Friday, October 2, 2015

All Vocations

All Vocations in Service of One Another

The best vocation is that which is the "right fit" for you.  No one vocation is better than another. Consecrated Life can no longer be seen as a better or higher vocation, as doing or being "more" or "better" for God. The fullness of God's love can never be totally encapsulated or imaged in any one particular vocation. The variety of vocations gives witness to the differentiating unity of the Holy Spirit.

A universal call to holiness was strongly asserted by Vatican II  and taken up keenly since Vatican II. The uniqueness of Consecrated Life is not therefore a "more perfect" life. Vatican II affirmed the universal call to perfect holiness of all Christians, whatever their state or condition (Lumen Gentium 11), with following of Christ, whose life was poor, chaste and obedient, being the foundation of perfect love (Perfectae Caritatis 1). Indeed,  Rincón-Pérez notes that “the Council, as emerged from the development of chapters V and VI of Lumen gentium, deliberately suppressed the term “state of perfection” to avoid making any suggestion that Christian perfection is a monopoly reserved to a canonical state.”(1) All Christians are called to live a life that is chaste, obedient to God and the Church, and reasonably detached from material possessions appropriate to their state.(2) In so doing, all Christians are called to the perfection of love in accordance with the fit of their proper vocation(3) for diversity of gifts is the work of the Holy Spirit. 

Each state in the Church, while having a specificity of its own, also includes the others. Each state is in its self-giving to God (the “Non-Other”: Non-Aliud) and to the other in the Church and in the world. Thanks to this self-giving, the one, Catholic Church lives in the wonder of divine Love.(4)

(1) Tomás Rincón-Pérez, “Introduction to PARS III De institutis vitae consecratae et de societatibus vitae apostolicae” in E. Caparros et al., Exegetical Commentary on the Code of Canon Law: Book Ii: The People of God (Canons 460 - 746). Vol. 2,2 (Midwest Theological Forum, 2004). 1455.
(2) John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation. Vita Consecrata 30.
(3) John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation. Vita Consecrata 31.
(4)  Juan M. Sara, “Secular Institutes According to Hans Urs von Balthasar,” Communio: International Catholic Review 29, Summer (2002), 311.

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