According to Latin, a vocation refers to a call or summons. It is an occupation for which a person is qualified, trained or suited. In the Christian context, vocation almost always means the call by God. This could be a call to priesthood or religious life. So what are the vocations of the Catholic Church?
In both the Catholic and Orthodox churches, there is a strong association between vocation and the divine call to service of mankind and the church. The service could take the form of life commitments such as ordination to priestly ministry, consecration, or even a holy life as a single person.
The underlying conceptual framework of Christian vocation includes the utilization of gifts in one’s family life, profession, or church for the sake of others.
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What Are the 4 Vocations of the Catholic Faith?
In Catholic faith, people follow four different vocations in their lives. These vocations include married life, single life, vowed religious life, and ordained life. According to the arguments put forward, these four vocations are believed to get you to heaven.
Assuming you are a sojourner, these vocations are much less like roads with each one leading you to heaven. Compared to married life which is quite congested, vowed religious life and single life do not have as many subscribers.
Vowed Religious Life
Gradually, people are drawn to a religious life to help them serve their vocation. Vowed religious life includes making vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty in a bid to live like Jesus did. The primary dedication for people in this vocation is calling others to join their way of life.
Marriage is a vocation according to the Catholic faith. People in this vocation decide to live with another person whom they love.
Married life as a vocation is designed to last a lifetime. In the book of Mark 10:9, the Bible says:
The priest is obedient to the cardinals, bishops, the pope and all his other superiors. He gives himself totally to the church. As a priest, you may be reassigned to one parish or the other and even though you may ask for a different kind of assignment, your superiors have the final say.
They do this as part of their priestly sacrifice which requires complete obedience to God. Priests serve in parishes though they can take other roles within the priestly vocation including serving religious communities, giving speeches to people in different parts of the world, teaching in universities, and so forth.
The responsibility of priests is to lead their flocks to happiness and holiness with God. Just like a married person who leads his children and spouse to God, priests are responsible for families in their hundreds and thousands. As a requirement, priests must be able to comfortably socialize, be holy, and extremely patient.
In this vocation, a Catholic faithful gives their life to God through supporting a religious community. Apart from priesthood, there are many forms of consecrated life where people chose to live far away from the world under strict religious rules.
As part of what to expect in a consecrated life, you will be required to work in the world helping those who are in need and poor in resources. It is their business to seek heaven while on earth. By focusing on their relationship with God, consecrated life vocationers can expediate their path leading to heaven.
A vocation in the form of a single life comes with a dedication to serving others. God gives humanity freewill for them to decide what works and what doesn’t. At times people get distracted with their day-to-day activities to the point that they don’t hear God’s call.
The catholic church supports single life as a vocation. Many reasons have been put forward on why people feel drawn to single life. For some, they desire to have plenty of time to do church projects, service work or other activities that require much attention and time.
While you can do some of these projects even when you are married, but the occupation of children and your spouse could stand in the way of you giving excellent service.
How Does the Catholic Church Define Vocation?
Vocation is a concept that is so close and central to Christian belief. Each person is believed to have been created with specific talents and gifts that orients them towards a specific way of life. In the catholic church, it is stated in catechism that love is innate and the fundamental vocation that every human being has.
Whatever the state of life God calls you to, there is a commitment to build up society in a way that reflects the love of God. Whie the ultimate work that God has called us to do is to build his kingdom, he is also calling you to bring value to humanity. This means you should engage in work that doesn’t expose people to exploitation or personal gain.
While in your occupation, always ask God to give you the grace so that your work brings glory to God instead of taking advantage of others. Each vocation requires some level of sacrifice to self as you serve others. By serving other people, we are playing the role of God in their lives as we become more and more like Christ.
In the Book of Romans 3:23, the Bible says:
While this holds even up today, God still calls us with our blemishes that we may worship and serve him. Discerning your vocation is important as it places you at a vantage point as you look at your life ahead.
As a person, you may have different types of callings. It is upon you to discern your primary vocation even as you meditate on God’s will for your life. As you progress in your vocation, you need to seek to understand how God responds to circumstances. It is up to us to put ourselves on the right path.