The Vocational nature of our charism is eminently reflected in Mary’s generous response to God’s call throughout her life but especially in the mystery of the Annunciation.
The theme of his call runs from the beginning to the end of Scripture and many examples of people’s response to his call can be pondered on, and can encourage us as we struggle to respond ourselves to his invitations. However, Mary as the first disciple of her Son, is the primary model of a joy-filled response for Colwelians. Although she was born free from the stain of original sin and lived perfectly in the Divine Will, saying a perfect and complete YES in faith to God’s designs for her, she always had the possibility of being able to say no to God. True love always leaves the recipient free to respond or not. So Mary could, like Adam and Eve, have chosen to do her own will and not follow his call. Instead, she chose always to do the will of God.
We aim to live vocationally by becoming faith-filled, prayer-centred, mission-oriented individuals who constantly grow towards the fullness of life and love as planned by God for them. It is a life-time journey. The main point of this chapter is to understand what this call of God entails.
‘Vocation is to be the very heart of the new evangelisation at the threshold of the third millennium’] The 1997 document ‘In Verbo Tuo – New Vocations for a New Europe’ and the 2018 synod on ‘Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment’ are essential to our understanding of this central aspect of our charism. It shows how the new evangelisation must proclaim again the strong sense of life as ‘vocation’ in its fundamental call to holiness. It is no coincidence that this new community found itself coming into existence at the beginning of the third millennium.
We are witnessing the social, moral and religious disintegration of society, the ever-expanding ‘culture of death’ and the spread of systematic atheism and materialism. At the same time, we see in many people, especially the younger generations, a tiredness with what our secular culture is offering and a thirst for the authentic values that Christianity has to offer. We recognise in many people the search for meaning and the desire for truth. In response to this COLW wants to promote a culture of vocation in which everyone feels ‘called by name’:
- To live life as a response to love received.
- To seek union with God.
- As Christians, to live fully one’s baptismal promises.
- To discover one’s ‘personal’ vocation.
- To a ‘particular’ vocation.
- To the order, place and purpose for which one was created.
Mary is our vocational model as one who responded totally, allowed God to do with her all that he wanted. When Jesus says that his mother, brothers and sisters are those who do the will of his Father in heaven we have a glimpse into the wholeness of Mary’s self-giving. It was not bearing Christ in the flesh that made her blessed. Her real motherhood lay in her surrender to the Father’s will; her ‘Be it done unto me (her ‘Fiat’, ‘Amen’, ‘Alleluia’) in sorrow and in joy, in diminishment and fullness.