Vocations Director Fr Israel Quirit was recently invited by the Turrist Orationist Ministry (TOM) to provide spiritual advice and share his insight on “What is your Primary Vocation?”
TOM is an Indonesian Catholic Charismatic Youth Group and their name – Turrist Orationist Ministry – translates to Tower of Prayer in Latin.
TOM’s ministry is based in the Archdiocese of Perth, currently housing more than 150 active members and are growing.
Fr Israel started the presentation by answering “What is Vocation?”
Vocations, he explained comes from the Latin word, “Vocare” which means to “call” in English.
“There is a Caller and a Callee in our Vocations. The Caller – God – is the person calling, while the Callee (each of us) is the person who is being called by the Caller – being called by God for a particular purpose.”
What is our Primary Calling?
Fr Israel continued with his presentation by answering what is that particular purpose God is calling each one of us. In other words, he says, “what is our Primary Calling?”
“God is calling us into life – to become life not just for ourselves but also, for others and all of us can live life to the full and answer God’s call to care and love others in single life, in married life, in consecrated life and of course, in ordained ministry,” Fr Israel said.
How do we hear and identify God’s call?
Fr Israel answered this question for TOM’s audience by explaining that silence is needed to identify God’s call.
That is because to hear a call, we first need to listen, and listening requires silence.
To quote Fr Richard Rohr “without silence, we do not really experience our experiences” and that of St John of the Cross “silence is God’s first language.”
“We listen with our ears and our hearts for God’s call which can be found through ordinariness of events, encounters with people and through our everyday experiences.”
“Through prayer, silent listening, reading Scriptures, receiving the Sacraments and simply by talking to God about our desires, longings and aspirations can also internalise our experiences to hear in which Vocation God is calling us to be.”
Responding to God’s call
Once we have recognised our own Vocation, Fr Israel continues to say, “then it is important to respond to God’s call.”
“Whether God is calling us to single life, married life, consecrated life, or the ordained ministry, nevertheless, all of us are called to live a life of Holiness/Wholeness, or Fullness,” said Fr Israel.
“And since we are called to live life to the full, therefore; whatever profession or career we choose, we always use our gifts and talents for others – so that we can Love & Serve God who called us to that particular way of life.”
A Vocation to the Priesthood
Fr Israel finished his presentation to TOM with an important message that each Vocation – each calling and how we respond to the call – is unique.
The calling of St Paul, for example, was an event in his life that led him to cease persecuting early Christians and to become a follower of Jesus.
Whereas St Matthew’s calling was described as “Jesus saw a man named Matthew at his seat in the custom house, and said to him, “Follow me”, and Matthew rose and followed Him.” (Mt 9:9-13).
“My own Vocation journey started at 16 years old, and it became very clear when I was about to be ordained as a deacon. After many years of prayers, listening, and discernment, I’ve finally responded fully to God’s Call, until I was ordained to the priesthood,” shared Fr Israel.
“The process of finding out God’s call is a journey – a pilgrimage – as we are in search of the best way to express living Life to the Full and at the end of our pilgrimage is transformation.”