Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vocation and Joy

Recently I was asked by a community of another congregation to give a day of reflection with a vocational theme during Advent. I readily agreed. As a matter of fact, I find it very difficult to say no when asked to speak, preach or reflect on the topic of vocations with any interested group. There are a couple of reasons for this: (1) there is a compelling and irresistible need for me to speak with others about the call of God and (2) it is not just a duty, but a joy to do so.
One might not always associate the words joy and vocation together, but at the heart of our vocation is the joy who is God. Of course there will be moments of discomfort and pain and uncertainty, but it is the realisation that God is willing you to attain the fulness of happiness. My experience is that when we understand that, it makes the more painful moments easier.

As I prepare for this day of reflection with this community I am aware that some of them are animated about rekindling a new sense of vocation to their way of life and are genuinely interested in ways of exploring how to move that process forward. There has been a deal of pain involved for many congregations who have not had new members for some time. I suspect that that pain has and will bring others to ask the real questions about how the work of vocations promotion and direction has taken a less than high priority for some time. I just sense that we are beginning to turn the corner in Ireland and rediscovering the joy at the heart of our vocation.

God doesn't give vocations to us that will cause us to be unhappy but gives us vocations that lead us on a path to life.
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