Vocation - Ch. 5

Many young people fullfill the necessary conditions to follow God's call. Some of them feel the divine invitation. Having all the signs of a vocation are they free to follow or to decline the call of God? 

Here we have a young man, lively and intelligent. He would willingly be married and several young ladies have their eyes on him. He has only to make a sign. But, struck by the lack of evangelical workers and the great number of souls that perish due to the lack of apostles, he foresees all of the consequences that would follow for the salvation of the world by his renouncement of the lawful joys of marriage if he consecrates his entire life to the service of God. He sees the results of this gift in the likes of St. Francis Xavier, St. John Bosco, St. Vincent de Paul, St. John Vianney. He says to himself: “Why not me?”

He has the five signs or conditions indicated above:

  1. He understands the efficacy that his sacrifice for the service of God and the Church would have. The number of families transformed! And how much more he would be sanctified!
  2. He has the required dispositions.
  3. If he gives himself to God, he is determined, with God’s grace, to hold himself to the obligations entailed therein.
  4. There are no counter-indicators.
  5. He will easily find a Bishop or a Congregation which will accept him.

Free to follow

Can this young man say to himself: “Does God call me? Should I devote my life to Him? Should I vow myself to His service?” Without any doubt! The young man can consider the words of the Divine Master as if they were addressed to him: “Si vis! If thou wilt, go, sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me!” “Nothing,” says St. Ignatius, “ought to move me to take such means or to deprive myself of them, except only the service and praise of God our Lord and the eternal salvation of my soul.” (Spiritual Exercises, n. 169)

Fullfill one's obligations

St. Thomas Aquinas (read the whole of Summa Theologica II-II, q. 189, a.10) tells us that there must be more reasons for not becoming a religious than to become a religious. And he repeats several times in the same article: “Above all, do not seek advice among those who will prevent you,” and he quotes this sentence of St. Jerome: “Make haste, I beg you, and if you hesitate, cut away your moorings rather than lose your time untying them.”
Hasten, young man! Hasten and make a decision!

St. Ignatius (Spiritual Exercises, n. 185, 187) is saying to you:

  • To a young man who is in your exact situation, what advice would you give him for the greater glory of God and the greater perfection of his soul?
  • On the day of your death, what choice would you have liked to make today?
  • What value do your various reasonings have, on one side or the other, in front of the judgment seat of God?

Hesitate no longer. Act accordingly. Si vis! Understand the grace; understand the honor which is made you. “You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain” (Jn. 15:16).