In our world today, people make choices of what they intend becoming in the future at a very tender and innocent age because as little as they are, they understand that “he who fails to plan at a young age, plans to fail at old age” as an author rightly said. Unfortunately for some, they end up becoming something that “betrays” their choices made at that tender age. For example, as friends growing up together around the neighborhood, we all had what we envisioned as kids about our future back then. For some of us, we envisioned going into the religious life, for some they envisioned becoming married men and women who will be progenitiors of children, some envisioned being consecrated persons(though very rare). As a matter of truth, no one envisioned going into single life. Unfortunately but fortunately, this is the stark reality of life; some will be Priests, some will be professed Sisters(Rev. Srs.), some will be married with kids or without kids, some will be consecrated persons and others will neither be called to religious life nor the marital life. However, whatever our lots may be or will be, it should be our gift to God like Saint Augustine’s theological tenet portrayed “what we are is God’s gift to us and what we make of ourselves is our gift back to God”.
God still calls people, ordinary people like you and me for a special mission in life. Cardinal Newman wrote, “God created me to do him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission -I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow, I am necessary for his purpose, as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his… He has not created me for nothing”.
The above quotation by Cardinal Newman depicts the fact that we all have our own vocation and whatever one becomes in the future, it is his/her vocation.
Vocation comes from the Latin word “Vocare” which means to call. God calls or invites you to a particular vocation:single life, marriage, priesthood or consecrated life. Although each of us must make a decision about our vocation, that choice is a response to an invitation from God.
The word “Vocation” can be understood in a broad sense as a calling from God, including the call to life, friendship with Him(Jesus), Holiness, love and so forth. Vocation is not only a call to what we are not but a call to what we first of all are and what we make of ourselves while cooperating with the will of God.
THE GIFT OF THE PRIESTHOOD/RELIGIOUS LIFE is one of the noblest gift of Christ to the Church for the mission of a Priest is to be an “alter Christus” another Christ, to carry on the mission of Christ as set out by Christ himself in the synagogue (c. f Lk 4:18-19). It is scripturally scripted in Hebrew 5:1 that “every high Priest is selected from the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. No one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was (c. f Hebrew 5:4)
A Dominican Priest, Lacordaire, describes Priesthood in this way: ” To live in the midst of the world with no desire for its pleasures, to be a member of every family, yet belonging to none, to share all sufferings, to penetrate all secrets, to heal all wounds, to daily go from men to God to offer Him their homage and petitions, to return from God to men to bring them His pardon and hope, to have a heart on fire with charity and a heart of bronze for chastity, to bless and to be blest forever. O God, what a life and it is yours, O Priest of Jesus Christ! ”
Saint Francis of Asisi also remarked “when I see a Priest and an Angel, I will first of all greet the Priest”. This illustration shows the sublimity of such gift as the Priesthood.
Having paid more attention on the vocation to the Priesthood, it is important that all other vocation have their purposes and as such are equally gifts from God. They are important as well and whichever vocation we find ourselves, we must commit ourselves to them for the greater glory of God. Remember, what we are is God’s gift to us but what we make of ourselves is our gift to God. We must note too that the marital life and single life are Vocations too. Being married without kids must be seen as a vocation and being single for life must be seen as a vocation and not some sort of “works of village people”. We must respond positively to these calls and see them as a call from God. Unfortunately, some persons who are married and without kids or are not married and are single have entangled themselves in the web of the devil by looking for solution where there is no problem. They go as far as committing themselves to false prophets and their prophecies. Some have committed suicide all in the name of ” I can’t face this anymore”. WHY? They didn’t realize it is a vocation and little did they know it is to be used as a gift back to God.
Lastly, there are eight things about your vocation to the religious life, marital life or single life. They are; vocation is by invitation; God calls you personally; your vocation is an expression of who you are; God knows us best; A vocation is different from a career; every vocation is a call to love; God respects your freedom; every vocation is a sublime gift.
May God grant us the grace to respond positively to His call and make of our vocation a gift back to Him. Amen
© EFOSA, Martinmary✍️✍️✍️
CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF BENIN CITY
DISCLAIMER: Articles of news and information remain that of the author and not of the Admin and the CATHAREO Team.