Pope's 2018 Prayer for Vocations

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
5 Dec 2017

Pope Francis ordained 13 priests during a huge outdoor Mass in Bangladesh

Pope Francis has released his message for the 2018 World Day of Prayer for Vocations, reflecting on the three aspects of every vocation: listening, discerning, and living.

The 55th World Day of Prayer for Vocations will be commemorated next year on 22 April.

The Holy Father said 2018 is a special year for vocations, because the Synod of Bishops will reflect on young people, especially "the relationship between young people, faith, and vocation".

Pope Francis reminded Christians that God never ceases to call men and women to follow Him.

"We are not victims of chance or swept up in a series of unconnected events; on the contrary, our life and our presence in this world are the fruit of a divine vocation," he said.

Pope Francis made it clear that "God comes silently" and that, without a listening heart, God's voice can be "drowned out" by the distractions of daily life.

"Nowadays listening is becoming more and more difficult, immersed as we are in a society full of noise, overstimulated and bombarded by information. This prevents us from pausing and enjoying the taste of contemplation, reflecting serenely on the events of our lives, going about our work with confidence in God's loving plan, and making a fruitful discernment."

He said Christians need "to listen carefully to his word and the story of his life, but also to be attentive to the details of our own daily lives".

Turning to spiritual discernment, Pope Francis said this is "a process by which a person makes fundamental choices, in dialogue with the Lord and listening to the voice of the Spirit, starting with the choice of one's state in life".

Pope Francis added a note of urgency. "Vocation is today! The Christian mission is now," he said.

"Each one of us is called - whether to the lay life in marriage, to the priestly life in the ordained ministry, or to a life of special consecration - in order to become a witness of the Lord, here and now."