World Day of Prayer for Vocations
Fourth Sunday of Easter, 29th April 2012
Called to be Witnesses to Love
The Church invites us on Vocations Sunday to pray for, promote and support vocations to priesthood and Consecrated life and to support those in formation as well as those already in the ministry.
Pope Benedict XVI, in his Message on the theme “Vocations, the Gift of the Love of God”, expresses the hope “that the local churches and all the various groups within them will become places where vocations are carefully discerned and their authenticity tested, places where young men and women are offered wise and strong spiritual direction. In this way, the Christian community itself becomes a manifestation of the Love of God in which every calling is contained.”
To the young people of England and Wales, during the Papal Visit to the UK in 2010, the Holy Father said the following:
“Dear young friends . . . I ask each of you, first and foremost, to look into your own heart . . . we were made for love. This is what the Bible means when it says that we are made in the image and likeness of God: we were made to know the God of love, the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and to find our supreme fulfilment in that divine love that knows no beginning or end.
“We were made to receive love, and we have . . . We were also made to give love, to make love the inspiration for all we do and the most enduring thing in our lives . . .
“Every day we have to choose to love, and this requires help, the help that comes from Christ, from prayer and from the wisdom found in his word, and from the grace which he bestows on us in the sacraments of his Church . . .
“I ask you to look into your hearts each day to find the source of all true love. Jesus is always there, quietly waiting for us to be still with him and to hear his voice. Deep within your heart, he is calling you to spend time with him in prayer.
“But this kind of prayer, real prayer, requires discipline; it requires making time for moments of silence every day. Often it means waiting for the Lord to speak. Even amid the “busy-ness” and the stress of our daily lives, we need to make space for silence, because it is in silence that we find God, and in silence that we discover our true self. And in discovering our true self, we discover the particular vocation which God has given us for the building up of his Church and the redemption of our world.”
This Good Shepherd Sunday, as it is also known, prompts each of us to reflect, discover and recognise God’s call. Let us pray for the knowledge and realisation of the love of God in ourselves and the grace to bring this to others.
The Holy Father’s Message for Vocations Sunday 2012:
National Office for Vocation: