We often use the term vocation, which means “to be called”, exclusively in reference to the priesthood and religious life, but your son or daughter will learn that there is a universal call to holiness, as well as to the vocations of marriage, the consecrated life, and the priesthood. “Every vocation, every path to which Christ calls us, ultimately leads to fulfillment and happiness, because it leads to God, to sharing God’s own life” (Pope John Paul II). As they ponder their path in life in this session, your son or daughter will also learn to do the following:
- Develop a proper understanding of dating.
- Consider how to live the universal call to holiness in daily life.
- Prepare for his or her future vocation by learning the significance of discernment, which is discovering God’s call through prayer, recognizing personal interests and gifts, and speaking with trusted, faithful Catholic adults.
Our union with God begins at our Baptism, when we are joined to Christ as part of His Mystical Body, the Catholic Church. Your child will learn that growing in holiness entails the call to be the best son or daughter, sibling, student, and friend he or she can be here and now, through seeking to live in a manner of self-giving love. Responding to the call to holiness now prepares him or her for the future specific vocation God offers.
“I Am Yours; You Are Mine”: The Beautiful Sacrament of Matrimony
Union between a husband and wife in all areas of married life – from daily prayer to diaper-changing to dishes – shows forth the binding covenant to love and openness to life that the couple makes on the altar of their wedding. This covenant of married love reflects the wonder of Jesus’ total gift of Himself on the Cross and the Church’s acceptance of that gift.
“I am Yours; You are Mine”: Consecrated and Ordained Life
Many today equate sex with love, so celibates (i.e. those who willingly forego marriage for the sake of Christ and the Church) are often seen as people who “miss out” on love. On the contrary, they direct their total self to union with Christ and His Church, and in doing so they actually realize the most sublime, spiritual form of spousal love. Pope St. John Paul II points out that every celibate is called to be fruitful, by helping their “spiritual children” to encounter Jesus and to develop an ever-deeper relationship with Him.
You will want to say to your child, “Be not afraid.” Though we will always have crosses in this life, God would never call us to a vocation of misery. On the contrary, it is when we discover and live our true vocation that we find the greatest peace, joy, love, and fulfillment.
Engage with your son/daughter
Pray for them: Dear Holy Spirit, give our child Your loving power so that he/she grows in virtue, becoming a true man/woman of God. Amen
1) God calls each of us to a specific vocation. What are your thoughts about which vocation you might be called to?
2) Why do you think it is good to have priests and sisters around? Try to think of the priests and possibly sisters that you know. Who seems the happiest? Why do you think that is?
Adapted from Theology of the Body for Teens, Discovering God’s Plan for Love and Life Middle School Edition: Parent’s Guide, Ascension Press, 2012.