Although we have already made it clear that vocation is common to EVERYONE, the statement to have a vocation is often unsettling if we feel or think that we are being called to the priesthood or consecrated life. Perhaps this is because there is still a belief out there that these vocations are “special” (less frequent) or of “greater commitment”.
However, if you’re reading these lines because you think you may have a vocation, then this Decalogue is for you:
1. FIRST, GIVE THANKS TO GOD! Thinking about your vocation is a sign that you are preoccupied with serious questions about your life and you no longer want to be distracted by less important questions.
2. DO NOT BE AFRAID! Do not forget that the one who is calling you is a GOOD God, who knows you and wants only your wellbeing. Trust: you are in good hands!
3. TAKE THE FIRST STEP! No one discovers his/her own vocation based on intuition, mere thinking or feeling. If you open yourself to His grace, a long and fascinating journey of discovery and deeper meaning of your life is waiting for you.
4. SEEK SPIRITUAL ACCOMPANIMENT! Do not try to make this journey alone: there are many obstacles and temptations one must learn to understand and overcome. If you wish to contact the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
Maria Vaz Pinto (Lisbon, Portugal): firstname.lastname@example.org
Melita Rufino (London, England): email@example.com
5. PRAY! GIVE TIME TO GOD IN YOUR DAILY LIFE! Only friendship with Him will lead you to trust and want to do His will.
6. DON’T PRETEND THAT YOUR ARE NOT LISTENING! Out of respect for God who calls you; out of respect for yourself; and also out of respect for all those you can help if you dare to take this journey.
7. GET READY FOR COMBAT! The process of discovering a vocation is not easy: it requires patience, perseverance, will power and fortitude. You must ask God for these graces …
8. DO NOT LET YOURSELF BE INFLUENCED! By the images you may have of sisters and priests; nor by what others may say. You must dare to walk this path of personal search, being true to what you feel and want.
9. DO NOT START SPEAKING ABOUT IT TO EVERYONE! It is a process of discovery that should be made in intimacy with God and with your spiritual guide. This is to preserve your freedom to decide what you really feel is best for you. You will know when it is time to share this with others.
10. REJOICE, AS MARY DID! The history of the church is full of examples of men and women who, just because they said “Yes”, have made this world a better place to live in. Ask them to pray for you!