This week, November 4-10, 2018, is National Vocation Awareness Week, with a special focus on discerning the call to priesthood, religious life and diaconate. In these difficult days for the Church, it can be especially hard for young people to discern whether God is calling them to dedicate themselves totally to building the kingdom of God. Please join this week in praying for the holy vocations that the Church and the world so desperately need.
If you are a young person discerning your vocation, check out Pope Francis’ Message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations here. I think these short paragraphs in particular offer much-needed encouragement and insight:
God continues to “come down” to save our human family and to make us sharers in his mission. The Lord continues to call others to live with him and to follow him in a relationship of particular closeness. He continues to call others to serve him directly. If he lets us realize that he is calling us to consecrate ourselves totally to his kingdom, then we should have no fear! It is beautiful – and a great grace – to be completely and forever consecrated to God and the service of our brothers and sisters.
Today the Lord continues to call others to follow him. We should not wait to be perfect in order to respond with our generous “yes”, nor be fearful of our limitations and sins, but instead open our hearts to the voice of the Lord. To listen to that voice, to discern our personal mission in the Church and the world, and at last to live it in the today that God gives us.
May Mary Most Holy, who as a young woman living in obscurity heard, accepted and experienced the Word of God made flesh, protect us and accompany us always on our journey.
– Pope Francis, 2018 Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations
The National Religious Vocation Conference put together this five-minute video that offers insights into various communities of consecrated life and discernment:
If you need inspiration in praying for vocations, check out this collection of vocation prayers hosted on the USCCB site. There are over 40 prayers—more than enough prayers here to choose a different prayer for every day this week!