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What is Vocation?
The word Vocation stems from the Latin: Vocare meaning to call. So, Vocation is about a call in our lives.
But where is this call from? The Bible tells us that throughout human history, God calls each person to come close to Him by doing his will and playing a part in the on-going conversion and salvation of humankind. God has a plan. You and I are a part of His plan and we each have our role to play for the good of everyone. As St Paul told the Romans:
“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:4-8)
What we are to be, the role we are to play i.e. “the call” was given to us at baptism in that we are all called to holiness. The way of life we are called to should always be at the service of our call to holiness.
So you see, Vocation has a wider scope than being called to be a priest, monk or nun. EVERYONE has a Vocation. God is calling us to be someone special. When Jesus called his disciples it wasn’t just to help him in his work. It was so they could be tranformed in love and become more like him. He gives us the Holy Spirit to help us share in his life here on earth and to express that life through love. The life we are called to lead, our Vocation, transforms us in love. It is a call to share in the life of the Trinity.
There are four core Vocations in life. The first two are obvious as we naturally apply the term ‘Vocation’ to them …. Priesthood and Religious/Consecrated Life. But for those who are not called to this way of life, there is another call. A call to devote their lives to being single or a call to married life. It is our duty to ‘discern’ what Jesus asks of us in the Holy Spirit, and to take up that call.