Each person that has ever lived on this earth is called to holiness in his or her own unique way! You are called to be a saint, to be a part of God’s heavenly kingdom eternally via a path that is personally yours!
In addition to the universal call to holiness, God blesses us with particular vocations such as a religious vocation or marriage. You might not be called to live your life in poverty, feed the poor and hungry, and start each day with an hour of prayer at 5:00am like St. Teresa of Calcutta but you may be called to be a very holy priest like St. John Vianney, or an incredibly self-sacrificial mother like St. Gianna Molla. A vocation is a calling, an invitation by God to fulfill His will for you, all for the sake of His honor and glory! Ad majorem Dei Gloriam! All for the honor and glory of God! St. Catherine of Siena said, "If you are what you should be, then you will set the world on fire."
When speaking to young people about vocations, St. John Paul the Great would challenge them by asking, “What will you do with your life? What are your plans? He pointed out that they are not alone in pursuing their vocations or asking questions like “Why am I here? Why am I alive at all? What must I do?”
We can find some answers to these questions in the 22nd chapter of Matthew when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Everything we do should be pointing us back to our greatest love while continually asking ourselves “Am I really loving God with my whole heart?” We are sons and daughters of God created to love and be loved, so every cell of our being cries out to love God! In the words of St. Maximilian Kolbe, “True Love rises above creation and is steeped in God. Such love extends its arms in loving embrace and prays for all, suffers for all, wishes well to all and desires the happiness of all-because God wills it.”
St. John Paul the Great states “Christian holiness does not mean being sinless, but rather it means struggling not to give in and always getting up after every fall. Holiness does not stem so much from the effort of man’s will, as from the effort to never restrict the action of grace in one’s own soul, and to be, moreover, grace’s humble “partner.” “Follow Christ! You who are single or who are preparing for marriage. Follow Christ! You who are young or old. Follow Christ! You who are sick or aging; you who feel…..the need of a friend. Follow Christ!”
At the end of your life there will most likely be a few paragraphs written about you in the local newspaper and will no doubt contain a title or two; priest, father, wife, daughter, or sister to name a few. They describe who you were and what role/roles you played during your time here on earth. I hope mine will state that my most important role was daughter of God because that’s the one I'm most grateful for! In the words of St. Gerard Majella, “Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?”
You are invited to the greatest, most incredible and worthwhile adventure in history, your vocation! What will be your legacy of faith as you gaze down from God’s heavenly kingdom in His loving embrace? What do you hope will be written about you and how you answered the call, fought the good fight, and desired the happiness of all?