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Do You Know Someone Discerning a Religious Vocation?

“January 11-16, 2009 is National Vocations Awareness Week”

A person's vocation to consecrate his or her whole life has a special relationship to Christ's own consecration for the sake of mankind. It stems from the sacramental root of Baptism, which embraces the first and fundamental consecration of the person to God. Consecration through the profession of the evangelical counsels – through vows or promises – is an organic development of the beginning made at Baptism.

Consecration includes the mature choice that one makes for God himself, the spousal response to Christ's love. When we give ourselves to him in a total and undivided way, we wish “to follow him,” making a decision to observe chastity, poverty and obedience in the spirit of the evangelical counsels. We want to be like Christ in the closest possible way, shaping our lives according to the spirit of the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. But above all we wish to have charity, which permeates all the elements of the consecrated life and unites them as a true “bond of perfection.”

All of this is included in the Pauline meaning of that “dying” which begins sacramentally at Baptism. It is a dying with Christ which enables us to share in the fruits of his Resurrection, like the grain of wheat which falls to the earth and “dies” for the sake of new life (Jn 12:24). The consecration of a person through sacred bonds determines a “newness of life” which can only be realized on the basis of a “hiddenness” of everything that makes up our earthly life in Christ: our life is hid with Christ in God.

While from a human point of view a person's consecration can be compared to “losing one's life,” it is also the most direct way of “finding” it. For Christ says: “He who loses his life for my sake will find it” (Mt 10:39). These words certainly express the radical nature of the Gospel. At the same time we cannot fail to notice how much they apply to the human being, and what a unique anthropological dimension they have. What is more fundamental for a human being – man or woman – than precisely this: finding oneself, finding oneself in Christ, since Christ is the “whole fullness?”

– Excerpted from Pope John Paul II’s letter to all consecrated persons belonging to religious communities or secular institutes, May 22, 1988

Christine Anne Mugridge and Jerry Usher, Editors

Fr. Richard Butler, O.P.
Pope John Paul II

The Theology of Religious Vocation

Fr. Edward Farrell, O.P.

Fr. Timothy Gallagher, O.M.V.

The ordained ministry or ministerial priesthood is at the service of the baptismal priesthood. The ordained priesthood guarantees that it really is Christ who acts in the sacraments through the Holy Spirit for the Church. The saving mission entrusted by the Father to his incarnate Son was committed to the apostles and through them to their successors: they receive the Spirit of Jesus to act in his name and in his person. The ordained minister is the sacramental bond that ties the liturgical action to what the apostles said and did and, through them, to the words and actions of Christ, the source and foundation of the sacraments.

The three sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders confer, in addition to grace, a sacramental character or “seal” by which the Christian shares in Christ's priesthood and is made a member of the Church according to different states and functions. This configuration to Christ and to the Church, brought about by the Spirit, is indelible; it remains for ever in the Christian as a positive disposition for grace, a promise and guarantee of divine protection, and as a vocation to divine worship and to the service of the Church. Therefore these sacraments can never be repeated.

Let Us Pray

Prayer for Vocations

Jesus, Divine Master, who said: “The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few,” we lovingly accept Your invitation: “Pray the Heavenly Father to send forth laborers into His harvest.”

Inspire a crusade for vocations. More priests! May they be the salt of the earth, the light of the world, the city placed on the mountaintop for the salvation of mankind redeemed by Your blood. More religious! Both men and women, to promote the glory of God and the peace of men of good will.

May the earth be filled with seminaries and religious houses. O Mary, God's chosen one, mother and guardian of holy vocations, pray for us, and for all those called by God.

This prayer can be found on the Prayer for Vocations Holy Card

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One comment

  1. Please let me know when the The Parish Book of Chant is available. Thank you.

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