I have a beautiful heritage

By Mario Delgado

I am currently seeking an answer to the question: “Do I have a call¬ing to serve the Lord as a religious person or as a lay missionary?” Perhaps, I don’t have the answers yet, but I can begin by discerning my call with different steps that I must follow in order to find an an¬swer. First, I must pay attention to the simple signs and moments in my journey of faith where God is inviting me and revealing the opportunity to listen to his call.

For some people, the call to religious life or priesthood begins as an intense inner attraction to the Lord Jesus. For others, it begins with the compassionate concern for the needs of others. Eventually, every call to religious life or the priesthood needs a close union with the Lord, as well as sharing his concern for the world he came to save.

For many people, their call begins in their hearts; following the way of the heart is the opportunity to feel that God is possibly calling you to a life of service. They fall in love with the Lord Jesus. In the be¬ginning there is more than a little romanticism in their affection toward him and their feeling of his love for them. That is natural and useful at the time. Later they learn to relate with the Lord in a more mature man¬ner, with less of themselves and more of him in their relationship. They learn to listen and walk with him, seeking his interests rather than their own.

One of the most critical questions for anyone seeking to follow his will is: “Where would the Lord have me go?” It is a mistake to begin your search for a vocation solely with the question: “What do I want to be and do?” Desire can be a clue, which helps shape the development of your choice. However, what you desire should not be your main guide when choosing a vocation. God has called many reluctant people to a special closeness to him and service to others. From the Bible, Moses and Jeremiah come immediately to mind. It may take years and several false starts before arriving on the path the Lord Jesus has chosen for you. You are on the right path when you follow your heart, where the Lord Jesus reveals the opportunity to follow his call.

The rewards of following the Lord on the paths of religious life or the priesthood come in two ways: In this world, your life will have a deeply spiritual meaning. In the next world, Jesus will give himself entirely to you because you have given yourself entirely to him. Although every follower of the Lord Jesus lives a spiritually meaningful life, those called to religious life or the priesthood will fulfill the meaning of their lives by following that call. Jesus offers them salvation, whatever they choose. For those who follow his call, he offers a special relationship now and in eternity. Then they will be able to say like the psalmist: “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; You hold my lot. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.” (Ps 116:5-6)

Your Turn
What meaning do you find in your life? Is there something missing?


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