Monday, January 14, 2013

Who has a Vocation?

As you may have heard, this week is National Vocation Awareness Week starting with the celebration of Jesus baptism on Sunday.  It is exciting to see the many places doing events/activities this week, month, year to promote vocations.  Some diocese have done a great job creating a culture of vocations by integrating vocation awareness into their regular activities.  An example of this would be the Arlington Diocese and their work camp.  They invite priests, seminarians and religious to participate in the service week, they have a Mass for vocations and vocations was brought up the night of holy hour also.

So, back to the question, WHO has a vocation?  Each of us has been created in God's own image and likeness.  We each are put on this earth for a reason by God.  When we were baptised we were consecrated to God.  How we live out that consecration varies a great deal.  We stumble along the way and need to get back up and move forward through Christ's grace and mercy.

Often when discernment or vocation is spoken about in the church sense, it is just about priests and sisters.  Each of us has a call by God even if it is not to the priesthood or religious life.  Some are called to the vocation of marriage--united in Christ to reach for holiness.  Is a person discerning when dating or considering marriage?  I hope so!  Is this the person the Lord is calling me to spend time with?  Is this the person I am called to join in the sacrament of marriage?  All things to be taken to prayer.

What about the single person?  Is that a vocation?  I have heard someone say no that you need to be vowed for it to be a vocation.  I can't say that I agree considering Jesus, Himself, was single all His life.  I bet you could name a single person who is a pillar of your parish.  Yes, a single person dedicted in faith to grow in holiness as a single person is a call. I think there is a difference when we are talking about being single in the dating sense versus single in the life vocation, one temporary and the other permanent.

Yes, each of us has a vocational call whether it be single, married, priesthood or religious--let's not leave out the permanent deacons who get a two for one deal.  Our path is the one which leads us best as an individual to holiness.

So you say, why are so many more religious and priests canonized than lay people?  It is certainly not a matter of holiness alone.  The process for canonization takes a long term commitment and a great deal of work (basically a thorough book is written about the person with documentation).  Then add the great expense of the process and roadblocks become huge--quite a daunting task.  Communities and dioceses are more equipped to organize and put forward a candidate for canonization.  In recent years we have seen more lay people beatified and canonized which is great to have more role models for all the vocations.  Just look at Pier Giorgio Frassati and his tremendous inspiration to so many young people!

Let us each do our part in promoting a culture of vocations where each young person prays about God's call--not just those looking at priesthood and religious life.  May prayer be a key element in each life commitment instead of our young people just moving along with the current.
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