Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
In the Church, with Baptism, every Christian begins to live under "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Rm 8:2) and, under the guidance of the Spirit, he enters into dialogue with God and his brothers and sisters and knows the extraordinary greatness of his own vocation.
The Holy Spirit...writes into the heart and life of every baptized person a project of love and grace, which is the only way to give full meaning to existence, opening the way to the freedom of the children of God and enabling the offering of one's personal and irreplaceable contribution to the progress of humanity on the path of justice and truth.
The Spirit does not only help to place oneself sincerely before the great questions of the heart—Where do I come from? Where am I going? Who am I? What is the purpose of life? How should I spend my time?—but opens up the prospect of courageous responses.
The discovery that each man and woman has his own place in God's heart and in the history of humanity constitutes the point of departure for a new culture of vocations.
It is possible to generate new vocations in the Spirit when the Christian community lives in an attitude of total fidelity to its Lord. That presupposes an intensive climate of faith and prayer, a generous witness of communion and esteem in the face of the many gifts of the Spirit, a missionary passion which, conquering easy and illusory selfishness, encourages the total gift of self for the sake of the kingdom of God.
While they are necessary in every age, these vocations [priesthood and consecrated life] are even more necessary today, in a world marked by great contradictions and the temptation to relegate God to the margins in the fundamental choices of life.
My wish is that...the World Day of Prayer for Vocations [May 3, 1998] will raise up in the hearts of the faithful a more intense prayer to obtain new vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life and reawaken the responsibility of all, especially parents and those who educate in the faith, to promote vocations.
This year, too, we wish to turn with trust to the Holy Spirit, that He may obtain for the Church of today the gift of many, holy vocations.
(Source: Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations, issued September 24, 1997)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com