Deacon Mike Knuth helps us to understand the meaning of vocation and how to foster a vocational environment.
St. Paul admonishes in Ephesians 4:1, ‘I…urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received…’ Here St. Paul shows us a profound and intimate relationship that exists between catechesis and vocations. In the great tapestry of our faith, two important threads are the call God has placed within us, and the life we live in response to it. How can we live a life worthy of the call if we don’t understand both the call and the kind of life that the call elicits?
The word vocation comes from the Latin word vocare, which means ‘to call’. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) defines vocation in its glossary as, ‘The calling or destiny we have in this life and hereafter.’ Vocation is really a way of life – a living in communion with God now that prepares us for eternal communion.
As we know, catechesis prepares a Christian to live in a community, and to participate actively in the life and mission of the Church. Christian community does not spontaneously happen. It comes about through the careful education of its members. Presenting the Christian message, catechesis not only shows who God is and what His saving plan is, catechesis must also reveal man to himself and make him more aware of his sublime vocation.[i] The General Directory for Catechesis (GDC) speaks of the role the Catechism is to play in demonstrating to man his highest vocation.[ii] Using the Catechism, let’s examine this whole area of God’s call.