I once heard someone say that your vocation is ‘what you do with your love’. If we are trying to live out God’s will day by day, we’re all living our personal vocation right now, even if not yet in the vocation or state of life to which God has called us for our whole life. It is really interesting to look at your life and ask yourself: to whom or to what do I give my love – my time, energy, passion? What do the events of my life or how I use my time reveal?
When he came to this country nearly a year ago, Pope Benedict XVI said to young people: “I ask each of you first and foremost to look into your own heart, think of all the love that your heart was made to receive, and also love it was meant to give, after all we were made for love” (18th Sept, 2010). For young people, the single life before marriage or priesthood or consecrated life should be a ‘school of love’, receiving the love of God into our hearts, knowing ourselves and finding our identity completely in Him, so that we can pour out our love into our vocation when that time comes.
A couple of weekends ago, I was at the first talk of the Invocation festival in Birmingham. Fr John Hemer was the speaker and he said, memorably, that the young person who spends their life partying is at least on one level following their desires – unlike the ‘couch potato’ who does not know what they desire anymore. At least the party animal is doing something with their energy and passion, albeit in a ‘disordered’ way: the couch potato however is doing nothing with their heart – neither giving or receiving love. This is for what we were made! Love, relationships, family. This plan for human life is written in the very heart of God himself.