Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Vocation Discernment 1/2

I don’t know Who - or what - put the question,
I don’t know when it was put.
I don’t even remember answering.
But at some moment I did answer Yes to Someone -
Or Something -
and from that hour I was certain that existence is meaningful and
that, therefore, my life in self-surrender, had a goal.

Do I have a call to become a priest or a religious sister or a brother?
How do I know if I am really called by God, or if it is a figment of my imagination?
What if God calls me to do something I can’t do or don’t want to do?

The process by which we try to find answers to these questions is called ‘Vocation discernment.’ It is a process that seeks to find out God’s will or special call for me. This process that takes time, patience and much prayer. Of course, clear answers, perfect and unambiguous, do not come for each of these questions at once and we may never be fully (one hundred per cent) certain that the answer is so. We eventually have to ‘grow into’ and ‘live the questions.’ We may never see the ultimate end of our journey, it is only necessary that we risk taking each step as it comes.

To speak of some persons having a vocation and others not is clearly a misconception of what vocation is all about. Everyone has a vocation and it is the same: to live life to it’s fullest by way of loving. Love is at the very core of every vocation. But here we are speaking more specifically of the unique vocation where a person is called to experience and express this common human vocation of life and love either as a single person, a married person, a religious brother or sister or as a priest. There is clearly no issue of a higher vocation. For the only highest vocation is love itself, resounding through all these different expressions.

A young man came to Mother Teresa seeking advice. He wanted only one assignment, to work with the lepers. Mother told him that his vocation was not necessarily to work with the lepers. His vocation was to belong to Jesus, and because he belonged to Jesus, he could put his love for Jesus in action by service to the lepers.
“It makes no difference whether you are teaching university-level people, or whether you are in the slums, or just cleaning or washing or scrubbing, washing wounds, picking up maggots, all this makes no difference. Not what we do, but how much love we put into doing is what concerns Jesus.”

(to be continued tomorrow)

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