“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord,
plans for your welfare, not for woe!
Plans to give you a future full of hope.”
What is a vocation?
The word ‘vocation’ comes from the Latin word vocare, meaning to call, or invite. God is always calling us to be His beloved son or daughter and a future saint in heaven. Yet your vocation is your specific calling, your invitation to follow Him with your life. By answering this calling, you will embark on the path of happiness for which God has destined you.
It is important to remember that one’s calling comes from God and not from us. The life of priests or consecrated religious may seem fascinating, but pursuing such a path comes by the Lord’s invitation. Thus to hear such a calling, one must have a personal relationship with Him, knowing him intimately in prayer and in the sacraments. This calling is further discerned by the Church, assisting believers to fulfill what the Lord desires of them.
What types of vocations are there?
God calls His followers to different paths. Many are called to marriage, to love one’s spouse unconditionally and bring forth children. Some are called to Holy Orders as a priest or deacon, ordained to proclaim the Gospel, administer the sacraments, and be of service to a larger spiritual family. Others, such as sisters and monks, and called to consecrated life, and work among the poor, in schools, in hospitals, or on the streets evangelizing.
How do I discover my vocation?
Communicate regularly with God and ask Him what He desires for you. It’s particularly important to have a Marian devotion, such as the Rosary. Ask the Blessed Mother to lead you to her Son so that you can accomplish Christ’s will for your life.
Keep your soul nurtured with God’s grace through the sacraments of Confession and the Holy Eucharist.
What are my interests and desires? How can my gifts be used to serve God’s people?
What abilities do others see in me? Am I only seeking immediate happiness for my life?
What abilities do others see in you? What are the needs of the Church? Are you only seeking your happiness or are you also considering the needs of those around you?
Talk to a local priest, religious sister, or the Vocation Director, and visit a seminary or monastery.
Prayer of Abandonment
Father, I put myself in your hands; Father I abandon myself to you, I entrust myself to you. Father do with me as it pleases you. Whatever you do with me, I will thank you for it. Giving thanks for anything I am ready for anything, I accept anything, give thanks for anything. As long as your will, my God, is done in me, as long as your will is done in all your creatures, in all your children, in all those your heart loves, I ask for nothing else, O God. I put my soul into your hands. I give it to you, O God, with all the love of my heart, because I love you, and because my love requires me to give myself. I put myself unreservedly in your hands. I put myself in your hands with infinite confidence, because you are my Father.
-Blessed Charles de Foucauld