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What Exactly is a “Vocation”?

From the Latin word “Vocare” meaning “to call,” a vocation is the “Call” from God to do something specifically for God and for His Kingdom. God has called each of us to be holy! But within that universal call to holiness, God has created each of us for something unique and particular. God has called most people to “Married Life.” But there are others that God has chosen and called to be Priests, to serve Him and His Church in a unique way. God also calls others to be part of a “Religious” community, like the Franciscans, Dominicans or Jesuits. Just remember that everyone is called to live the vocation of holiness, but everyone lives it in a special and unique way according to the plan of God.

What is God “Calling” Me to Do?

This is the question that every one of us must ask ourselves. You must pray every single day, asking God to reveal His plan for you. Do not ask yourself, “What do I want to do with my life?” This is the wrong question! Rather, you should be thinking and asking, “Lord Jesus, what do You want me to do?” And listen for the answer! Listen with your heart, not just your head!

We call this process “Discernment.” The discernment process to the priesthood must also include the Church. If you are thinking that God could be calling you to be a priest, you should speak to your parish priest and your diocesan vocation director. The bishop is the one who will ultimately decide who is and who is not called to be a diocesan priest. He is assisted in this by the vocations office and the seminary staff.

What if I Don’t Follow God’s Plan for Me?

If you do not follow the vocation for which God made you, you can gain a certain degree of happiness in this world and still gain salvation (go to heaven). However, you can never be as happy as you might have been, had you followed your proper vocation. This is why it is so important that you discern correctly. The discernment of your vocation is likely to be the most important decision you will make in your entire life! Of course, there are trials and tribulations in every vocation. To become a priest does not take away all life’s struggles. But there is great joy in laying down one’s life for our Lord and His Church.

What is a Priest?

A priest is a Catholic man who is called by God to continue the work of Christ here on earth – to proclaim the “Good News” of Salvation to the world and to lead God’s people in worship, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist. He is an “alter Christus“, latin for another Christ. The priest is privileged to bring Christ to people in the Sacraments: he gives the life of Christ to people in Baptism; he forgives their sins in Reconciliation; he anoints the sick; he officiates at weddings. The priest meets people where they are at in their life and brings Jesus Christ to them in their spiritual needs.

Pray

Vocations are born in prayer and from prayer; and only in prayer can they persevere and bear fruit

Pope Francis

Prayer for Vocations

God our Father, we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as priests, deacons, and consecrated persons. Send your Holy Spirit to help others to respond generously and courageously to your call. May our community of faith support vocations of sacrificial love in our youth and young adults.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Prayers for the Faithful

For young people in our community that they may respond generously with open hearts and willing spirits if the Lord calls them to the priesthood, diaconate, or consecrated life.  We pray to the Lord …

For men and women to be open to God’s call to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ as priests, deacons, or consecrated persons.  We pray to the Lord …

More prayers for vocations on the USCCB

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