What is a Vocation?

VOCATION is the calling or purpose we have in this life and hereafter. God has created the human person to love and serve God; the fulfillment of this vocation is eternal happiness.

To answer the call is the beginning of our personal fulfillment…our satisfaction… our sense of achievement. God made us for something great and the only way we can be truly happy is by answering God’s call.

Who is Called?

ALL members of the Church are employed as laborers in the vineyard of the Lord … EACH is called by name, to make a special contribution to the coming of the Kingdom of God. NO talent, no matter how small, is to be hidden or left unused.”

Those are the words of Pope Saint John Paul II. And they are the key to our happiness in life. No one is nameless or faceless before God. God doesn’t love crowds. God loves persons — and wants to love them into greatness. The Father loves you as if you are His only child.

God’s plan extends to everyone, regardless of circumstances, talents, or seeming limitations. This is the “universal call to holiness,” and it is what we believe as Catholics. “All the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity.”

How do Vocations Differ?

The Bible tells us:

“There are DIFFERENT kinds of spiritual GIFTS but the same Spirit;
there are DIFFERENT forms of SERVICE …
but the same God who produces ALL of them in EVERYONE …
One and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them INDIVIDUALLY to EACH person as he wishes.”
— 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

God calls everyone to a life of complete self-giving. But no two lives will look alike. There are many kinds of vocation, and each represents a way of life completely given to God. The Church has traditionally recognized vocations as falling into one of four “states of life”:

1. Married
2. Committed singlehood
3. Clergy
4. Consecrated life

For each person, with each calling, the Spirit also gives the grace to follow that path.


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