.."And after the Lord gave me some brothers, no one showed me what to do; but the Most High revealed to me that I was to live according to the manner of the Holy Gospel. And I had it written down in brief, simple words, and the Lord Pope confirmed it for me.
And those who came to receive this life gave everything they had to the poor;
and they were happy with the one tunic patched inside and out, and with a cord and breeches.
And we had no desire for anything else."
- The Testament of St. Francis
A strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation.
Use of the word "vocation" before the sixteenth century referred firstly to the "call" by God to an individual.
A summons or strong inclination to a particular state or course of action; especially: a divine call to the religious life
synonyms:calling, life's work, mission, purpose;
Called by God
If you came to this page looking for some answers, we may have a few suggestions for finding them. Granted, finding answers to life's questions is almost never an easy thing to accomplish, but chances are that you may already have some of the answers you are looking for.
As Christians, we are all called to a relationship with God in Christ. We are each called to "Love God with all our heart, all our mind, and all of our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves." (Mt. 22:36)
For someone who is considering a vocation to the religious life, this call may speak very strongly. You may feel a need to help others, and you may feel strongly called to a life of prayer. Both are very good indicators of a call to a deeper relationship with Christ. So what makes that any different from every Christian's calling?
To many people today, vowed religious may seem a bit strange. In this day and age, most folks are perfectly content to spend their free time chatting on the internet, shopping, or going out to a club on Friday night with friends. Especially in America, many people are more concerned with celebrity, sports, or climbing the corporate ladder than with prayer, meditation, study and labor.
In becoming friars, we feel called to do something more. Serving others gives us a sense of joy, and we find ourselves spending more time than usual in prayer. In most cases, that still, small voice that we listen for in prayer just kept nagging within each of us.
To be sure, we all asked many of the same questions you may be asking yourself at this point. After all, the vows of Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience aren't exactly the fashion of the times. We all, at one point, felt unsure, a little lost, and had no idea how to find the answers we were seeking.
If you are seriously considering a vocation to religious life, consider for a moment your own gifts. You may want to ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you feel a need to serve others?
- Do you find yourself wanting to simplify your lifestyle?
- Do people consider you someone who they can confide in?
- Do you participate in church functions?
It is a good idea to find a spiritual director, or someone with whom you can speak very honestly about the questions, desires, and doubts you may have. They may not have the answer, but they may be able to help you find it.
Another very important step is to pray for guidance. Listen to your heart, and to that still, small voice that is sometimes very hard to hear. Another important thing is to say "yes" to the will of God in your life. Whatever comes of your search, you can be sure that God has big plans for you, and is inviting you to be all that you can be.
If you have questions, we would be happy to help you find some answers. Below is our contact information; please be sure to include a return phone number, postal or email address where we can contact you.
Br. Les Roberts, OSF
e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org