February 11, 2019
What is so amazing about your vocation? It is personal, fulfilling, relational, life-giving, made for you, and helps you become a saint! What could be better?
What is so hard about discerning your vocation? Have any of these thoughts crossed your mind?
-I need to figure out my vocation.
-There are too many options.
-Commitment is scary.
-God probably does not understand what will make me happy.
-If God knows what will make me happy, He doesn’t want to give it to me.
-My vocation would be my cross.
-Trust seems impossible.
The good news is that Jesus Christ rose from the dead! Even death has no power over Him, so your doubts, confusion, and weakness are nothing that He can’t take care of. The key is to say “yes” to an ever-deepening relationship with Him. He is a God of revelation; He wants to be known by you. Therefore, if you seek Him with an open heart, you will find that He is actually already pursuing you.
I have discovered in my vocation (the best vocation!) that it is the ideal place for me to receive God’s love (and hence the best vocation in the subjective sense). Jesus Himself told us that whoever gives all to Him will receive 100-fold in this life. The difficulty is that we need to believe Him and act upon this faith. I need to jump before I can discover that He catches me faithfully. As long as I hold onto my own securities, I will not be receptive to the true security that He offers.
In order to say “yes” to Jesus’ calling me to be an Apostolic Oblate, I found that I needed to pour out my heart to Him. I needed to tell Him my fears, my insecurities, and even that I did not trust that He could or would make me happy. When I honestly shared everything with Him, He led me to a place I could receive His love and then trust in His plan of love for me. Although I didn’t understand much, I did see I could not figure out the path by analysis and my own (exceptional!) cognitive abilities.
At the time this was frustrating. I thought I wanted to figure everything out on my own. Then I could bring a tidy “yes” to Jesus after I had put everything perfectly into place and had made sure He would know what to do with my “yes.” This is not what I actually wanted. Who wants isolation? If I could do it all on my own, then I wouldn’t need Jesus. St. Paul relates what Jesus told Him, “My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). He allows us to be weak because this is where we find communion with Him.
I invite you to go to Jesus every day and spend some time with Him. First, picture the reality of Him gazing on you in love. Then open your heart to Him, showing Him the whole mess without whitewashing it. As you consistently go to Him in honesty, you will find He not only reveals Himself to you but shows you who you are, too. He is the one who calls. He is the one who leads. He is the one who brings you to your vocation where you will find your joy.
Monica Hejkal, A.O. | Apostolic Oblate, St. John Paul II Newman Center