What is Vocation?
Pope St John Paul II reminded us that ‘Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.’ This innate vocation grows in the life of the Christian who ‘walks in the path of a living faith which arouses hope and works through charity.’ As they walk in this path, people hear God calling them into discipleship, a living relationship with the person of Christ, a call that has three dimensions:
- The universal call to holiness: God the Father calls people to listen to his Son, to be baptised in the Holy Spirit and to live as disciples of Christ.
- The call to a way of life: a Christian disciple expresses their faith, hope and love through living as a consecrated person, an ordained minister or a lay person, in the married or single state.
- The call to work: God calls people to many different kinds of work, ranging from paid work to care of family members. Work on its own does not give meaning to life however; it is human beings who make work meaningful. ‘Work constitutes one of the fundamental dimensions of a person’s earthly existence and of their vocation.’
The distinctive way that a person integrates all three elements expresses the irreplaceable person God is calling them to be. By the grace of God, a Christian is enabled to live out this unique vocation. In the words of Blessed John Henry Newman ‘God has created me to do Him some definite service.’