Called to Serve: Vocations and the Church
The Lord calls each of us to live a life of holiness, a life of friendship with God. It is a call that we acknowledge, or others acknowledge for us, at Baptism, a call we respond to as we follow the Commandments and the precepts of the Church. It is the Universal Call to Holiness.
There are also specific vocations in which one gives oneself entirely to the Lord:
- In Marriage, a man and a woman give themselves to each other in a sacred bond that becomes a witness of love for the world;
- In Consecrated Life, which includes the state of being a religious sister or brother, a woman or man responds to a call from God to live the Christian life in a most radical way, imitating Christ and committing to the Evangelical Counsels. The Evangelical Counsels are principles laid out by Christ that, while not binding upon all, present a way to aim for Christian perfection. They include poverty, chastity and obedience;
- In the Ordained Priesthood, which includes bishops, priests and deacons, a man is configured to Christ as head and shepherd, of the Church.
There is a great need in the Church today to increase the numbers responding to the call to priesthood. Each of us has a role to play in this effort, building awareness and inviting the young people in our families and communities to be open to this call. It begins with teaching children to pray, to have a relationship with Christ. When we do that, we can have confidence they will respond to His call.
No matter what our state of life, when we follow what God desires of us, it brings us joy.