By: Fr. Roy Cimagala
WE should all be concerned about this matter. We need to develop a sense of vocation, for the simple reason that everyone has a vocation. We come from God and we belong to him. He always calls us to himself and offers us a way to go to him.
The way to go to him, peculiar to each one of us given our different situations in life and God’s specific plan for us, is the vocation God gives us. We, therefore, should try to discover that vocation as early as possible and correspond to it as fully as possible.
To be sure, no one comes to existence by mere accident or by pure chance and divine caprice. God does not create us at random. Even a person who is considered unwanted by his parents or is conceived through rape is already a person planned and loved by God from all eternity. This is a fundamental truth about ourselves that we should never take for granted.
Thus, we should try to develop this sense of vocation as early as possible. And this can mean as early as when one is still a child, already beginning to be aware of what and who he or she is. This normally should start in the family, with the parents playing a major role in this affair since they are our first teachers here on earth.
The parents should be quick in sowing the seeds of this sense of vocation by making the child aware that he or she just did not come from them but from God. And that he or she also belongs to God. This basic truth should always be reinforced all throughout the process of bringing up and educating the child.
The parents should therefore plant the rudiments of piety in their children, mainly through their example and with them doing the appropriate catechesis. Their children should see them praying and having special and pious regard to God. When the children see the love between them and feel their parents’ love for them, then the children will find it easy to relate themselves with God in faith and love.
This is a big challenge for the parents nowadays since, with so many fascinating developments around, the children can easily fall into self-absorption and self-indulgence. The parents should be ready to handle this danger very well. They should come out with appropriate plans and means to help their children become God-centered instead of self-centered.
Only in this atmosphere of piety should the topic of vocation be brought up directly with the children, explaining the why and wherefore of it. The children should be made aware that God has a particular vocation for them and that they have the duty to discover it. Of course, this has to be done in a gradual way, without putting pressure on the children.
At a certain point, the parents should start explaining to the children the different kinds of vocation, showing to them the different conditions involved and the different requirements needed of each kind. While parents can make suggestions as to what vocation is most likely fit for their children, they should refrain from pressuring their children in the choice of vocation.
Parents should also see to it that this sense of vocation is reinforced in the schools their children go to. And they have to be quick to react when certain elements can tend to undermine this sense of vocation. Nowadays, there are many of these things that can undermine this sense of vocation. And so while always respectful of the privacy of their children, they should always be watchful of their children’s affairs.
Perhaps, parents should first be given the appropriate formation to carry out this delicate duty they have toward their children.