What is a vocation?
Vocation is the calling of God to every human being. It is doing something for the love of it; a feeling that God is calling someone to a special ministry or way of serving others.
Jesus called his disciples to follow him, leaving their work and family and living as he lived, so christians belive that Jesus calls them to follow him.
Alternatives for Christian calling
Laity- men and women called to live active lay lives suporting their church in different ways
The sacrament of Holy Orders- men called to b edeacons, priests and bishops
Religious orders- women and men called to live single lives as members of religious communities
Parable of the Talents
Talents:qualities, attributes or abilities which in Christian belief are gifts from God and should be used in his service.
Interpetating the Parable of the Talents
- Although talents meant currency in New Testament times, modern interpretations understand the word talent to mean abilities, gifts or apitude.
- It could be suggesting that people should use the gifts they have been given to live responsibly, in view of the Last Judgement which will come.
- It may also be suggesting that it is really important to live an active and productive life rather than being lazy.
Religious life: dedicating life to God, taking vows and living in a particular holy way.
The religious life is a calling to live like Jesus in poverty, chastity and obedience. It is the diedication of oneslef to God through serving the Chuch and working for the salvation of the world.
Some catholics choose to join a religious order or congregation, to commit their whole life to God. Some religious are lay poeple and some are ordained deacon, priest or bishop.
Religious congregations are either contemplative or apostolic.
A contemplative congregation is devoted to prayer and work. Members of the order live in an enclosure, which means they do not usually go out of the community which they have joined. All through the day there are special times for prayer. The carmelites are a contemplative order for women. The cistercians are an enclosed order for men.
An apostolic congregation also involves prayer and work, but the work is things like caring for the sick, the old, the poor or the handicapped, or preaching and education. The sisters of Notre Dame de Namur are an apostolic order for women and the Christian Brothers are an apostolic order for men.
All religious men and women take vows. they are called the envangelical counsels.
The vows are:
- Poverty- to give up personal possessions
- Chastity- to give up marriage
- Obedience- to obey the leader of the religious order.
These vows mean that the religious man or women gives his or her whole life to the service of God.
Members of religious orders usually serve for a time with vows which are just temporary. Eventually they will make permanent vows at a final profession, where they are consencrated to God.
Women cannot be ordained in the Catholic Church.
Arguments for women priests
- If God made everyone in his image surley anyone can represent christ at the alter.
- Some women feel they are called to be priests. If God is calling them, then the Church should allow them to answer that call.
- There are evidence to suggest women were high in the early church. Moreover, women's position in society was very different to what it is today.
The Catholic Church's arguments against women priests
- All of Jesus' disciples were chosen by him and were men.
- There is a long standing tradition for men to be priests.
- There are other ways women may serve God in the lay life or by taking religious orders.
- Jesus was a man and there should be some similarity between the priest and Christ.