Sunday, April 26th, is the 52nd Annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations
In a special message written for that occasion, Pope Francis defines the Christian vocation as “first and foremost a call to love.” Using the wonderful analogy of the call of Moses to lead his people out of bondage and into the Promised Land, the Holy Father explains that a vocation is a love that draws us out of ourselves and asks us to leave behind our comfort, false securities, and ego to move forward with trust, knowing that God will show us the way. “Those who set out to follow Christ find life in abundance by putting themselves completely at the service of God and his Kingdom,” the pope said. “The exodus towards God and others fills our lives with joy and meaning.” The reality is, everyone has a vocation, whether it is to the priesthood, religious life, married or single life. Each is important and each is a valid pathway to holiness. It is our responsibility as Christians to enter into a deep and personal conversation with God to discover exactly which vocation he may be calling us to. Once we discover and live that vocation with our whole heart, our lives will be all the richer – and so will the Church and the world. That’s because a vocation is a calling to service. It’s a way to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to others and help establish his Kingdom here on earth.
Once we discern and begin living our vocation, our job is not over. We are to encourage and support others in their discernment and in their current vocations. That’s why the Church initiated The World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Together, we can pray that God will send laborers to the harvest. And that those laborers will respond with openness and generosity.
As part of my ministry, I have a heart for inspiring vocations. One way I do that is through the radio program I host for St. Gabriel Catholic Radio AM 820. Each week I have the privilege of interviewing priests, deacons, and religious sisters and brothers about their personal spiritual journeys to learn how they heard and answered God’s call and how they are living their current vocations. If you’ve never caught the show, I encourage you to listen Tuesdays or Sundays at 12:30 p.m. Previous episodes of “Answering The Call” are archived at www.stgabrielradio.com.
Another way I strive to inspire vocations is through my writing. As a parent, I particular recognize the need to encourage vocations in our children. We need to plant the seeds of awareness and openness at a young age so they, too, can begin their dialogue with God to discover their unique vocation. To that end, I’ve written a children’s book series called Where Do Priests Come From? Where Do Sisters Come From? and Where Do Deacons Come From? Each contains charming illustrations and text to make real to a young audience these men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving Christ and his Church. You can learn more about these books here: http://elizabethficocelli.com/books-for-youth/
This week, pray about it. In what way might you inspire vocations?
Elizabeth Ficocelli is a Catholic author of 15 books for adults and young people, a national Catholic speaker, a frequent guest on Catholic radio and television, and the host of “Answering The Call” on St. Gabriel Catholic Radio AM 820. For more on her writing, speaking, and media work visit: www.elizabethficocelli.com