Espousal with Christ: Our Vocation in the Church


What is a vocation?

“It comes from the Latin ‘vocare’, meaning to ‘call’. Thus we say that every vocation is a call addressed to man. From whom does this call come?It comes from God, Who is the Master of man’s life and man’s death. It is God Who gives us being and causes us to continue to be, so that ‘in Him we live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17:28).

What does God call us to?

God calls, first, every person into human existence. Then He calls him to carry out some mission in his life whereby he is to grow in holiness and in this way to earn Paradise” (Taken from the preface of Come and Follow Me by Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli, FI).

A vocation is a calling from God to carry out a special mission. Whatever the mission may be, the essential thing to realize is that the mission to be carried out has but one scope: our holiness, our sanctification.

It is necessary, then, that we all must discern our vocation.

The following is an excerpt taken from a series of questions asked to a religious Sister on helpful tips for a young lady discerning her vocation.

“Often I have found that when I ask a young lady if she is discerning her vocation, she immediately responds “no” with an attitude of fear or repugnance or even embarrassment. I take this opportunity to explain to her that she should be discerning and that discerning a vocation does not mean that she necessarily has a religious vocation. This response eases her and she begins to listen with interest.

To discern a vocation means to discover what it is that God wants from you in order for you to get to heaven. We all have one common vocation: holiness. Whether one is a mom or a dad, a doctor or a nurse, a grandmother or a grandfather, a teacher or a student, we are all called to be saints. It is very important for every single person to realize this. Once I realize this, I must then ask how I must become a saint. Sanctity consists, ultimately, in doing the Will of God. God has put in our souls at our Baptism a specific vocation. What is also extremely important to point out is that I do not choose which vocation I have received from God. I must discern what He has chosen from all eternity for me. I have the choice to say yes or no, but I do not have the choice to decide that I do or do not have a particular vocation. All of my happiness, both in this life and in the next, depends on my choosing to respond to God’s call for me.

Generally speaking, there are many vocations: nurse, doctor, mom, dad, Priest, religious, teacher, etc. However, when one speaks of discerning a vocation, it generally regards the two main ones: marriage and priestly/religious life. Most are called to marriage and according to some, including St. John Bosco, one third of the population are called to the priestly/religious life; one third respond but, unfortunately, not all correspond. It is all a matter of discerning what God is calling you to do and generously corresponding to that plan no matter what the cost.”

Staff Details
Sister Maria Cristiana
Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate

House of the Immaculate
4 Brownhill Road, Catford
London SE6 2EJ
United Kingdom

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