Pope Benedict XVI–Prayer for Vocations
O Father, raise up among Christians
abundant and holy vocations to the priesthood,
who keep the faith alive
and guard the blessed memory of your Son Jesus
through the preaching of his word
and the administration of the Sacraments,
with which you continually renew your faithful.
Grant us holy ministers of your altar,
who are careful and fervent guardians of the Eucharist,
the sacrament of the supreme gift of Christ
for the redemption of the world.
Call ministers of your mercy,
who, through the sacrament of Reconciliation,
spread the joy of your forgiveness.
Grant, O Father, that the Church may welcome with joy
the numerous inspirations of the Spirit of your Son
and, docile to His teachings,
may she care for vocations to the ministerial priesthood
and to the consecrated life.
Sustain the Bishops, priests and deacons,
consecrated men and women, and all the baptized in Christ,
so that they may faithfully fulfill their mission
at the service of the Gospel.
This we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
What Is a Vocation?
The root word for vocation is vocare, which is Latin for “to call.” God has created each one of us for a particular calling or destiny in this life and the hereafter. Through the Sacrament of Baptism God calls each one of us to live out that calling in love, holiness and service to God and one another. The path we choose to follow is important, because by actively discerning God’s call and responding, we will live our lives in true joy and fulfillment.
It is important to remember that a true vocation is an invitation from God to assume some responsibility to share in the mission of the Church. God never forces Himself upon us. The Lord constantly encourages, nurtures and pulls us in the direction we should be heading. If we truly listen with our hearts and not to our fears and doubts, the authentic invitation from God will be easier to know.
Some will live out their vocational calling in marriage and parenthood; some will remain single; others will be called to serve as priests or consecrated. Each call is unique and we are totally free to respond.
Learning what our specific vocation is requires a process we call discernment. It will be utilized at various stages in our lives and God will use others to assist us in that process.
What is most important is to actively seek from God what it is we are called to do.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives, and the one who seeks, finds; and the one who knocks the door will be opened.”