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What Is A “Vocation” and Why Is It Important?

About a year ago, I went on a retreat that sought to answer the questions; What is a vocation? and Why is it important? Going into it, I definitely expected the weekend to be an infomercial as to why I should dump my boyfriend, throw away college and become a nun. However, the holy spirit brought me there for a completely different reason. He wanted to de-bunk that myth for me, which is exactly what I’ll be doing for you today.

About a year ago, I went on a retreat that sought to answer the question; What is a vocation? Going into it, I definitely expected the weekend to be an infomercial as to why I should become a nun. Click To Tweet

First, though, let me give a bit of an intro.

 

Today’s blog marks the first of what I hope will be an awesome new series. I find that so many people around me call themselves Catholic, want to be Catholic or have just heard about Catholicism, yet they’ve got some (or a lot of) questions about the basics. When I first decided I wanted to really put everything I had into Catholicism and into God’s hands, I knew basically…nothing.

I seriously couldn’t have even recited the Hail Mary to you.

Awkward as it was to admit, I think it’s important that I do. Being a Catholic is so much more than a title; it’s completely a way of life. There’s a lot to it, and I truly believe it’s all interesting to learn about.

My journey has been never-ending since I made that decision, and I feel like I could write novels on how much there is to know about Catholicism (even though there’s still so much I don’t know). It’s such a thorough religion and when you look at the reasonings behind why everything is the way it is–it’s just so cool and rock-solid.

So, I created this series to help you on your journey, and possibly just to open your eyes to what Catholics believe. It’s something I wish I’d had in college, so I know it will be of use to my lovely readers.

Also, because I want this series to be Q & A style, I need your input! What do you want to know more about? You can leave a comment below, click on any of my social medias or go to my contact page to let me know.


 

What is a vocation?

If you do a quick Google search for the definition, you’ll find this: “A strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation.” It comes from the Latin word “vocare” which means “to call”. (Via Dictionary.com.) Basically, your vocation is your calling in life.

Knowing that, we can debunk the misconception right now that vocation means joining the religious life. Yes, it can mean that, but it can also mean a whole list of others things. In Catholic terms, your vocation is how you devote your life to Christ. Whether that be through becoming a priest, marriage or something else–every person is called to do it somehow.

As Pope John Paul II says, “Every life is a vocation.”

However, what sets Catholic vocations apart from a worldly vocation is discernment (or perceiving/judging what God is calling us toward). Every person, whether they actually do it or not, is called to discern what God wants them to do in their life. This is very different from just planning for the future, for one very specific reason.

Every person, whether they actually do it or not, is called to discern what God wants them to do in their life. Click To Tweet

As Russell Shaw states in this article, “Typically, people who plan but don’t discern organize their lives in light of goals that promise personal satisfaction.”

In other words, they try to figure out what they want to do with their life, rather than what God is asking them to do. One is done to satisfy the self, while the other is done to satisfy a plan larger than self. One is selfish, one is selfless.

Whether or not we discern and follow through with whatever we discern, we still all have a vocation. And once we figure out what God is calling us to do, we can be sure that He’ll show us the path.

 

 

Why are vocations important?

Although I touched on this a bit in the last section, I need to reiterate something: God is love.

By that I mean; no matter what path God wants you to go down, it’s going to be the path of the most outward love. It’s the exact reason why vocations are important and, more so, why it’s important to discern what yours is.

By that I mean; no matter what path God wants you to go down, it's going to be the path of the most outward love. Click To Tweet

When you go down the path that God has chosen for you, you’ll be choosing love. It will be the vocation that allows you to give that love to others in the best way possible.

Although I won’t go into too much detail in this post, look at what you think you’re currently being called to. A way to know it’s your calling is by the fruits that it bears. Does it give you real joy? Does it teach you patience, virtue and responsibility? And, most importantly, does it cause you to constantly be giving love to those around you (no matter who they are)?

God wants love to be central in our lives, which is why we need to make sure we’re constantly aligning our plan to meet that goal. It may not be the thing we currently want to do in life, but it’s going to pay off in so many unseen ways.

 

 

Extra resources about vocations.

 

 

Let’s have a conversation about vocations below! (Or let me know what questions you have and I’ll try and help you figure them out.) Love,

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