Ring, ring, ring…
Hello, my beloved. It’s me…God!
Hello, dearest God!
My child, I need to talk to you about my plans for you!
God, I am ready to listen!
Sometimes we wish it was that easy! Can’t God just call us up on our cell phones and tell us His plans for us! I know I have hoped for that many times and honestly still do at times! But God speaks in whispered voices, through the true peace we find in our hearts, and through those whom God places in our path. God does call us, just not through our cell phones!
God is calling each of us to happiness and fulfillment. He wants to give us a joy that cannot be fulfilled in any other way. The top priority of parents should be to help open this discernment process for their children so they can become who they are made to be. Doctor, lawyer, baseball player, teacher, or whatever we might imagine for our children; only God has the truly best and perfect plan! Let us be open to His plan for our children and be an instrument to connect them with God’s plan.
Vocation is our calling from God in how we should live our lives. Vocation can lead us to various states of life – the married life, the priesthood, the single life, and the religious life. Each state of life is blessed and loved by God with its specific ways to serve God in this world. Each is essential and needed for the Church and the world.
As we come near the end of this year’s National Vocation Week, we celebrate all religious vocations; but let us consider the special call of the religious life. For, sadly, many children have not had the opportunity or blessing to have met or known many religious sisters and brothers. For this generation, it is a somewhat hidden vocation and not one they are exposed much to; therefore, it might not enter their mind as an option. Therefore, we should be prepared to share with them this beautiful vocation in some intentional ways.
Talk with them about what religious life is.
Religious life is a way of life in a community with a shared mission (teaching, preaching, praying, etc.), a unique charism/culture/way of life, and a particular spirituality. The members of the community work and pray together as a special family of God. Each religious community lives the way they have been called to live for their holiness. Some religious communities are active, meaning they serve the faithful with specific needs like teaching, missionary work or caring for those in need. Others are contemplative, which means they spend the majority of their hours praying for the people of the world and for the Church. Many religious communities have a mixture of both active and contemplative with specific ways of serving and time for community prayer.
Share with joy what sets religious life apart.
Those who make a profession to the religious life make three vows: poverty, chastity, and obedience. These vows enable the members to dedicate themselves to God alone and to focus on their unique service to God. Poverty is asked of them to show complete dependence and trust in God as a total self-gift. Chastity is a proclamation of loving God with an undivided heart and with full focus of body and soul for Him alone. Obedience is maintaining the will of God from a heart of loving trust and harmony with the Trinity. They are a living example of complete union of life with God.
Give them some more hands-on knowledge of the religious life
Without prayer, we are not as open to God’s will and His perfect plan for our lives and that of our children. We must open our hearts and our eyes to the ways God speaks to us. We must seek first God’s will so that we can find authentic joy and contentment. God has already placed in our hearts and souls the best path for our lives, but it takes time, support, and discernment to discover His gift for us.
God is calling us to take the road that leads to Him. We often do not know where that path will take us (like the gorgeous picture above.) However, we know that road is filled with God’s light and graces as we remain close to Him.
May we, as parents, seek God’s will for our children. May we share the joy of our vocation with others so that they might find their true joy in being who God made them to be!
Author: Laura Stephens