Vocations.. and what it means to us as Christians.

Vocations.. and what it means to us as Christians.

This Sunday is commonly refered to as either Good SHepherd Sunday, ( because the readings of this week all center around the theme of Jesus as the Good Shepherd), or it is also called Vocations Sunday.

For the universal church, most of the average Catholics this means a calling to either the Priesthood, or religious life.
More recently, due to the fewer number of priests, the Diaconate has come to be included in that narrower view of the average person in the pew.  There are prayers for vocations to these areas, but this is only a very narrow view of what vocations are, and what they mean for each person.

Lets take a closer look at vocations in the all encompassing view.

Vocations in the secular view, are something you do for work.  Its a job that you train for , or out of necessity you take on.  After you have spent sometime doing this job or that, it is considered that this work is your vocation, and things you do for fun or enjoyment are commonly referred to as an “avocation” or something you do not do to make your “daily bread”or pay the bills with.

Now in the Christian view, a vocation is something totally different ( although it might appear to be the same thing outwardly).

A vocation is a calling from God, to take on some type of life work or service to the church universal.   A true vocation is something that the individual person is lead to, and is then subsequently confirmed by the church ( which would include both the majisterium and the laity).

You might ask yourself why this is.  Think of it this way.  We all have had a friend, or relative who believed that they could sing very well, but pretty much everyone else would disagree and run for cover or put on headphones to get away from.   It does no  good to say to that person that they should persue a musical career as a singer, if although they may love to sing, that they are  tone deaf and everytime they being to sing that even the dogs in the neighborhood start to howl.

Vocations are as unique as each person is and each person needs to have ears to hear.

A vocation can be to the priesthood, to religious life and the diaconate.  It can also be to being single, married, and to the terciary orders.

Not everyone is called to the priesthood, and by the same token, not everyone is called to enter the sacrament of Marriage.

Like those in religious life, or priesthood, a vocation to being single means that you are free to then serve Christ through others in the world, and in your daily life.

No matter what vocation you are called to, each of us is called to bring Christ into the world, according to our vocation and state.
In particular, I would like to take a moment to talk about the Terciary Orders ( THird Orders).

I grew up in a part of the country where no one had ever heard of Third orders.  No one in my family had learned of them, and I heard about them, because of the fact that while I was on a retreat, I met a young man who was a member of the Franciscan third Order ( Secular).

Although I have not ever met him again, I often wish that I had the oppotunity to thank him for not only sharing Christ with me, but introducing me to the Franciscans, and what would become my own vocation.
The terciary orders are full of people who are lay people, who live and work in the world.  We hold down jobs, and we have our own dwellings.  Some are married, some single, some priests or deacons.   All of whom follow a rule of life, and follow the Charims of their founder.

My personal vocation is to the Franciscan Charism.  It fits me like a glove.  Your vocation should be that way.  It should feel right, it should fit who you are.

If you are interested in the Franciscan Charism, I would like to invite you to find a community near you. Come and see..
If you feel like you are being called to more than just where ever you are in your life now.  Come and see …
If you love the Lord, and the church, and feel like there is something more for you…  Come and see..

Here is a website, with all of the National listings for each country as a starting point.

http://www.ciofs.org/portal/images/Misc_docs/fraternities130927.pdf

You can also ask your local Parish priest, or call your diocesean library for assistance.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

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