Discovering God’s will for your life – your vocation – is a process. It is not just one decision, but a collection of decisions that leads to peace and joy in your heart. God wants you to be happy!
Listening for God’s voice in the big and small moments of life, we hear God’s invitation to use our gifts and life experiences for the greater good. Vocation ministry, then, is assisting and supporting young people in discovering their gifts, recognizing the needs of the world around them, and determining where they can most fully and authentically share their gifts in the service of others. This is a service to them and to the Church. “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet,” said Frederick Buechner, theologian.
We can all become “vocation promoters” by creating a culture of vocation – an atmosphere in our families and among our friends, in our parishes and our workplaces, in whatever communities we are a part of – where listening for God’s call is the norm. This culture of vocation is rooted in our baptismal identity of the universal call to holiness, where discernment of God’s call and our response to it becomes the air we breathe in our homes, our schools and our parishes.
How might you personally engage in creating and nurturing a culture of vocation and accompany the young people in your life to listen for God’s call?
Pope Francis, in remarks made during a general audience April 27, encourages gathering young and older people together to talk and connect, creating a “bridge that we have to reestablish more strongly,” because it is through this connection that salvation, hope and joy flow. Even for those for whom “God language” may not be comfortable, we can encourage that inner search of finding a place of purpose: Be something only you can be. Do something only you can do.
The SSND North American Vocation Team is available to assist with the process of discernment or creating a culture of vocation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check out these resources.
(This article originally appeared on the back cover of the 2022 Trust & Dare Magazine.)