“Becoming a priest or a man or woman religious is not primarily our own decision.... Rather it is the response to a call and to a call of love.”
— Pope Francis, Address to Seminarians and Novices, July 6, 2013
God has a plan for everyone.
Yes, God has a plan for everyone! All of us without exception are called (that is, have a vocation) to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the “universal call to holiness” (Lumen Gentium 40) that belongs to all of us by virtue of our baptism. Yet God calls each of us to the fulfillment of that universal call in particular ways. This is what it usually meant by “vocation” which simply means a “call.” God has called you to follow Him and to build up the Church in a particular way such as married life, consecrated life, priesthood, and diaconate.
What is the Lord asking of me?
While growing up we were asked “What do you want to be?” It’s an important and exciting question! But an even more important question is “What is the Lord asking of me?” Every married person, every priest, and every religious brother and sister has a story. God enters the nooks and crannies of our lives, the big moments and the small day-to-day realities, and He calls us to follow Him. God calls whom He wills. And so for you the answer to the question of your calling may not be what you imagined it would be. God can surprise us! But do not be afraid! Your call comes from the Father who created you and loves you beyond all imagination.
We are here to help!
Asking the question about our vocation leads us to discernment – discovering our call. Discernment happens through prayer and living the Christian life to the full. Discernment of your vocation also doesn’t happen alone. While the call is very personal it is also done within the Church, with the help of the other members of the Body of Christ. This is because your vocation is not only for you but also for the building up of the Church.
The Office of Vocations for the Diocese of Salt Lake City is tasked specifically with assisting those seeking information and guidance on the Priesthood and Consecrated Life. Check the sidebar for more resources and other information. Also, please feel free to contact the Vocations Office with any questions (see contact info below). For information regarding marriage click here. For information regarding the diaconate click here.
Again, do not be afraid! Living the Christian life and following Christ is both the greatest challenge and the greatest blessing. Don’t be afraid to ask the question “Lord, what are you asking of me?” Don’t be afraid to say yes and follow Jesus Christ.