Firstly: EVERYONE has a vocation!
We all have a vocation, that is, each person is called to truth and freedom and needs to feel at home in their humanity. Thismeans deeply happy because one comes to be what God wants.
– First of all, we are all called to human life: to be women and men, to be people, who live and grow together. We are all called to communion and service.
– Then, as Christians, we are called to live as Christ: that is the centre of our baptismal vocation. This vocation is to be like Christ as: . Priest: to enter into a personal relationship with God (and give Him time…); . Prophet: to proclaim the love of God to others and to denounce the injustices of this world, actively collaborating in building up the Kingdom that God, the Father, desires; . King: to look at all things and people with kindness, to have dominion over things without letting them dominate us…
Finally, every Christian is called to give a personal response (concrete, single), in the Church. There are more specific vocations: marriage, consecrated life, lay life … These specific vocations are concrete ways to live and manifest the love of God in the world.
So there are several TYPES OF CALLING within the Church:
a) Sacrament of Marriage
– By my relationship with someone else, I want to be a visible sign of God’s love, centring myself in the wellbeing of the other, learning to wait, to forgive and to overcome difficulties.
– Through this relationship, the two are called to cooperate with God in His creation: to be co-creators and educators of life, especially to children.
b) Lay Life
– I feel that I’m called to be a sign in the world of the Spirit of God, living my faith in the concrete structures and realities of the world.
– In this lay life, I may feel called to marriage or not: there are lay people who devote their lives to their work and profession, as a privileged way to transform the world.
c) Sacrament of Holy Orders (bishops, priests and deacons)
– I am called to be a representative of Christ, through the Word and a life of service to the community, which is manifest – especially through the sacraments – the love of God, source of grace and forgiveness, and make Jesus Christ, our saviour, present in the world.
d) Consecrated Life (nuns / monks, priests, sisters /lay brothers, consecrated virgins, …)
– Through my life, I become a sign pointing to the eternal values which Jesus lived. I am called to live in community with a lifestyle that is a sign of a relationship with God who is the centre of my life.
– After a time of preparation, I make my “vows” or “promises”, trying to show that with God in the centre, it is possible to live:
- With very little having everything in common (owning nothing – vow of poverty);
- Expressing a universal love without exclusivity (having place for everyone in my heart, especially for those who nobody loves – vow of celibacy)
- Desiring to be free to be sent to where it is most needed (being available for the mission – vow of obedience)
None of these types of vocation is better or more important than the other. All vocations are good and necessary. The important thing is that each person discerns, to what kind of vocation Jesus is calling them so that they may serve the Church and collaborate in building a more just and human society in the image of God. .