A Call to a certain career also a vocation?


#1

Please move if this is an improper forum for this question.

My understanding is that we are all called to a vocation of married, single, or religious life.

My question is does the tradition or teaching of the Church speak to the topic of people being called to a particular career or job as a type of additional vocation as well?

Does God call all, or at least some of us, to do specific work - such as becoming a nurse, etc.? Is it appropriate to use the term vocation to reference such a life calling?

Just curious what the Church says about it - if anything. Thanks!


#2

This is a great question. I would be interested in hearing some thoughts on this as well. I am actually going through some discernment right now. I think I am being called to another career, but I am not sure. Thanks for posting this.

Cathy


#3

God does bless people with specific callings within their life - the gift to do a specific “work”, the desire to do it, as well. Sometimes people think of it as “fitting their personality”, I think God has a key role in it.


#4

I think we should look to God, and how we can best spread His word, in all major aspects of our lives. If that is the case, we might be called to a career that best fits this. I think you should consider your talents and joys in life when considering a career, instead of choosing for less Godly reasons like fortune making and job simplicity.

I wanted to be a teacher, but I was unable to form great relationships with the students to the point where I was not really able get a message (whether religious or not) across. My Christian message would not have spread effectively in that career as my skills are not compatible with it. I also was taking little joy out of the career as a result of the stress. I feel God was probably not calling me there.

That said, I think you should consider your vocation while considering your career. A man cannot do the job of a priest without being in a priestly vocation. Someone in a religious vocation might have less options for their “job”. I would think you should consider your vocation first, and your career second, in these scenarios.


#5

I wouldn’t call someone’s career choice a vocation. A person can only have one vocation, but their human talents and abilities can suite them to various professions.

A few examples:
Mrs. Smith has been married to Mr. Smith for many years, and has been working at the hospital just as long. Her talents make her an excellent nurse, and she’s well-loved by all the patients and staff.
However, her marriage and family is greater than her job as a nurse. While her nursing primarily reaps physical benefits, and Christian virtue can also be displayed; her family’s principle product is Christian love. If she needed to choose between the two, she’d choose her family.

Fr. Stevens has been ordained for a bit, and has recently been assigned to teach at the local seminary full-time. Fr. Steven’s vocation as a priest is to offer sacrifice and forgive sins. Even though he’s not assigned to a parish, he still performs this function for his students, the other faculty, and the universal Church. That being said, he’s assigned as a teacher, and he labors for God’s Kingdom in a more physical way in the classroom; as he labors in a more supernatural way at the altar or in the confessional.

Does that help at all? Let me know if I can clarify.


#6

Your vocation is to the ordained life, consecrated life, or to the laity-within the laity you have marriage and single people.

An avocation is your specific calling to a specific work.

They are not the same thing.

Here is a good illustration about vocations:

vocationtree.org/

The base of the tree reprents our baptismal vocation and then it branches off to three parts-the ordained, the laity and the consecrated. Then more branches within each of these specific catgeories. These vocations all produce fruit. At the top of the tree is an avocation-your job in life. There is usually nothing stopping you to an avocation no matter what your vocation is. For example, your avocation could be a nurse, but you could still be called into one of the three vocations of being ordrained (unless you are a woman), being part of the laity or being consecrated.


#7

God has properly a plan for your state in life, wheter it is to be ordained, consecrated (funny twist, consecrated ordinated for who feels called to both) or laity (wheter married or not). When you’re willing to accept and answer your call (if you’re like me, you’d spend months constantly arguing when in prayer with God for months because it wasn’t the call you wanted… I’m naturally stubborn. And as I’ve found out, so is God), God has more confortable space to use you as part of the body of Christ.

On that proper confortable space, you may have space for choice on what you want to do for yourself, especially in laity, but I’m not really sure wheter God calls you to a specific job. He may give put the oportunity for some dreamy job you wanted and feel that you’ll be happy in it. Perhaps in that way we can say that part of God’s plan was for you to pursue and get the job of your childhood dreams. :cool:


#8

[quote="turtle18, post:6, topic:337370"]
Your vocation is to the ordained life, consecrated life, or to the laity-within the laity you have marriage and single people.

An avocation is your specific calling to a specific work.

They are not the same thing.

Here is a good illustration about vocations:

vocationtree.org/

The base of the tree reprents our baptismal vocation and then it branches off to three parts-the ordained, the laity and the consecrated. Then more branches within each of these specific catgeories. These vocations all produce fruit. At the top of the tree is an avocation-your job in life. There is usually nothing stopping you to an avocation no matter what your vocation is. For example, your avocation could be a nurse, but you could still be called into one of the three vocations of being ordrained (unless you are a woman), being part of the laity or being consecrated.

[/quote]

Okay - this makes sense to me :)

The question came up during a discussion with someone whom I feel is definitely in the "spot" God created her to fill - a very difficult job working with extremely challenging children that she has the ability to handle with ease, knowledge, and truly heartfelt love in situations where that would be the furthest thing from most of our minds. It occurred to me that there should be some sort of description for this kind of "perfect profession" and the word vocation came to mind, but it didn't seem to quite fit because she is, of course, called to her "other" vocation of married life as well.


#9

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