Catholic Update Guide to Vocations
Mary C. Kendzia
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A Christian's first calling is to belong to the People of God--to accept Jesus as Lord, to become a disciple, and to participate in his plan of salvation by giving witness and spreading the Gospel. The Christian's second vocation is the way he or she lives out the primary one. Many Catholics may think that the term vocation applies only to holy orders and religious life. Yet St. Paul himself gives us a broader notion of vocation or calling. He said that all have been called to fellowship with Jesus, and insisted that Jesus died for all. All people have a vocation, a calling from God, to share in the redemption and eternal life Jesus came to bring. The bishops at the Second Vatican Council repeated in "Lumen Gentium" Paul's conviction: "All humanity is called to belong to the new People of God." The "Catholic Update Guide to Vocations" reviews the four vocations or states of life in which the Christian faithful live the Gospel: single life, married life, religious life, and holy orders. The laity, whether married or single, are especially responsible for bringing the Gospel into the secular world. The Christian faithful who marry are bound to build up the people of God through the witness of their marriage and the promotion of family life. Clerics have the obligations of pastoral ministry in the Church. Those in consecrated life have the duty to seek perfection by vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, giving witness through lives of charity to others and of praise to God.
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