THE FORUM

Your Vocation is Not About You (Benjamin Mann)

It is quite traditional and correct to speak of “discerning a vocation” – particularly to consecrated life or the priesthood, though also in regard to marriage, careers, and other major commitments. In modern Western culture, however, the idea of vocational discernment has become problematic, producing unnecessary indecision and anxiety. The problem is not with the traditional concepts and language, but with us and our mindset. Shaped by the modern sensibility of intense self-consciousness, and by the consumer culture’s obsession with options and the “pursuit of happiness,” we think too much about ourselves and our preferences. Often, we are looking for the wrong things in a vocation. And we approach the discernment of our calling in a correspondingly wrong way…. Then we become frustrated when no option seems to fit the bill.

…. The purpose of life is the unitive devotional service of God, which includes the love of our neighbor (in whom God dwells). This is the real purpose of any vocation. Some forms of life, such as monasticism, are ordered directly to this end; other states of life are oriented toward it indirectly. But these are only different versions of the one human vocation: to love and serve God, and become one with him in Christ. A vocation – any vocation – is a school of charity and a means of crucifixion. Your vocation is the means by which your self-serving ego will die in order to be resurrected as the servant and lover of God. This is all that we can expect; but this is everything – the meaning of life, all there really is. MORE…

America’s Consumerism: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of… Stuff? (Ryan Caswell)

John Adams, second president of the United States, thought July 4 should be a “great anniversary festival” to be “solemnized with pomp and parade…from this time forward forever more.” He penned these words in a letter to his wife soon after the signing of the Declaration of Independence,...Read More »


God Spelled Backwards (Lisa Schneider)

Jean Houston, a renowned scholar, philosopher, and teacher, has worked as a consultant to the United Nations, UNICEF, and other international agencies. She is the best-selling author of “A Mythic Life,” “The Possible Human,” and “Jump Time.” She was a protégée of Margaret Mead and Joseph Campbell, and...Read More »


Holy seconds to a holy future (Ambrose J. Chakre)

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:12). Every second made holy by our acts of holiness (of Christ) is an investment which will insure our life in Christ,...Read More »


God Searches Us and Knows Us (Pastor Frank L. Hoffman)

“God searches us and knows us” is a common theme throughout the Bible. It may be expressed in different ways, but the understanding is the same…. Understanding the full scope of God’s caring for us can be overwhelming for us to comprehend, but it should also confirm that...Read More »


Previous Posts