May the Lord give you Peace! The Catholic Church in the U.S.A are this week celebrating ‘National Vocations Awareness Week’. It began with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord last Sunday and ends tomorrow January 16th. There have been many excellent resources posted on the internet but one that I found particularly interesting was submitted by Father David Toups, interm director of the Office of Clergy and Consecrated Life and Vocations at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Father Toups offers “Ten Things”, steps Catholics can do to promote vocations to priesthood and religious life and I was particularly taken by steps 6ff. I pray that those discerning their vocation at this time, particularly those who read this blog will find these steps helpful.
For those considering a vocation:
6. Practice the faith. We will need to be reminded that the whole point of our lives is to grow in a deep, intimate and loving relationship with God. This is the first step for any young person desiring to discern any call in life.
7. Enter into the Silence. Silence is key to sanity and wholeness. We can only “hear” the voice of God if we are quiet. Take out the ear buds of your iPhone, iPod, and iTunes and listen to God, the great I AM. Young people should try to spend 15 minutes of quiet prayer each day – this is where you can begin to receive clear direction in your lives.
8. Be a good disciple. Some bishops say, “We do not have a vocation crisis; we have a discipleship crisis.” Young people can become true followers of Jesus Christ by serving those around them. By discovering your call to discipleship, you also discover your particular call within the Church.
9. Ask God. Ask God what He wants for your life and know He only wants what is good for you. If, in fact, you are called to the priesthood or consecrated life, it will be the path to great joy and contentment.
10. In the immortal words of a famous sneaker manufacturer: “Just do it!” If you feel that God is inviting you to “try it out,” apply to the seminary or religious order. Remember, the seminary or convent (or Friary), is a place of discernment. You will not be ordained or asked to profess vows for many years, providing ample opportunity to explore the possibility of a call to priesthood or religious life.
God bless you and if you want to contact me please do not hesitate to do so at: firstname.lastname@example.org