TO WHAT IS GOD CALLING YOU?
We know that God - Creator, Christ, and Spirit – is Relationship – and that God desires that we enter into that relationship and to do that together with others. We know that God has a final purpose for this world: that it may become God’s “kingdom”. Each of us has a role to play in making that happen, in helping things move toward that goal.
Discovering just what that role is takes time….and thought….and prayer….and talking to wise friends and mature mentors. Each one’s call is customized, unique to each person, because each of us has different gifts, talents, inclinations, and part to play.
A call, that is a vocation, (to a specific way of life - married, single, priest, religious brother, religious sister) isn’t the same as a career path, or a job, or even a ministry. A career or a path or a job or a ministry is a way of carrying out a call.
Priests can be either diocesan priests (that is, priests rooted in a given diocese, and responsible to the Bishop of the diocese) or religious priests (that is, members of religious orders, who may serve in a diocese and are responsible to the Bishop for that service, but who are responsible to the authorities in their own communities for other aspects of their life. Sometimes religious priests belong to 'societies' rather than 'orders' but their way of service and responsibility is similar to that of religious order priests.
A deacon can be one step on the way to becoming a diocesan priest, or it can be a lay man (married or single) who serves the church and a diocese in specific ways (sometimes called 'lay ecclesial ministry') but who is not intending to move toward priestly ordination. Some dioceses have lay deacons, some do not but may in the future. The Diocese of Nelson does not have a lay deaconate program at the present time, but it does have a seminarian who will be ordained to the diaconate in April 2015 as a step on his way to being ordained a diocesan priest, ordinarily in a year's time. (see Wikipedia for more information)
Brother is a term used by religious orders to designate a non-ordained member of a men's religious congregation. It is somewhat the equivalent of "sister" in that it speaks of a certain form of community life and church service. There are no brothers (non-ordained members of a men's religous congregation) in the Diocese of Nelson; however, it is the custom of some men's religious communities to call each other 'brother.' (see Wikipedia for more information)
God calls through the Spirit….and we hear that call in prayer, in the scriptures, in wise people, in quiet solitude and with others, in the thousands of ways God “speaks” to us every day. We look at our gifts, and the possibilities for good that are in them. We ask God for direction. And we wait for clarity. At some point a direction will seem right.
If you are discerning your vocation, talk to a trusted priest, sister, married person or single person. Ask them questions; listen to their stories; see if there is something in those experiences that is meant to guide you.
Then it becomes a matter of courage and carrying through. There will be challenges, frustrations, and obstacles. But the God who calls also gives strength, and peace and perseverance. In all, the God who is Steadfast Love and Faithfulness will be walking with us.
PRAYER FOR VOCATION
Bless your church with holy and faithful priests, deacons, brothers and sisters.
Give those you have called to the married state and
those you have chosen to live as single persons in the world,
the special graces that their lives require.
Form us all in the likeness of your Son so that in Him, with Him, and through Him
we may love you more deeply and serve you more faithfully, always and everywhere.
With Mary we ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
- Discerning a call to to be a priest? See the Sacrament of Holy Orders, Diocesan Priestly Vocation Committee. Wikipedia has additional information.
- Acall to be a Religious Priest, Sister, or Brother? See Called to be a Sister or Brother, the National Religious Vocation Conference (a US organization with many Canadian members), Vision Vocation Network, Global Sisters Report.
- A call love and serve God and others in the Single life? See Called to the Single Life,
- A call to Lay Ecclesial Ministry? Called to Lay Ecclesial Ministry.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.