“God has created me to do him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission; I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I have a part in a great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling”
These famous words of Blessed John Henry Newman still strike a cord with those who take a sense of “calling” seriously. In fact each one of has been called into existence. We who are Christians have been called to follow Jesus.
Within this general calling to be a disciple there are many ways of following Jesus. Often we describe this as “a vocation within a vocation”. Throughout the year we often focus on various callings or “vocations” within the general Christian vocation. We pray for those called to the married state, we pray for families, we pray for those called to the single state, we pray for the bereaved, we pray for those preparing to make a decision.
Today on Good Shepherd Sunday we pray for the shepherds in the Church: for bishops, priests, deacons, religious men and women.
On Vocations Sunday we also invite people to consider their calling. If you are acutely aware of a need, perhaps you are being called to respond to that need. Cardinal Newman reminds us in his reflection that each one of us is created to do God some definite service. Perhaps the first point for our prayer today is: “Have I any sense of what God wants me to do with my life?”
Newman also suggests that if we keep the commandments, that sense of the special service I can offer will become clear to me.
When pondering these deep matters, it would be unwise to rule out anything beforehand; if we remain open to the Spirit we may be very surprised at the result!
Sean Wales C.Ss.R