A reflection on seeking one’s vocation

Ok…still lagging on the Lenten practice post, but I have been drafting it, I promise!

Anyways, people in my life are aware to a varying extent (read: not at all to fairly knowledgeable) of my search for my vocation. The idea of a vocation is not very well understood, so here’s a definition from Dictionary.com:

vo·ca·tion [voh-key-shuhn] – noun

1. a particular occupation, business, or profession; calling.

2. a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career.

3. a divine call to God’s service or to the Christian life.

4. a function or station in life to which one is called by God: the religious vocation; the vocation of marriage.

The story of my on-going vocation search is a winding one, best left for another post (or two, or three…or more?), but for the purpose of this post, it is sufficient to say that my search has been one of joy and excitement and growth in my desire to know, love, and serve God in this life and be with Him forever in the next. At other times (for example, lately), I feel a sense of tension, disappointment, confusion, even spiritual desolation.

At times like these, I revisit this reflection from Blessed John Cardinal Newman that I ran into a while ago and copied down into my travel notebook. If you’ve ever felt a sense of tension over what you’re doing with your life, where you’re going…or to what God is calling you, I hope you find this as helpful as I do:

“God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in the chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His Commandments. Therefore, I will trust Him; whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.”

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