The path to discerning one’s vocation is not the comfortable path, and can sometimes mean going against the tide, said Pope Francis.
In his letter for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which the Church will celebrate Sunday, May 11, the Holy Father noted that the path toward a vocation is often wrought with obstacles: “Jesus himself warns us: the good seed of God’s word is often snatched away by the Evil one, blocked by tribulation, and choked by worldly cares and temptation.”
These difficulties could cause some to take the easier path, he said, but the “true joy of those who are called consists in believing and experiencing that he, the Lord, is faithful, and that with him we can walk, be disciples and witnesses of God’s love, open our hearts to great ideals, to great things.”
“We Christians were not chosen by the Lord for small things,” the Pope continued. “Push onwards toward the highest principles. Stake your lives on noble ideals!”
The pope encouraged helping those discerning a vocation to accompany them on “pathways of holiness” and to guide them in “a genuine ‘training in holiness.’”
“Let us dispose our hearts therefore to being ‘good soil,’” he continued, “by listening, receiving and living out the word, and thus bearing fruit.”
“The more we unite ourselves to Jesus through prayer, sacred Scripture, the Eucharist, the sacraments celebrated and lived in the Church and in fraternity, the more there will grow in us the joy of cooperating with God in the service of the Kingdom of mercy and truth, of justice and peace,” the pope concluded. “And the harvest will be plentiful, proportionate to the grace we have meekly welcomed into our lives.”