July 2022 - Living our our universal call to holiness

Living out our universal call to holiness

As a people of faith, we often ask ourselves, “What should we do?”  As we grow and mature, we ask the question of God, “Lord, what are you calling me to do with my life?”
This reminds us that each and every one of us is called to live out our baptismal universal call to holiness. But how, exactly, do we live out that call?

That universal call to holiness is lived out through a particular vocation, a particular call from God: marriage, religious life, generous single life, holy orders. Those of us who have discerned God’s call in our lives have most likely come to realize that discernment is not easy. It is hard work. It takes time. It requires the exercise of the virtue of patience. It requires much conversation with family, friends, and other people who are supportive of us. And it requires a deep and ongoing conversation with God.

It is through prayer that we connect with God. And since it is such important and life-giving work, we not only need our own prayers but the prayerful support of one another to assist us in the discernment process and to fortify us in the vocation that God has called us to live out. Prayer gives us the strength and sustenance that we need to persevere and to be nourished.

As a community of faith, we are called to pray for those who are discerning what God is calling them to do, to pray that they are given the wisdom and clarity to properly discern God’s call, and to pray for their hearts to be opened  to hear God’s call in their lives.

In the fall, I was giving a talk to some of our high school youths in the diocese, and I introduced myself as the new vocation director — not vacation director but vocation director — and everyone chuckled. But as I thought about that interaction and that little joke, perhaps it wasn’t as much of a joke as I initially thought. When we think about vacation time, I suspect that for most of us, it is a time when we do something that we enjoy — spending time with friends and family, going to a favorite place, reading a good book, resting and relaxing…Again, it is a time to do something that we enjoy. Simply stated, vacation should bring about joy.

While a vacation is not one’s vocation, and one’s vocation is not a vacation, one’s vocation should bring about joy in one’s heart. When we are doing what the Lord has called us to do, that brings us joy. Of course, there are challenges and struggles along the way. We don’t forget that we are called to carry our cross and follow the Lord, but despite the difficulties, we still have the joy that comes from the Lord Jesus.

The question is: Do we possess an open ear and an open heart to listen to the Lord and truly follow Him?  During these summer months, may we reflect on this question and so live out the particular call that the Lord has given to each of us.

By: Father Greg Dube, director of the Office of Vocations & Seminarians