Understanding God's call

By  Valeria French, Youth Speak News
  • October 31, 2008
{mosimage}Living out a vocation does not mean settling. It is far from it — but some people mistakenly think otherwise.

I came across someone who thought entering the priesthood late in life was just something to settle for because he did not get married, did not have children and so the next best thing was to enter the seminary. Did he ever approach that the wrong way.
In the end, he did not enter the seminary and chose to stick with living the single life, which had already proved to be his vocation.

Only certain men and women are called to the religious life. He knew what God wanted for him and that celibacy was his calling but priesthood was not the way for him to go about it. Having a family or saying Mass is not necessarily for everyone.

A person’s true vocation is what will leave that individual feeling fulfilled about what they  accomplish in life. Ultimately, a vocation is God’s personal call for each of us. Some may be called to religious life, single life or married life.

Even studying a particular subject in a post-secondary institute or taking on a particular career can be seen as a vocation — a temporary but important vocation.

Who are we to alter it to make ourselves “happy”? Only He knows what will keep us happy forever. If we follow our own life design, we will be living a life that may not fulfil us in the way(s) we hoped.  For some, the path to discerning a vocation is a battle that takes years to resolve. For others, it is very easy — they wake up one day knowing what they are called to do.

Not long ago, I discussed with some of my friends if it is possible to indirectly prevent someone from following God’s call. After lengthy debates and some faith sharing, we decided the answer all around was a plain and simple no. Our conclusion was that everyone responds to their call whether they are aware of it or not. Some people just take a more winding route before they manage to do that.

For others, it springs upon them faster than they are able to realize. For instance, when someone is in the midst of discerning the religious life, someone from the opposite sex might enter their life. They develop a strong relationship, and soon both people may start to battle with all sorts of questions. In talking to a few couples that have gone through this, I have noticed that the common question that arises is “did I stop him from answering God’s call?”

The fact of the matter is, chances are, their vocation is to the married life and likely their new friend has a place in their destiny. God has a funny way of doing this sort of thing to many people. Surrendering to God’s call is the greatest feeling in the world. It is not something you can run and hide from and it is not something you settle for, it is a call that God gives you that should be embraced and lived out.

(French, 21, studies human resources at Centennial College and theology at the University of Toronto.)

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