Vocation: God’s plan for your life
What is a vocation? The word is derived from the Latin word vocare, to call, and so a vocation is a calling. In general, everyone has a vocation, a calling for Almighty God gives everyone particular talents and abilities in order for them to provide for the different needs of the Mystical Body of Christ. For many, their calling is to the marriage state: to be good husbands and wives, to be good fathers and mothers, raising children in a God-fearing manner. The word vocation, however, is more commonly used when we speak of a person chosen by God to be a religious or a priest.
How does one know whether or not they have been called to the priesthood or to the religious state? Young people sometimes worry about their vocation; they wonder how they may know if they are being called. Each person must work the problem out for himself. One great mistake made by young people is to think that if God is calling them to His service, He will manifest it to them in some extraordinary way. They must not expect an angel to tell them. This is certainly not the usual manner that vocations are given. The call from God may be an interior voice within the soul, it may be a certain spiritual attraction for the religious life or the priesthood, or it may be a very faint whisper that one occasionally hears from God: “Come, follow Me.”
The most important disposition our young people must have is the simple desire to do the Will of God. Thus the Blessed Virgin Mary prayed at the Annunciation, “Be it done unto me according to thy word.” If our young people have this attitude of conformity to the Will of God, they will find the vocation to which God is called them in life. It is also very important that they receive counsel from their spiritual director or confessor who spiritually knows them very well and can give solid advice.
The primary grounds for the fostering of vocations is the Catholic home, the place where the parents raise their children with a love for God and for their precious Catholic Faith, the members of the family frequent the sacraments, and a spirit of humility, obedience, love for one another, and discipline prevails. Vocations are fostered at a very young age when parents teach their children, by word and by example, a spirit of generosity and self-sacrifice.
Catholic parents should remember that no greater blessing can come to their family than to have one of the members called to the religious life or to the holy priesthood. In our own times, when there is such a great need for priests and religious to carry on the mission of the Church, we must work for an increase in vocations. But how can this be done? The answer is found in the Gospel of St. Matthew: “And Jesus was going about all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel... But seeing the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were bewildered and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest indeed is abundant, but the labourers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into His harvest’” (Matt. 9:35-38).
In the gospel, Jesus frequently invites us to pray for what we need. Prayer is not about changing God’s mind. All our prayer is said against the background of the prayer Jesus gave us - thy will be done. When we pray, we acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers, or all the resources.
Prayer is not just something we do when nothing else is working; it is not about grasping at straws. It is an expression of trust in a God who knows what we need, and who cares. As a community of faith, we ask God for the priests we need because, like every other gift, vocation comes from him.
Prayer is also a way of committing ourselves to something. When we pray sincerely for vocations, we inevitably open our own hearts (as parents and family, friends, teachers, or members of a parish community) to doing whatever is appropriate in our own situation to encourage vocation.
You may not feel that you can do much about vocations, but everyone can pray. Would you consider making a personal commitment to pray each day, for vocations to the priesthood, for those who are preparing for the priesthood, and for those who are already out there ministering as priests in our eparchy? It would be a great help.
Taken from www.vocations.ie
Prayer for My Vocation
Heavenly Father, I believe that you are the Way, the Truth and the Life. You
alone love me for who I truly am and for what I am able to become. Though I make
repeated mistakes, you continually offer me new opportunities to grow every
moment of the day.
Prayer for Family Vocation Spirit
Heavenly Father, in the example of the Holy Family, you teach us how to live as loving family. From Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we learn that you have given us a special place in your plans for the world. Each of us has a call – a vocation – to be holy as a married or single lay person, or as a priest, a deacon, or a religious brother or sister. Make us a kind and understanding family so that we will help one another discover his or her vocation and follow it faithfully. With Mary and Joseph, we ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayers for Vocations
Jesus, High Priest and Redeemer forever, we beg you to call young men and women
to your service as priests and religious. May they be inspired by the lives of
dedicated priests, Brothers, and Sisters. Give to parents the grace of
generosity and trust toward you and their children so that their sons and
daughters may be helped to choose their vocations in life with wisdom and
God, source of creation and love, you invite each of us to serve you through the gift of our life. May your grace encourage men and women to serve the Church as priests, sisters, brothers, and lay ministers. Make me an instrument to encourage others to give of themselves, and challenge me to do the same.
Loving God, help us to follow the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary in willingly giving of ourselves in service to your Church. Stir up the grace of religious vocation in the hearts of may within our community and send your Spirit to guide and strengthen them in answering your call.
Prayers from www.catholic-forum.com
Materials on Cart regarding Vocations
The Lifework Inventory
More than a career planner or interest inventory, this book provides tools for bringing purpose and direction to one's entire life through wise, Christ-centered choices in seven key areas of life: faith, relationships, work, knowledge, society, fitness and leisure.
The Radical Call of the Consecrated Life