It's National Vocation Awareness Week; how is God calling you to wake up a sleeping world?
by Sister Elise Cholewinski
It was 5:30 a.m. on an icy cold Saturday in February and my alarm clock was ringing. How I wanted to stay in my cozy comfortable bed and get a little more peaceful sleep. However, I quickly called to mind the words that the Jesuit priest Pedro Arrupe had written: ”Love is what makes you get up in the morning.”
A couple of hours later, having spent time in prayer and having stopped at a convenience store to purchase breakfast food for our Confirmation candidates, I was at our parish center, setting up for their retreat. As I prepared the environment in the sanctuary of the church, I remember saying to the Lord, “Thank you for calling me simply to be of service in Your Church.” At 6 o’clock that evening I left the center, feeling very satisfied that the retreat had gone so well. The adults who assisted me worked like a team; the students were very cooperative. Tired as I was, I knew I wouldn’t trade this life for anything in the world.
Beginning today, Nov. 1, All Saints' Day, the Church celebrates National Vocation Awareness Week. A vocation is a call, not only to a particular ministry, but to a way of life that involves the whole person. This includes marriage, the single life, priesthood, or religious life. As we discern God’s call and wonder what direction our lives should take, there are several questions we can ask ourselves.
- What are my personal gifts?
- What kind of relationship do I have with the Lord?
- When and where and how do I feel the most alive?
- What gives me the most energy?
- How can I best serve the Church?
- Which saints have inspired me by their lives?
- How do I want to model my life after theirs?
Picture yourself being roused from sleep on a cold winter morning. What is it that makes you jump out of bed and get on with your day? That wake-up call is an invitation waiting for a response, a response that can awaken a sleeping world.
Thank you. I will remember Fr. Pedro Arrupe's words when I struggle each morning.