Many people, wondering what God’s plan for their life may be, ask the question, “do I have a vocation?” In order to begin to answer that question we need to know what a vocation even is. The word vocation derives from the Latin word vocare which means “to call”. A vocation simply is a calling. The first calling we each have on account of our baptism, is the call to holiness. We have been chosen by God to be holy, as St. Paul says in the beginning of his letter to the Ephesians. This is the call shared by every baptized person.
Sometimes, God issues another call for someone to follow Him more radically. This is the call to the priesthood or religious life. It is a call to step outside of our normal daily activities and dedicate ourselves more fully to the Glory of God and the spread of the Gospel. This is what many people mean when they begin considering if they have a “vocation”. What is important in all this is not to confuse the two calls. A person who feels called to greater holiness, prayerfulness, and love of God is feeling the call which each of us should be pursuing. It is from this that one is then called to more radical self gift and apostolic activity.
This small amount of clarity in what we are even asking helps set the stage so we can take the first steps in growing in holiness and have the freedom to then hear the voice of the Master if he should call us by name and say, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”.
Fr. Michael Casey
Message from Fr. Casey
"It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain." (John 15:16). The call of the Lord Jesus to serve him in the Holy Priesthood arises directly from the love of his Sacred Heart. He is still calling many more men today to leave their worldly desires and ambitions behind and set out on the great adventure of the Catholic Priesthood, to dedicate their lives to the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
A call to the priesthood usually begins with some attraction to priestly life and ministry, a call to give oneself to God in a deeper, more radical way. From there through prayer and participation in the Church's sacramental life, one usually is led to greater trust in beginning to take the first steps of answering God's call. If you think God may be calling you, do not be afraid! Spend time in prayer, particularly in Eucharistic Adoration and participation in the Sacraments, in order to come to know Christ better. Also, it would be helpful to reach out and speak to a priest who you may know and trust, just to see what his thoughts are.
The Lord God promised to send shepherds for his Church. Today, the people of God need good and holy priests who will proclaim the Gospel and celebrate the Sacraments for our world. If God is calling you, be courageous in answering, knowing that with St. Paul "we can do all things in him who strengthens us" (cf Phil 4:14).