In Psalm 139:13-16, the psalmist reflects: “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know. My bones are not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, fashioned in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me unformed; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be.“
From these beautiful verses, we realize that our loving God has called us to life itself; that is, to be! But for what purpose has our Creator made us? According to the Baltimore Catechism, “God made us to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.” As regards to service, we serve Him (and others) through our vocation. In the simplest terms, having a vocation means that God has “called” us to do something special with our lives. Individual vocations are varied: single, married, consecrated, religious, bishop, priest, or deacon. But in whatever manner we choose to live out our lives, we should always remember that our ultimate call is to fulfill the will of God. And by doing so, we will have found the key to our true destiny and eternal happiness.
So, just how do we come to know our special mission? As we grow, God makes this known to us mostly in indirect ways, and often more as an invitation rather than imposition. As one priest has noted, there are generally two signs. First, we feel at “home” there—wherever that may be. How many of us have felt this way or have even been told by others that “they just knew we should pursue this or that?” This is logical since our vocation is what God has meant for us since before our creation. Obviously, then, when we are where He wants us to be, we will have the feeling of being made for there—which we were. Additionally, we should also feel like our vocation is a bit of a stretch. After all, God does call us to high places and we are not going to be able to do this on our own. As such, we will need to rely upon His abundant graces and our own perseverance to get where we need to be. Second, in striving to fulfill our vocation, it is likely that we will experience fear or even trepidation. We might even lament that: “I just can’t do this. This is impossible.” When we feel this way, may we remember what Jesus said to His disciples when they felt that way: “What is impossible for human beings is possible for God.” (Luke 18:27) Given all of this, with God at our side, we can find no better company! And as the psalmist has noted, He has plans for us. Big plans.
Let’s face it. Most odds-makers would bet that our vocation will not lead us to the Nobel Prize. But who cares? Rather, may we be content in knowing that this is not God’s ultimate goal for us anyway. For from the very beginning, the eternal vocation that He has set before us is that we become saints!
Shall we begin?