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The Pope could not have just awoken up one day and decided he wanted to become priest.

He had to go through a series of reflections and discernment to figure out what his desires
were. He had to realize his vocation.

Vocation means "VOCARE" - TO CALL

It is a voice that tells us what we ought to do. A vocation is an armation of who we are all along.

Jobs

It is an identity that is expressed through (but limited to) jobs and careers.

Mk. 1:14-20 (call of the first disciples)

Call
Both refers to the idea of calling. Jesus called the apostles. Vocation is our personal calling.

Response

Both refer to the need of response. The apostles found meaning and purpose in Jesus.
Vocation reveals our personal purpose.

The gospel deepens our understanding of vocation. It is the call of Jesus Christ, similar to that
invitation he made to his disciples. The vocation is an outright call to respond. Jesus wants us to
say "yes" to him and to follow him. So this call is not only an internal calling, to simply be.

Vocations entails a mission. Jesus called him friends so that they may be sent. The call is urgent
because Christ's work is urgent. Our participation in His work is to build God's Kingdom on earth
and spread the Good News what we call our vocation.

This Gospel likens our search for vocation to that of fishing. Before Jesus Christ, they do not
know where to fish. It is like fishing for nothing. They do not know where to look. When Jesus
came into the picture they knew where to fish and their catch was abundant. Jesus asks us to
allow Him to illuminate our vocation so that we may know where to look and to find what we are
looking for.

Vocation as generally understood is that which we find as if we are to make it on our own but the
vocation as Christ reveals to us is that to be discovered. It is already within us and we are to
discover it.

Catholic Understanding of Vocation "Vocation Christ's call for each and everyone of us"

Vocation comes from a voice "in here" calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill
the original selfhood given to me at birth by God.

God communicates to us through our profoundest human concerns and interests.

Our vocation is "the place that God us is that place where the world's deep hunger and our
own deep desire meet."
Our talents and gifts, our passions, motivations and interests, all give us clues to our true
calling.

God shows us our vocation through our circumstances and our daily experiences, and
probably how we react to them and create meaning with them.

Vocation is the essence of MAGIS, of asking what more we can do for God out of love.

Although we have our own specific vocations as revealed to us by our unique talents,
aspirations, and abilities, we share in a common vocation as revealed to us by our own Baptism
and Confirmation.

The Catechism tell us that....

Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are sacraments of Christian initiation. They ground the
common vocation of all Christ's disciples, a vocation to holiness and to the mission of
evangelizing the world.

Our common vocation is to be holy, to evangelize the world, to love. Our purpose is to find
our what we are specifically called to do. To discover our own specific vocation grounded in all
these three. All of us have talents, skills, and abilities that are unique to us. Jesus Christ tell
us to share it to the world.

Although we have dierent set of talents which we must show to the world, Jesus tells us to
ground in (1) the commitment to follow him and (2) ultimately, love not just any other love, but
to love the way Christ loves.

St. John Paul I tells us that "Love is the fundamental and inmate vocation of every human
being," and thus having drawn by love and in love to commit oneself to a way of life. This
common vocation to follow Christ in love guides us to seek our own unique vocation,
considering our talents, daily experiences, concrete situation.

St. Ignatius of Loyola propose a way to seek God's specific vocation for each one of us. It is in a
process of prayerful decision making or what we can know as DISCERNMENT.

DISCERNMENT is about sifting through the spirits.

St. Ignatius was aware that God communicates to us through dierent interior movements.
(desire, etc) However He also knows that there was movements that do more come from the Holy
Spirit (e.g. Movements that leads us to selfishness) This is to reason why he called this process
discernment - to sift through our spirits: to identify which movements are from the Holy Spirit,
and those that do not.

Discernment is choosing between two "goods." Choosing between good and bad does not need
discernment. Discernment comes out of the spiritual warfare within. If there is no struggle, there
is no need to discern. Discernment only makes sense in the context of a loving relationship with
God. This process hopes to find the best way to please God, whom we love.

Seven Attitudes required for an authentic discernment process


Openness

Generosity

Courage

Interior Freedom

A Habit of Prayerful Reflection on One's Experience (Examen)

Having One's Priorities Straight

Not Confusing Ends with Means

Practical Discernment Techniques

We must put before our mind what is it we want to decide to do.

We should ask for the grace to try not to prefer one option over the other. We must maintain a
balance and only desire to do God's will.

We pray for God's enlightenment and that He may move us to seek only that option that will
make us serve and praise God even more.

A suggestion is that we imagine ourselves as a person we never met who seeks our help in
how to respond to God's call in the same decision we are considering. Observe what advice
what we give the person and follow it ourselves.

We can tell what God wants from us when we find "life" to the things we are doing or are about
to do.

Discernment is about finding God in the midst of the decision being made, listening to God, and
inviting God is the process of decision making.

Recap:

Answering a vocation is not similar to having an "advanced screening" of your life, where you are
guaranteed of seeing how things will fall into place for you. A vocation is made up of everyday
yes's to God's call is the general direction of a life that follows God. A vocation then, more that
an expression who we are, is realizing our poverty and need for God. To answer His call is to
recognize that His word is all we need to be live fully.

Though we are called to many dierent things, all these must be based on a common call to love
others the way we are based loved by Christ.

Jobs
Why must we have dierent passions or ambitions or careers or states of living?

The world needs this diversity or else the world will not function.

Vocations in the Church

Marriage: Marriage is a vocation to live in a union with a person of the opposite sex, to help
each other grow in holiness and love for God. In this love of Hod and one another, the married
couple participate and share in God's creative work in bearing children. This vocation grows
into not just in loving and helping each other grow, it also involves raising children through the
unconditional love of God.

Single Life: Even the single life is a calling, although there is no sacrament that specifically
show this. By default, we can say that every person begins at single. Therefore, we carry within
us the vocation shared with us in our Baptism and Confirmation. The dierence is by this time,
we are to exercise them as hopefully mature adults.

Religious Life: Religious life, a call to ordained priesthood or a religious community, is a


calling to serve God and his people in unique way through prayer and serving.

Whatever state of living we choose as our vocation, it must be rooted in the common vocation -
to love and to build God's Kingdom in all of the world.

Marriage as a Vocation to Love


The love that exists between husband and wife is likened to the love God has for his creation and
Jesus has for his Church. Marriage is a permanent and faithful and fruitful union of a man and
woman who enter into covenant relationship with each other each other and God.

Marriage requires commitment and fidelity.

By involving God in every aspect of this internal life, the dicult tasks of commitment and
faithfulness become much easier through His grace. Because it is commitment, it is a daily call to
marriage. Marriage is not a one time thing. Marriage involves the husband and wife's daily "I DO"
to one another and to God in being faithful and loving to one another. The vocation of marriage is
an opportunity to live in God's love by recognizing in an intimate way the holiness of another
person.

Ordained Priesthood as a Vocation to Love


Through this specific vocation, men are called to serve Jesus Christ and the Church in a special
and exclusive way. The main role that the priesthood play is to bring Jesus Christ to the people
first and foremost, through the administration of the sacraments, which are privileged encounters
with Jesus Christ. The priestly ministry involves the same commitment and fidelity. The pressure
of their vows explicitly state their commitment of a life of full and undivided service to God
through the Church. Because it is a commitment, priests and their religious are called to daily
reflect and examine their vows. This vocation does not end in one's ordination but it is daily yes
to find in serving Him and the Church vocation is not more superior than the other vocations but
it is certainly not a perfect one.

"The vocation of Married Life and Religious or Priestly Life are dierent basic ways of loving out
Christ's Gospel which proclaims that true life is found in loving service of one another."