Sunday, September 16, 2007

Each Has a Special Vocation

God loves each one of us very much and has a special vocation for us. He gives us the strength to fulfill our unique mission in life. We merely need to remain humble before him and be responsive to his gifts. In this way we will be given everything that is necessary. -- Magnificat 9/16/07

We have all read things like this many times, but how many actually live into the vocation God has blessed you with? How many have gone through a discernment process?

6 comments:

Athos said...

Great questions, Aramis. I recall Gil Bailie saying something like: "If you are considering a vocational change and (a) it will be easier than what you are doing now, and (b) it will pay you more money, then (c) it probably isn't a true calling."

I'm so glad that I am pursuing my true vocation by those criteria!

Aramis said...

My understanding of vocation goes beyond the call to an "occupation" within the religious world, but a deeper and more profound working out of one's religious calling in and to Life. This may be the reason I feel different to most and why I am so drawn to prayer and discern-to-action (or action and contemplation) more so than the next person who only see a very thin or no connection to their occupation and their religious/spiritual life. Where they see and live out a disjointed life, I see healing and unity in life, and so the importance of this post concerning each having a special vocation.

Athos said...

Yes, Aramis, I appreciate your personal understanding of vocation. But please understand me when I say that what is more important is what the Church understands, "stands under," and teaches about vocation, or divine calling. Namely:

(a) The whole Church is apostolic, in that she remains, through the successors of St. Peter and the other apostles, in communion of faith and life with her origin: and in that she is "sent out" into the whole world. ALL MEMBERS of the Church share in this mission, though in various ways. "The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well" ... thus the fruitfulness of apostolate for ordained ministers as well as for lay people clearly depends on their vital union with Christ... (Nos. 863-4)

"It is in the Church, in communion with all the baptized, that the Christian fulfills his vocation. From the Church he receives the Word of God containing the teachings of "the law of Christ." From the Church he receives the grace of the sacraments that sustains him on the "way". From the Church he learns the example of holiness and recognizes its model and source in the all-holy Virgin Mary; he discerns it in the authentic witness of those who live it; he discovers it in the spiritual tradition and long history of the saints who have gone before him and whom the liturgy celebrates in the rhythm of the sanctoral cycle" (No. 2030).


Thus, the Church substantiates your personal understanding, Aramis.

Aramis said...

Dear Athos,

Using nothing but church language you make it sound so... distant from the ordinary bloke in the pew. And what parish has taken up this cause to help each member of its congregation discern their "apostolic" mission in life? Unless one is headed for the religious life I know of no church program helping to do what I am talking about. Maybe Cursillo would be considered one program.

I guess I am saying I feel that we have minimized and trivalized the need for wholeness in our religious and spiritual life with our "paying job" distancing our understanding of life to that of the religious.

Athos said...

Aramis wrote: Using nothing but church language you make it sound so... distant from the ordinary bloke in the pew. And what parish has taken up this cause to help each member of its congregation discern their "apostolic" mission in life? Unless one is headed for the religious life I know of no church program helping to do what I am talking about.

Sorry to disappoint. I can only say that the Catechism, far from merely spouting "church language" is one of the dearest gifts that the Catholic Church has given the world. As Patrick Madrid says in his book, I’m Not Being Fed, if people want to be "fed" by their local parishes, they may lazily assume the spiritual food they seek is supposed to be spoon-fed to them, like cranky infants, instead of them growing up, utilizing all the sacramental grace that God wants them to enjoy, and follow their calling as mature Christians.

Not trying to sound proud or pat ourselves on our collective 4M backs, but look at us! We may think we discovered Gil, Girard, MT, Emmaus/Cursillo, and all the influences that have us continuing the struggle to live fully and more faithfully our vocations. But I know for a fact that the Catechism lies too dormant in my room, I attend Eucharist too infrequently, I give to my local homeless pal (Thomas) too little of myself and my means .... but I KNOW that it isn't the fault of my local parish. AND, the "church language" is something I will forever be grateful for, because it far exceeds my personal understanding ... something that was too important in the United Methodist Church (everyone's "personal understanding"). Follow that path, and all will end up scattered sheep and withered branches, trust me.

But perhaps you see more clearly than I.

Aramis said...

Sorry for the last comment. Question that I struggle with is how do we help one another, particularly the young discern their "vocation" or job. How are we helping create a life of wholeness - from job to family to church - serving God and one another? It seems to me our humanist and secularist programs of moving kids into adulthood have had their way with a number of generations where we adults attempting raise kids do not have parenting skills on how to connect "work" with "to know and serve God and one another." About all we do know is me-me-meism.

Note: I find I relate better to the masses, instead of the choir, and so I know that what I say here does not apply to you, however I believe it would apply to a majority of those in most pews across this great land of ours.

Are there church-specific discernment opportunities that the average person in the pews made available to help ourselves and our youth know how to serve God and one another?