Mary is model of every vocation Print
Thursday, Nov. 05, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

This week, the Catholic Church in the United States is celebrating National Vocation Awareness Week.

It is an annual week-long observance dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and Consecrated Life through prayer and education. It is also a time to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations.

This week’s Catholic Herald includes a special section with information on Church vocations. I hope people will read this section and perhaps share it with others who might not receive the paper, especially our young people.

There are so many things to consider when thinking about a vocation in life, especially one dedicated to service in the Church. How do we go about deciding what to do?

Pope’s message: Mary’s fiat

In his message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations this year, Pope Francis urges us to use Mary as the “model of every vocation.” He notes that Mary did not fear to utter her fiat in response to the Lord’s call.

Through the message of an angel, Mary was asked by God to be the mother of his son. She apparently didn’t hesitate but answered, “Be it done to me according to your word.”

I think it took a lot of faith and courage for Mary to say “yes” to this request. She was a human being like us — although a very special person without sin — so we have to assume that Mary experienced the same emotions we do. She must have been nervous and uncertain of what was to come. Yet, she answered God’s call with joy.

“With the generous courage born of faith, Mary sang of the joy of leaving herself behind and entrusting to God the plans she had for her life,” said Pope Francis.

Turn to Mary for guidance

He encourages us to turn to Mary in discerning our own path in life. “She is at our side and she guides us. Let us turn to her, so that we may be completely open to what God has planned for each one of us, so that we can grow in the desire to go out with tender concern towards others (cf. Lk 1:39). May the Virgin Mary protect and intercede for us all.”

It is wonderful that we all have Mary available for help in deciding our vocation in life. She is there as our Mother — someone who will listen and intercede for us.

Praying the “Memorare” and the Rosary regularly are ways to reach out to her. Let us pray for our own vocation, for those discerning their vocation, and for those already serving the Church as priests, deacons, and Religious.

I especially urge people in the Diocese of Madison to pray for the perseverance of our seminarians and women in formation. May Mary watch over them and give them the strength to commit themselves to a lifetime of service in the Church.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!