Monday, May 24, 2010

Vocations labyrinth: the 5th installment!

The B.C. Catholic and the Archdiocese of Vancouver Vocations Office are presenting a six-month spiritual journey entitled The Vocation Labyrinth. Each week, Vocations Director Father Hien Nguyen blogs his response to one of 23 vocations questions. Here is his fifth entry -- Paul Schratz.

How do I know my vocation?
Knowing our vocation requires us to carefully discern, and it is a lengthy process. We can go through many different stages of our life before hearing
God’s call and follow afterward with an extensive respond through the process. I will touch on different stages of discernment later when we go deeper into the labyrinth. Here, I would like to discuss the principal stage –
what we need to do to have a foundation that allows us to discern a vocation.
To know a vocation, we need to be “silent.” It is not in the “earthquake, or the strong wind, or the fire, but the still and gentle breeze” that the Lord speaks (1King 19:11-13). The “silence” consists of different aspects: physical silence and spiritual silence.
Physical silence involves us to develop a quiet and peaceful environment. If we are constantly surrounded by noise, how can we hear God? Some of us have our radio or TV on at all times, in the house and in the car. Our young people constantly plug in with their IPods and Mp3s. Another kind of noise is distraction: TV, the Internet, Facebook, games, or the pursuit of material goods, fame, success, and achievements. These deter us from hearing God’s call.
Spiritual silence is the interior silence, the fruit of our communion with God, others and self. To acquire interior silence, we must be free from sins – the obstacles that separate us from God and the interior noises that dissuade us from his love.
God’s graces continue to assist us to live in communion with Him. They liberate us and give us the heart of peace to come to the Lord to pray, talk, thank, praise, and listen.
We communicate to God through Scripture. We participate in God’s life through the sacraments we receive. There is no other way to know our vocation than to have our lives in communion with His.
We also need to be reconciled with our fellow men, and dispense God’s mercy that we have received to those who have offended us. We have to have the humility to look within and come to the realization of the need for conversion.
Please consider making sacrifices and self-denial to preserve time for God. We cannot comprehend God’s purpose and intention for us if we do not know how to pray and listen to Him. This is the basic foundation to discern our vocation. There are many other areas that would contribute and assist us to know our vocations. We will go through these steps through the journey in the vocation labyrinth.
For this week please contemplate on “how do I follow my vocation?”
God bless,
Fr. Hien Nguyen

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