What is a Vocation?

God has a dream for each one of us.  We are uniquely loved and called by God.  God only wishes good for us as a human race and as individuals.  God’s dream is that we in our own unique way will join Christ in building a better world and so experience ourselves fully.  “’I know the plan I have in mind for you… plans for peace, not disaster, reserving a future full of hope for you… When you seek me you shall find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me,’ it is the Lord who speaks.”  (Jer. 29:11-13)

Some persons experience being called by God as an invitation into the desires (dreams) of God for the human race, for the church, and for ourselves as we live out our lives.  Vocation comes from the Latin word for call or calling.  It implies that there is an action God who is beyond ourselves that is beckoning and calling to us.  In a sense, we cannot deny this activity.  We respond to it by answering yes or no.  To ignore it is to answer no.  Our belief is that God calls each one of us to do some good in this world.  We are called to be concerned for other human beings, to be instruments of his love, peace and justice.

Prayer for Vocations

Lord Jesus, I come before you to reflect on life, on others, on myself, and on the many things that I cannot grasp about you, the world around me, and myself.  I would like to do great things for you and for others, so that my part in history will not be in vain.  I know that Life and Truth abide in you, so I come to drink from the only Wellspring capable of quenching my thirst for truth, goodness and beauty.

Today I pray in a special way for those who are young like me and hear in their hearts your call to the priesthood or consecrated life.  It mustn’t be easy for them to leave everything to follow you.  They must find it hard to leave family, close friends, others.

Yet I understand perfectly those who are capable of leaving everything to follow you; you are the treasure for which it is well worthwhile to sell everything so as not to lose you.  They will walk the world preaching your Gospel, soothing the bitterness of many human lives with your Word, and giving some hope to many people, to the thousands upon thousands of young people who have nothing to live for, no sense of transcendence and do not know true love.  They will spread the perfume of your message of joy, peace and hope throughout a world that seems condemned to bitterness and hatred.  They will console those who endure sorrow, strengthen the weak, spread your grace and forgiveness.  I even envy them.  I do not know what answer I would give if I felt your call.  The only thing I would pray for then is what I now ask of you for the young people who can hear you now: generosity, courage, boldness, and faith.

You are truly capable of filling a life, giving it meaning, and making it bear fruit.  Grant us priests after your own heart.  Move the hearts of young people so that they will not hesitate to leave their nets when you stop at the shore of their lives, look on them, pronounce their names which you have held in your heart from all eternity, and say gently but firmly—with your powerful WORD that created heaven—“Follow me.”  AMEN.

(Prayer taken from Pray to the Lord of the Harvest)