This Sunday we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. As we celebrate this day, our Church especially encourages us to pray for vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life.
Pope Francis, in his message for the 2018 World Day of Prayer for Vocations, stated, “…the mystery of the Incarnation reminds us that God continually comes to encounter us. He is God-with-us, who walks along the often dusty paths of our lives. He knows our anxious longing for love, and he calls us to joy. In the diversity and the uniqueness of each and every vocation, personal and ecclesial, there is a need to listen, discern and live this word that calls to us from on high and, while enabling us to develop our talents, makes us instruments of salvation in the world and guides us to full happiness.” He further stated that, “God comes silently and discreetly, without imposing on our freedom. Thus it can happen that his voice is drowned out by the many worries and concerns that fill our minds and hearts. We need, then, to learn how to listen carefully to his word and the story of his life, but also to be attentive to the details of our own daily lives, in order to learn how to view things with the eyes of faith, and to keep ourselves open to the surprises of the Spirit.”
The following prayer provided by the EWTN Global Catholic Network reflects the essence of the call for vocations:
O HOLY SPIRIT, SPIRIT OF WISDOM AND DIVINE LOVE,
IMPART YOUR KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING, AND COUNSEL TO YOUTH
THAT THEY MAY KNOW THE VOCATION WHEREIN THEY CAN BEST SERVE GOD.
GIVE THEM COURAGE AND STRENGTH TO FOLLOW GOD’S HOLY WILL.
GUIDE THEIR UNCERTAIN STEPS, STRENGTHEN THEIR RESOLUTIONS,
SHIELD THEIR CHASTITY, FASHION THEIR MINDS, CONQUER THEIR HEARTS,
AND LEAD THEM TO THE VINEYARDS WHERE THEY WILL LABOR IN GOD’S HOLY SERVICE. AMEN.
As we reflect on this prayer, and on the profound words of Our Holy Father, we are invited to continue to pray and ask Our Lord to provide us with the happy, holy, and healthy priests, deacons, and religious we need to shepherd and guide the Church of tomorrow. Please also pray that hearts will be touched and minds will be opened on the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
Thank you for all you do to foster vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life. May Our Lord continue to bless our faith community as we continue in this glorious season of Easter.