The word vocation comes from a Latin word meaning “to call”.
In everyday language vocation can mean our job or occupation, but when we are looking at things from a background of faith, it is usually understood as the call that God gives us through our baptism to grow more like Jesus Christ – to share his life and love, to be holy and to offer our gifts and talents in the service of God and for the benefit of other people.
In the Catholic Church
There are four main states of life which a person can follow in responding to the invitation that God gives:
• that of a single person
• a married person
• a member of a religious congregation (sister, brother, priest)
• an ordained minister ie a priest or deacon
Who can help me?
To make a good decision, we need to enlist God’s help and especially open ourselves to the guidance of God’s Spirit.
If you feel your call is to priesthood or religious life, contacting the religious order which attracts you is a good start. They usually have a vocations director who can help you.
If your interest is in diocesan priesthood, the best course of action is to be in touch with a diocesan priest in your area. In Wellington, we have two priests assigned to discuss vocations to the diocesan priesthood and both would be happy to discuss this with you. You can visit the Diocesan Vocations page.
Knowing my vocation
We get to know people by spending time with them. It is the same with God. By making space for God in our lives and listening for God’s voice speaking through experiences which touch us deeply inside as well as outside ourselves, it is possible to start a conversation with God.
Through prayer, the scriptures, the sacraments, the advice of significant people and the acts of service we do for others, we can meet Jesus Christ. We can become conscious of God’s Spirit moving in our lives and start to be clearer about what is right for us in answering God’s call, even if we experience some moments of confusion and challenge.
Reaching a sense of peace and joy is usually a sign of reassurance.