Your Vocation

I used to be confused about what vocations were – believing that they were just for the priests and nuns that I saw throughout the church or read about in books.  In fact, as a teenager, I used to question if I had a vocation to be a nun.  This questioning was filled with both hope and with fear.  Hope because I thought it would be both beautiful and simple to devote my life to Christ as my spouse.  Fear because I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to take that difficult and foreign path to spend my life in prayer and service to others.  What I didn’t realize then and what I still find amazing now is that the life that God has laid out before me follows a similar path to the one that I so feared, yet in a different way.

Years and years passed and I was distant from those days of my first misconceptions of vocations when I finally realized the definition of vocation was so much more expansive than I could have imagined.  It encompassed not only a religious life ordained by the Church, but also the blessed single life and, yes, married life as well.  And I have found that my vocation to the married life is every bit of giving myself to others and trying to spend my life in prayer.

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I remember the day that I realized that I too had a vocation and that my vocation, as a wife and mother, was every bit as crucial to the future of the Church as the priesthood or religious life.  As the weight of my vocation dawned on me, I came to understand that my vocation is actually three-fold.  First,

  1.  I am a daughter of God.  I am beloved by the Father and He has a special plan for me.
  2. I am a wife.  God blessed me with a loving spouse and together we face the world’s trials in our married vocation.
  3. I am a mother.  One may think that this vocation should be placed before the wifely vocation, but, truly, the most wonderful thing that a mother can do for her children is to love their father – creating for them a secure, loving and God-focused family.  And before I can love and serve my children, I must love and serve my husband.

When I consider volunteering for activities, whether it is being a room mother or offering to make brownies for the bake sale, I try to keep always present in my mind – Do these choices supersede my vocation?  Will they interfere in the ways that I need to first and foremost care for my family?

This makes for a difficult experience for me because I truly do have a problem saying “no” to someone who requests help.  However, when it takes away from my loved ones or depreciates my family time, I have to decline.

And it has come to my thoughts recently how important my vocation is.  True, I am not a cloistered nun, changing the world with my prayer and sacrifice.  I am not a single missionary spreading the Gospel in distant parts of the world.  I am not a priest, guiding and feeding Christ’s sheep.  But having a devoted married vocation is becoming increasingly more important, not to mention increasingly rare.  Just as the number of young men entering the priesthood is on the decline, the number of lasting, dedicated marriages are also decreasing.  Marriage between a man and woman, especially a first marriage that lasts, is becoming more “traditional” which can be translated as “quaint and antiquated,” by our society’s  standards.   As this opinion becomes more and more common, the married vocation becomes pressingly more important.  To serve the Lord by loving my husband and raising my children to love the Lord is my vocation.  And although there are days when dinner is late, the children are melting down and I needed to make a trip to the store yesterday, I still feel blessed to be living this vocation because I know that it is God’s will for my life.

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