Called to Holiness
Vatican II showed us that this is NOT the case.
The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium reminds us that all of us are called to holiness, that all Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and perfection of love (LG#40).
The tradition of the Church has identified four main states of life or ways we live out our Baptismal call to holiness. These are Marriage, Priesthood, Single Life and Religious life.
Each of us is called by God through our Baptism. How we live out that Baptismal call in adult life is our specific Vocation.
But a funny thing happened after Vatican II.
In our efforts to see all as called by God, to recognise that one Vocation is not better than another, many fell into the trap of not seeing any specific calls at all! Vocation got confused with ministry!
Jesus told us that he came so that we might have life and have it to the full (John 10:10). We will find life when we respond to that Vocation that is specific to us as individuals. No one vocation is better than another, but each is different!
Seeking a Vocations Culture
The majority of Catholics will live out that call to holiness through the state of marriage and in a variety of ministries. But a few will be called to live out that vocation through Consecrated Life and/or Priesthood.
Pope John Paul II called the Church to have a Vocations Culture, i.e. a culture in which each Christian is empowered to identify and respond to the mission to which he or she is called as a member of the Body of Christ, in and for the world.
It is important that young people are informed of all options in living the Christian call. It is important that they are encouraged to seek out the best way for them to respond to God’s call.
Pope John Paul II reminded us in Novo Millennio Ineunto that: A generous commitment is needed … in promoting vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life not because they are better but because the vocations to the Consecrated Life in all its many forms and to Priesthood are vital if the community is to be balanced and healthy. Consecrated Life or Priesthood is the only way some of us will find deep and lasting happiness.
To find out more about specific forms of Consecrated Life and Priesthood visit www.catholicozvocations.org.au.