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Empowering Your Vocation

Through Prayer

Yes, You Have a Vocation!


Most Catholics dont realize that their vocation is a call to love as Jesus loves. This is a topic
well cover heavily in the Adventure of Faith course. The Second Vatican Council (in the
document Lumen Gentium) reminded us of what has always been true. All of us are called
to holiness, and that means that all of us have a vocation to love. Whether you are called to
the priesthood, to religious life or to marriage and family life, you are called to grow in
selIless love.

Whats Prayer Got to Do With It?


What does this have to do with prayer? Well, obviously our prayer for others is part of our
love for them. When we pray for others we participate in the goodness that God wants for
those we pray for. Thats one great way to love others.

Additionally, to love as Jesus loves is only possible through grace - and that is a grace
supported by prayer. Lets just think about what our vocation calls us to. Agap is the Greek
word for the love that Jesus calls us to in His new commandment to love one another as
He has loved us. In Greek, the word Agap means the love of the gods. This means a love
that is not attainable by human standards. How did Jesus show us Agap? By giving up His
entire self for us on the Cross. Jesus didnt just give up His life. He sacriIiced his body, his
human dignity, and even his divine rights. He poured it all out for us. The Resurrection
showed us that as God He could do this - He could pour Himself out completely for us for all
eternity and never exhaust Himself. After all, He is eternal. But what if we Iinite, mortal
beings tried that? What if we poured ourselves out completely for others? Simply put, there
would be nothing left. Were not eternal or inIinite. We would poof out of existence (to use a
sophisticated theological phrase). Unless. Unless we could love with the inIinite, eternal
love of God. So to love as Jesus loves is not just a nice sentiment. Its not a feel-good
statement like now be nice to each other. Its a radical call for us to let God love others
through us - to pour ourselves out for others and then to trust in the Resurrection. That
kind of radical trust in God is only going to come through prayer.

Deep Prayer and Radical Conversion Lead to Deep


Love
Finally, if we are going to love in this radical way through our vocation, we need to enter
into the deep prayer of conversion. In his wonderful book Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer
Father Thomas Dubay reminds us that deep prayer and deep conversion are both necessary
- and that they are dependent on each other. We cannot love God with our whole heart, and
we cannot love our neighbor as Jesus loved us if we do not get rid of the selIish tendencies
in our hearts. Prayer and conversion are the only ways to do that.
The sacramental grace that comes with Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders, and with the
sacramental of religious vows, empowers us to love with the love of God. But like all grace,
this love, which we know as the theological virtue of charity, calls us to puriIication,
conversion and participation. This happens for us through acts of charity but also through
prayer.
Bottom Line: The purpose of your vocation is to help you become holy. Taking steps to
exercise holiness will help you learn to love more completely.
And a great way to commit yourself to growing in holiness is to establish habits that open
your heart to what God wants to do in you through his grace. And an easy way to develop
those habits is to use a proven behavioral template.

So I'd like to invite you to grab a set of behavioral templates that can help you grow in an
important habit in each of Iive key areas of Catholic spirituality.
You'll get an easy-to-follow diagram that leads you step-by-step through the formation of
the habit.
Click this link to go to www.fromtheabbey.com to Iind the templates. Just click on the icon
for the template you want, Iill out the pop-up form, download the template and get started
transforming your faith life!
Brought to you by Jeffrey S. Arrowood at From the Abbey, dedicated to helping you
rediscover the JOY of learning and living your faith so you can grow in intimacy with God.