What Is A Vocation?
A vocation is God’s invitation or calling to each individual to love and serve Him and His Church in a particular state or way of life.
Can’t I Do Whatever I Want?
Yes. In fact, each person must choose which path to follow in life. However, not all choices are equal. For example, each day we are forced to choose between good and evil, and also between things which are good and those which are better. True freedom lies in discovering our vocation and in generously responding to the Lord who calls us to greatness. When we choose to follow God’s will, we are most truly free.
How Do I Know What God Is Calling Me To Be?
You must pray every day, asking God to reveal His plan for you. Do not ask yourself, ” What do I want to do with my life?” This is the wrong question! Rather, you should be thinking and asking: “Jesus what do you want me to be? How do you want me to love You?” And listen for the answer! Listen with your heart, not just your head.
Can I be happy in my life if I don’t follow the vocation Jesus invites me to embrace?
If someone does not follow the vocation for which Christ made them, they can attain a certain degree of happiness in this world and still attain salvation. However, they will not be as happy or blessed as they might have been had they followed their proper vocation. This is why it is so important that everyone discern their particular vocation prayerfully and responsibly. Of course, there are trials and challenges in every vocation. To become a priest or consecrated religious does not take away all suffering, neither does becoming a husband or wife take away all suffering. But there is great joy in laying down one’s life for Christ. Your vocation is Christ’s gift to you. How you respond is your gift to Him.
No, you are not. Most vocation directors agree that the only way to really know that you have a vocation to priesthood or religious life is to enter the seminary or convent. During the formation years God’s will becomes more and more clear as you pray and discern with others. The years spent in formation are a benefit to you spiritually even if you discover that you are not called to be a priest or consecrated religious.
I’m not all that “holy.” Can I still be a priest or consecrated religious?
Holiness—being like Jesus—is a lifetime endeavor for every person in every vocation. If you don’t see yourself as very holy right now, know that God will change you slowly, day by day and week by week. When the time is right, you will be ready to be His instrument of grace for others. But for now, frequent the Sacrament of Penance at least once a month. Repent of your sins, receive the sacraments and pray every day. You will be surprised at how Christ-like you can become.
Generating a culture of discernment requires that each person become aware of the tremendous dignity of your call to holiness and a life lived in union with Christ. The deepest longing of the human heart is to know and love Our Lord personally, to follow Him faithfully and to serve Him generously in whatever vocation He is inviting them to embrace.