Q 19 – How important is it for a Catholic to discern his/her vocation? How does one start discerning?

Rahul George, Gujarat

 How important is it for a Catholic to discern his/her vocation?

The word ‘vocation’ comes from the Latin word ‘vocare’ – which means ‘call’. It is a call from God, who made us, loves us and has a plan for us. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that the universal call of every human being is ‘to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him’ (#1).  It is a call to a concrete state of life. All Catholics are called to live holy lives and to be saints, but God calls us to be saints in different ways: some to be husbands/wives, others to be nuns/priests, still others to be consecrated and so on. The Catholic Church teaches that there are three paths for one’s primary vocation: marriage, holy orders or consecrated life. It is in this backdrop we understand the importance of discerning one’s vocation (call). “The discernment of a vocation is above all the fruit of an intimate dialogue between the Lord and His disciples. Young people, if they know how to pray, can be trusted to know what to do with God’s call”, says Pope Benedict XVI. So, it is very significant for anyone who wishes to follow God’s call, design or plan for him/her, to discern it through an intimate dialogue with Him.

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