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Friday, August 10, 2012

What are we called to be

There is a wonderful word that is rarely heard anymore.  That word is vocation.  Now as a Catholic, I hear this word when it is referring to someone joining the priesthood, or the religious life.  But there is so much more to it than that.  A vocation is a calling, a hint from the universe on how you fit into the grand scheme of things.
I think that in our modern society we have killed the understanding of such a word.  We rarely talk about what people feel called toward.  A vocational counselor at a high school may ask a student what they are interested in, and what they think that they might like to do; and these are important things.  But they miss the point.  We all have a place in the world, and will only be happy when we truly find out where it is.  Sure our inclinations and interests may point us in the direction, but we need to realize that a calling is so much more that doing something that interest you. 
The work of a vocation is the work that truly feeds your soul.  It harmonizes and energizes you.  Does this mean that you will never have a difficult day, or never be tired and worn out; of course not.  However it does mean that you will not feel the dreaded grayness that seems to infect our society.  We live in a world where people are expected to work for money, that is the point.  And money can be important, but it is not the goal.  Too often we lose sight of that fact.  We lose sight of the fact that we are called to multiple paths, and we must synthesize them.  We must bring them together.  I am called to be a Husband, and a Father, and a Worker, and a Teacher.  Somehow I must reconcile all of these in order to create something unique.  No one else on earth has the same calling that I do. 
Your vocation is part of your being.  It is part of who you are.  We still have remnants of this idea, even in our modern times.  Often if you ask someone about themselves that will answer with what their occupation is.  But this is but a shadow of what a vocation is.  An occupation is what is done to satisfy bodily needs, like food and shelter.  A vocation often satisfies those needs but deeper ones as well.  A vocation can help to satisfy spiritual needs, and is as much a part of us as our bodies.  A vocation is the blueprint that helps us to become what we should be. 
How can we instill this in the world around us.  I think the answer typically lies with the youth.  We forget because we are so limited that new ideas often do not flourish because they defeated existing ideas, but rather because the old ideas died with their holders.  The youth is what carries the ideals and ideas of a civilization forward.  We must attempt to change ourselves, try to find our own calling, and live that calling fully, and pass this passion for vocation onto others.  It does not take many to create a huge change.  One of the biggest movements in the history of the West started with 12.  I continue to look for my calling, and I hope that my encouragement may has helped you to look for yours.

"If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire!"- St. Catherine of Siena

"The Nation doesn't simply need what we have, it needs what we are"- St. Edith Stein

Live a hands-on life

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