how we “are” our vocation as we journey through life led by the Spirit.
An individual discovers their vocation at various stages of life and in relationship with others:
As baptised Christians each of us is called to assist others to discover their vocation as we have been assisted on our own faith journeys. Each of us is called to help make others aware of their personal richness, talents and human value, opening their eyes to the variety of lifestyles and then ministries within the Church.
“Scripture narrates the history of salvation as a history of vocations, in which the Lord’s initiative and people’s response have become entwined. In fact every vocation is born from the meeting of two freedoms: the divine and the human. Every vocation is a personal and unique event, but also a community and an ecclesial event. No one is called to walk alone.”
Pope John Paul II, World day of Prayer for Vocations, 1997
As in the past God is calling people today. Throughout history many people have been called. They have lived exemplary lives and have extended the mission of Jesus Christ around the world.
There are many heroic stories in every age including our own. There are so many valuable ways that you can choose to live your life. There are so many distractions that make it hard to hear God’s voice.
Discerning a vocation is a challenge, no doubt about it. In the world of the third millennium, many are hungry to find greater meaning in life, eager to discover some purpose for their life. But God is calling you.
1. When discerning a vocation there is always a confusion of options. Many things interest us.
Suggestion: root out any interests that are “unhealthy” or not of God, then with the remaining “healthy” choices, seek out your dominant interest and pursue it.
2. The decision making process is a complicated matter. There are many “layers” of decision that must be looked at. At the same time there are clues, “signs” that are present to us.
Suggestion: follow the leads that are present.
3. There is often uncertainty in the discernment process. At any one point in time we only see partial glimpses, not the whole picture, therefore uncertainty exists.
Suggestion: trust what is deepest in your heart.
4. In discernment your decision will always meet a certain amount of inner resistance. Resistance is a good sign. There is always risk when a person makes significant decisions in their life. A person must have sufficient love in their heart to take a significant risk.
Suggestion: reflect on, what is the source of love in your heart, where it is leading you, and how deeply it is present.
5. When discerning your vocation, the road ahead will always remain a bit foggy. You probably will not know with absolute certainty what lies ahead. The future will always remain a bit hidden. Mystery and the unknown are part of everyone’s future.
Suggestion: take one step at a time. Don’t try to “figure out” in exact detail your entire future.
Message from Pope Benedict XVI for World Day of Prayer for Vocations
“It is in the soil of self-offering and openness to the love of God that vocations are born.” Pope Benedict.
A great opportunity awaits us all to on the upcoming 2012 World Day of Prayer for Vocations (29th April) to share our gift of religious life with others. We have set up a new blog to enable you to inform members of creative ways of celebrating this day as well as inviting others to share in your local event. Please visit us on www.vocationsireland.com/vocsun.php and keep us informed of what will be happening in your area.
Contact us here for more detail.