‘The glory of God is man fully alive; moreover the life of man is the vision of God’ – St Irenaeus of Lyon
Have you ever stood under the stars and felt as though that same vastness, that same emptiness exists inside of you? Have you ever stared out across the ocean and felt a mysterious connection between its depth and turbulence and what exists inside of you? In moments like those, we experience echoes of the calling. It is the calling of our soul, in its depth and restlessness, for something greater and more meaningful. It is the echo of the vast and infinite God, calling into our souls to recognise who we are and who we were created to be.
The word vocation comes from the Latin word vocare which means, ‘to call.’ When we talk about a vocation, or a calling, we are talking about the sense that something or someone has spoken to us, summoned us, and drawn us to a life that fulfils the deepest desires of our heart . St Augustine once said, ‘You made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.’ Ultimately, the vocation of our life is to enter into a loving relationship with the God who made us, the only one who can bring us to the fullness of life.
But what we also recognise, within this broader calling is the existence of other, more particular callings that still find their meaning within this reality. These particular callings include the priesthood, religious life, marriage and family life, single life, and the permanent deaconate. All of these callings represent different gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to the Body of Christ as we walk this road of discipleship, taking the way of the Gospel together.