Sunday, April 25, 2010

47th World Day of Prayer for Vocations


I hadn't realized there was a day of prayer for vocations until today...I do pray for vocations, but I'm glad there is a day to set aside specifically for those who are discerning Jesus' call in their lives. Pope Benedict XVI titled this day of prayer "Witness Awakens Vocations". The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also opened their new vocation website on this day of prayer for vocations.

The very life of men and women religious proclaims the love of Christ whenever
they follow him in complete fidelity to the Gospel and joyfully make their own
its criteria for judgement and conduct. They become “signs of contradiction” for
the world, whose thinking is often inspired by materialism, self-centredness and
individualism. By letting themselves be won over by God through
self-renunciation, their fidelity and the power of their witness constantly
awaken in the hearts of many young people the desire to follow Christ in their
turn, in a way that is generous and complete. To imitate Christ, chaste, poor
and obedient, and to identify with him: this is the ideal of the consecrated
life, a witness to the absolute primacy of God in human life and

Every priest, every consecrated person, faithful to his or her
vocation, radiates the joy of serving Christ and draws all Christians to respond
to the universal call to holiness. Consequently, in order to foster vocations to
the ministerial priesthood and the consecrated life, and to be more effective in
promoting the discernment of vocations, we cannot do without the example of
those who have already said “yes” to God and to his plan for the life of each
individual. Personal witness, in the form of concrete existential choices, will
encourage young people for their part to make demanding decisions affecting
their future. Those who would assist them need to have the skills for encounter
and dialogue which are capable of enlightening and accompanying them, above all
through the example of life lived as a vocation. ~ Pope Benedict XVI
This is also a good day to remember and reflect on my own vocation history. Before entering on January 3rd, 1998, I spent a fair few years unsure of where I was finding God or following Christ. However, things came to a focus when Sr. Lorraine became my spiritual director as I was finishing up college. We met twice a month to discuss a book about the Rule of Benedict, pray, and share about our prayer lives. She was a wonderful guide and coach as I started to seriously consider my vocation to be a Benedictine; she was also quite direct. Sr. Lorraine challenged me to begin letting go of things, to practice setting aside parties and spending practices. Then she cut to the more outings with boys who happened to be 'friends'. I was still waffling a bit during one of our sessions before I requested application papers and she gave me some of the most wonderful advice (I think it's why I'm here now): You don't have to enter knowing that you can be there for a lifetime! Give God a year and see how your Call goes and listen to Christ in your prayer. Then give God another year ... Being a Sister doesn't happen all at once, but it grows year by year.


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