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Q & A with Father Anthony



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How important is attraction to a vocation?

Kim asks:

Dear Fr Anthony,

How important is attraction to a vocation? I am currently looking at religious orders for women and have contacted an order whose apostolate is teaching. The sister I spoke to felt that if I didn`t feel I had a call to teaching then I should look elsewhere and I feel the same way. My spiritual director says on the other hand that God could still be calling me to this way of life. So, how important is attraction to a vocation and choosing a way of life that "suits our nature"?

Dear Kim,

I think attraction is important, but I think the attraction we have to pay most attention to is not so much our inclination toward particular work that the community does, as our attraction to the climate or atmosphere of the community. You have to feel like it is your home. At the same time I think it is important to feel a little fear too, being aware that God is asking us to go way beyond our comfort-zone, beyond what comes easy so that our decision is based on love, faith and trust more than on our comfort. So, I think that if you are attracted to the spiritual family of an order, the only thing that needs to be examined as regards their particular apostolate, is if you have the aptitudes for it. The love and attraction to the work will come from the love for your vocation.

The reason for this is, our vocation is what God made us for, so there has to be a fit, a click, like falling in love. At the same time the essence of the vocation, following Christ in perfect poverty, chastity and obedience and giving ourselves for souls as he gave himself, goes way beyond what comes natural to us. Humanly speaking, following a vocation means going out on a limb. And to live it always requires sacrifice. But since we are in love, it is a serene and willing sacrifice and not a source of bitterness.

God bless.

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