Monday, January 21, 2008

1. Catholic Vocation

1. What can you do?
 Make praying for vocations a part of your daily family prayer.
 Choose five priests or religious whom you know and make a lifetime commitment to pray for them.

 Encourage discussions and reflections about priests and saints in the
family.

 Help young people and children to meet and be inspired by priests and religious.
 Support young people in helping them to discern their call and say ‘yes’.

2. Let the youth be challenged!

Let the young people being challenged today by parents, teachers, priests, and those in the consecrated state to consider the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood and/or to the consecrated state. We must not assume today that young people—and not so young—have already been challenged, or that there is no need to do so. Long gone are the days when almost every unmarried Catholic, at one time or another, gave serious thought about a vocation and were encouraged to do so.In view of this, should we not take it upon ourselves to go out of our way frequently to suggest to individuals that Our Lord may indeed be calling them to Holy Orders and/or the consecrated state? If we neglect to do this, how many vocations will go unheeded?

3. Some basic principles to discern a possible vocation

1) It is Our Lord who initiates the call. "You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." – John 15:16
2) It should be realized that a vocation involves a lifetime commitment of total surrender or self-sacrifice.
3) A vocation is not intended to serve oneself, but primarily to serve Our Lord and then others for His sake.
4) If one believes he (she) might have a vocation, he should seek the counsel of someone in Holy Orders or the consecrated life who is noted for orthodoxy, sanctity and learning.
5) If a possible vocation is discerned, then where it is to be realized must be discerned as well; for example, in the diocesan priesthood or in an institute of consecrated life.
6) Ultimately, it is not the individual himself who has the final say in the discernment process. Rather, it is a Bishop or a superior in an institute of consecrated life.

4. Some guidelines to seriously consider and reflect upon:

1) Frequent prayer is a must to help a person further clarify a possible vocation and to remain faithful to it. Our Lord will not fail to respond.
2) A lifetime of daily prayer is expected in the fulfillment of a vocation.
3) A deep desire for self-sacrifice and sanctity should be present.
4) Do I accept without qualification all of the Church's teaching as contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church?
5) Am I committed to obey at all times those whom Our Lord will place over me?
6) Do I desire the salvation of souls, i.e., all souls?
7) A true vocation does not imply a call to escape trials and difficulties. Be assured that there will be trials and difficulties as well for those in Holy Orders or in an institute of consecrated life.
8) Good physical and emotional health is a prerequisite.
9) Do I generally get along well with others? Can I charitably put up with "difficult" people?
10) Am I free from family or other obligations? A person with a vocation is to leave everything and follow Christ.
11) Do I deeply desire to forsake with God's help "the world, the flesh and the devil"?
12) Do I believe I have a vocation to the celibate state and that it is not simply a burden I must bear?
13) Am I convinced that Our Lord will not only provide the grace to live a celibate life faithfully, but joyfully as well?

While these principles and guidelines are in no way exhaustive, they do provide helpful, concrete suggestions for proper discernment. Above all, it is essential to work closely with a qualified spiritual director, one who can help a person to objectively search one's heart and soul. A spiritual director will assist a person considering a vocation to the priesthood or religious life to honestly answer the above questions.
Also it must be said that a close union with Our Eucharistic Lord and a tender love for Our Lady will greatly assist an individual in the discernment process and later help in remaining faithful to his or her own vocation.

3 comments:

chalangady said...

What u mentioned under the title'Some guidelines to seriously consider and reflect upon'are so important and useful. Every priest should read, reflect upon and ponder over these points and put into practice in their life. Again you publish such inspiring things.
Wish u all the best,
Fr. Alex

kunjuvarkey said...

hai sajan,I have gone through the 'VOCATION SPECIAL'and honestly I can say,without any exaggeration or attempt at flattery,I did enjoy ur blog & it is very inspiring and very useful.In the light of my personal experience, I would gladly recommend this blog to every religious and esp.vocation promoters.

choorapuzha said...

hai sajan,I have gone through the 'VOCATION SPECIAL'and honestly I can say,without any exaggeration or attempt at flattery,I did enjoy ur blog & it is very inspiring and very useful.In the light of my personal experience, I would gladly recommend this blog to every religious and esp.vocation promoters.
Wish u all the best,
fr.saji choorapuzha vc