I was reading a blog post the other day and it was about a young woman’s struggle with vocational discernment. She was obsessed about finding the right answer to her state in life and she agonized over it for years. In her discernment, she came to realize that her first vocation was a vocation to life, but not just any life: Abundant life.
That same week, the Communion antiphon kept speaking to me because it echoed that same truth: I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly, says the Lord (John 10:10). It was clear that God was trying to catch my attention with this one.
I want you to have abundant life in Me.
We Catholics believe in the dignity of life. We believe that all life is created by God and formed in His image. We believe each life has a purpose and a special role to play in building up the Kingdom of God. This is why we advocate against abortion, the death penalty, unjust treatment of the poor, and other injustices that diminish the sanctity of life.
Certainly those critical issues are essential to the vocation of life. But beyond those issues, I think we need to ask ourselves: Are we really embracing the vocation of life in subtler everyday ways?
I am guilty of not embracing the vocation of life in many ways. When I despair, when I become discouraged, when I feel hopeless, when I don’t take care of myself, when I’m living up to less than my potential as a Christian, when I’m not relishing my blessings, when I don’t keep my eyes and heart on joy, when I hide parts of my unique self in the closet, when I'm not obedient to the 'next steps' God gives me, I am not embracing the vocation to life. I halt myself on the pathway to life, and sometimes I even move in the opposite direction.
I am living less than the abundant life God desires for me.
There is always more opportunity for a richer, abundant life if we follow the way of Jesus and remain in Him.
So ask yourself: Are you living your first vocation to life and are you seeking the abundant life God desires for you?