Jesus is Calling You!

Sometimes we ask children the wrong question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” A better question is, “What did God create you to be?” The answer is

a Saint!

You were created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27). You’re not just good in God’s eyes, but very good! We have the capacity to know, to love and to serve God and by His saving grace to be happy with Him forever in Heaven. God’s plan for us is our vocation and we need to prayerfully discern that vocation by listening to our hearts as well as the advice of trusted friends and family members.

Another way in which we live out our baptismal call to holiness is by our state in life.  We may actively seek to build up God’s Kingdom in the world as a layperson, either single or married.  Or we may be called to dedicate our lives to Christ as clergy (deacons, priests or bishops of either diocesan ministry or religious orders) or consecrated men or women (monks, contemplatives, consecrated virgins, hermits, or members of secular institutes).  A helpful visual image of the array of possible vocations can be found at the Vocation Tree website.

Discerning your vocation requires prayer, attentive listening to your holy desires, and willingness to listen to the wisdom of those who know you well. So here are a few web resources to consider:

The vocation of the laity can be lived out when one is single (as St. Paul spoke about dedication to the Lord in I Cor. 7:32-35) or through marriage and family life.  The USCCB is the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, and the USCCB website has a number of vocational pages (see below). 

  • USCCB on the vocation of marriage
  • USCCB on the vocation discernment resources
  • For Your Marriage – resources, and support for Catholic dating, marriage, and parenting.
  • Diocese of Lansing Vocation’s Page – There are some excellent resources here for married, consecrated or ordained life: lists of the men’s and women’s religious communities within our diocese (with web links), information on the permanent diaconate, priesthood discernment questions, vocations stories, and information on the seminaries used by the Lansing Diocese, etc.
  • Catholic Religious Vocation Network – The “Vocation Match” tool is fun to try!
  • A Guide to Religious Ministries for Catholic Men and Women – Search an index of religious communities, prayer centers, and retreat houses across America.
  • US Association of Consecrated Virgins – The Lansing Diocese has a significant number of women who live in the world as consecrated virgins.  Learn more about this ancient order of the church and how it is lived today.
  • US Conference of Secular Institutes – There is more to religious life than just being a monk or a nun behind closed doors.  The Catholic Church in America has seen a rise in secular institutes where people can live a life consecrated to God and still be active in public life, working in the world so as to shine the Light of Christ to all in need.
  • Lay Religious Life / About Third Orders – There is a way as a layperson to share in the benefits of a religious order’s spirituality without having to enter fully into religious life.  Third Orders are lay associations of the faithful that support a specific religious order and its spirituality.