From Christus Vivit….
Being there for others
254. Our life on earth reaches full stature when it becomes an offering. Here I would repeat that “the mission of being in the
heart of the people is not just a part of my life or a badge I can take off; it is not an ‘extra’ or just another moment in life. Instead,
it is something I cannot uproot from my being without destroying my very self. I am a mission on this earth; that is the reason
why I am here in this world”. It follows that every form of pastoral activity, formation and spirituality should be seen in the light of
our Christian vocation.
255. Your own personal vocation does not consist only in the work you do, though that is an expression of it. Your vocation is
something more: it is a path guiding your many efforts and actions towards service to others.
257. To respond to our vocation, we need to foster and develop all that we are. This has nothing to do with inventing ourselves or
creating ourselves out of nothing. It has to do with finding our true selves in the light of God and letting our lives flourish and bear fruit.
“In God’s plan, every man and woman is meant to seek self-fulfilment, for every human life is called to some task by God”. Your vocation
inspires you to bring out the best in yourself for the glory of God and the good of others. It is not simply a matter of doing things,
but of doing them with meaning and direction.
Saint Alberto Hurtado told young people to think very seriously about the direction their lives should take: “If the helmsman of a ship becomes
careless, he is fired straightaway for not taking his sacred responsibility seriously. As for our lives, are we fully aware of the course they are taking?
What course is your life taking? If it is necessary to give this more thought, I would beg each one of you to give it the highest consideration,
because to get it right is tantamount to success; to err is quite simply to fail”.
The vocation to special consecration
276. In discerning your vocation, do not dismiss the possibility of devoting yourself to God in the priesthood, the religious life or
in other forms of consecration. Why not? You can be sure that, if you do recognize and follow a call from God,
there you will find complete fulfilment.
277. Jesus is walking in our midst, as he did in Galilee. He walks through our streets, and he quietly stops and looks into our eyes.
His call is attractive and intriguing. Yet today the stress and quick pace of a world constantly bombarding us with stimuli can leave
no room for that interior silence in which we can perceive Jesus’ gaze and hear his call. In the meantime, many attractively packaged offers
will come your way. They may seem appealing and exciting, although in time they will only leave you feeling empty, weary and alone.
Don’t let this happen to you, because the maelstrom of this world can drive you to take a route without real meaning, without direction,
without clear goals, and thus thwart many of your efforts. It is better to seek out that calm and quiet that enable you to reflect, pray,
look more clearly at the world around you, and then, with Jesus, come to recognize the vocation that is yours in this world.
The call of Jesus our friend
287. To discern our personal vocation, we have to realize that it is a calling from a friend, who is Jesus. When we give something
to our friends, we give them the best we have. It will not necessarily be what is most expensive or hard to obtain,
but what we know will make them happy. Friends are so sensitive to this that they can already imagine the smile on their friend’s face
when he or she opens that gift. This sort of discernment that takes place among friends is what I suggest you take as a model for
trying to discover God’s will for your lives.
288. I want you to know that, when the Lord thinks of each of you and what he wants to give you, he sees you as his
close friend. And if he plans to grant you a grace, a charism that will help you live to the full and become someone
who benefits others, someone who leaves a mark in life, it will surely be a gift that will bring you more joy and excitement
than anything else in this world. Not because that gift will be rare or extraordinary, but because it will perfectly fit you.
It will be a perfect fit for your entire life.
289. A vocation, while a gift, will undoubtedly also be demanding. God’s gifts are interactive; to enjoy them
we have to be ready to take risks. Yet the demands they make are not an obligation imposed from without, but an incentive
to let that gift grow and develop, and then become a gift for others. When the Lord awakens a vocation, he thinks not only of
what you already are, but of what you will one day be, in his company and in that of others.