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The Vocation Question
Dear Fellow Disciples,
When visiting communities across the diocese, I have said that one of my goals is to foster a culture in which every young person can ask the most important question of their lives: “God, how have you made me to give myself away in love?” This is my favorite way to pose the “vocation question.”
At the Second Vatican Council, the Church observed that “man ... cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.” (Gaudium et spes, n. 24) In other words, we are most fulfilled when we give ourselves away in love. This makes sense when we consider that we are made in the image and likeness of God, who is love (see 1 Jn 4:7), eternally pouring himself out in the perfect interchange of love between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Clearly, it behooves everyone in pursuit of happiness to discover how God has prepared them to make a personalized gift of self. This is where vocational discernment comes in, because love takes on distinctive shapes: A husband laying himself down for his wife, a priest spending himself for his parishioners, a mother pouring herself into her children, a religious sister betrothing herself to the Divine Bridegroom. Yet, all are good, and these particular vocations become the key to our happiness, because they capture who God has called us to be.
Whether we are in search of our vocation or already living it out, may we have the grace to give ourselves away as God has made us to love.