Carmelite Vocation

A vocation is a call to that special walk in life ordained for us by God, part of a great divine plan. It is a mystery that man accepts and lives in the depth of his being, a gift and a grace, which we cannot truly grasp or understand. God Who loves us, Who is love, is also “He Who calls”. Therefore in the presence of a vocation we can only adore the mystery, respond lovingly to the initiative of love, and say ‘yes’ to the call. At the heart of every vocation there is always Jesus, Who Himself explained, “You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit” (John 15:16). The response depends on the generosity of the heart of the one called, because He Who calls always leaves freedom of choice: If only you would listen to the Lord, the great Friend. He looks you in the eye and He speaks to your heart in the intimacy of personal prayer. (Quotations from Pope John Paul II on Vocations)

However pressing the needs of the active apostolate, Religious Institutes which are totally devoted to contemplation, must continue to play their wonderful role in the Mystical Body of Christ, in which “not all the members have the same function” (Rom 12:4), their members giving all their time to God alone in silence and solitude, praying continuously and willingly doing penance. They offer to God an outstanding sacrifice of praise, making God’s People resplendent with the rich fruits of holiness; they stir it by their example and give it growth by the hidden fruitfulness of their apostolate. (From the Decree on Renewal of the Religious Life – Perfectae Caritatis)


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