We Catholics talk a lot about vocations. There are many in the Church. Holy Orders, the consecrated life of monks, friars and nuns, the married life and the single life.
All are callings from God.
Today at work, I was thinking a lot about them and mine in particular.
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the villain Ego sought purpose and meaning to his existence. He found it in his Expansion concept. That was the center point of the movie’s plot.
Isn’t purpose and meaning to our lives what we’re all searching for?
I believe that’s what each man or woman’s vocation is: A purpose and meaning for their life which said man or woman was made for by God. We each have a part in God’s plan.
I know I sought meaning for my life.
After my wife divorced me, I felt so empty and meaningless. I wondered if all there was to my life was the brute day to day existence of working, paying bills and child support. Just each day, waking up and enduring a pointless existence just to repeat the process the next day. I felt the absence of family that would make it all worthwhile. I often thought of suicide.
That was a living hell.
We all need a purpose to our existence.
I wonder if this basic existential angst is a factor in a lot of problems in our society. That a lot of the anxieties, depressions and addictions come from people not knowing their purpose and they try to fill that hole with material pleasures, consumerism and post modern modes of thinking as unhealthy ways to deal with it.
In a materialistic post Christian society that has strayed away from God and tries to intellectualize Him away or worse yet rationalize what they’re doing by reading their ideas into God; I think that leaves people helpless in the face of this angst and the devil plays on this. I’m thinking the devil is having a field day in our society.
Maybe that’s the point. The devil worked it so that many people play right into his hands.
In my own case, I felt utterly alone and meaningless. When I met Gemma, she was in a depression where she felt she had no purpose. No husband, no job. Just day to day life as a Filipina single mother living at home; serving her parents in their retirement.
My youngest son feels this angst too. There were discussions I had with him in which he questioned his own existence and struggled with an apparently pointless day to day existence. I felt for him and I had to work hard to teach him to understand that he has some purpose to his life.
I taught him that God doesn’t create anything or anyone without a purpose. Everything God makes has a purpose. He just has to work with God to find the purpose for his life.
That’s another reason why I’m a pro life activist. Each human being is created by God for a purpose and to kill a child is to deny God’s plan by taking that life that God intended to do some good in the world according to His plan. Another reason why abortion is a grave moral evil.
It came into solid focus for me today: The married life is the core of my own vocation with lay ministry as an important corollary.
I serve as husband and father to my family, I serve as an usher at my parish, as an apologist/evangelist and now this upcoming Third Order Dominican thing.
Perhaps an important part of this ministry thing is that I’m to help others know that God made you good and has a purpose for you.
I’m also wondering what you all think your purpose and meaning is? Maybe we can start up a fruitful talk on the subject?
I remember one Sunday morning before Mass, I was moved to say something to my priest.
He was deeply worried about the state of affairs in the country and the Church. I could see it every time I saw him doing his devotions in the church and in a talk I had with him as I sought ways to serve my parish.
I even preached to him a little bit from Psalm 46, one of my favorite Psalms; telling him that God is on overwatch and will move when He wills.
The movement was God saying: “ You do your vocation. I got this. “ I actually used his first name alone when I told him this after Mass that morning; saying that God has a message for him through me.
I never use a priest’s first name alone. I always say Father or sir.
I’m wondering: What if that’s all that’s needed to deal with the world and all of it’s troubles? That we just find our purpose and meaning, our vocation; and concentrate on that?