How can we experience Jesus now? How can we respond to His invitation, “Come and see.”
“What are you looking for?”
The two disciples were too excited to answer that question. They were walking with the messiah. Instead they asked, “Rabbi, where do you stay?” Jesus did not give them his address. Instead he invited them, “Come and see.” And they stayed with him that day. That changed the course of their life.
"Come and see" is an invitation to the disciples of all ages to follow Jesus to experience their way of life. It is an invitation that, following the example of our Lord Jesus, we are putting to you.
It is a time of stage in which you are called to live close to us, learn about us and so make a choice of life according to the spirit of the Sons of Divine Providence. It is a free, conscious and responsible stage, where everyone discovers his own vocation in the Church and in the world.
When a young person feels that he is loved by God and strives to live in Him, he is called to give a response to this love which is freely given.
In the succession of events between God's call and man's response one's own happiness is fully realised: living one's own place in society and in the Church in a responsible and Christian manner, along the path of the universal vocation to holiness.
The search for one's own vocation is indispensable for a serene and effective journey of growth; the vocation to the married state, to the priesthood and to the consecrated life, are gifts which the Lord lavishes on young people who are committed and who wish to live their vocation in love with joy and enthusiasm.
In Jn 1:39, we can see that the encounter with the person of Jesus – when it is genuine and deep – is recorded in the heart, marks your life, and moves your existence. And then, like Andrew and the other disciple of John, you will be able to stay with him.
"I have no other ambition but this:
I want to be the priest of vocations!
For vocations it is a long march...
I would consider it a great grace
if Jesus were to allow me,
for the sake of vocations,
to go begging my breaduntil the last day of my life." DON ORIONE (15.8.1927)
What is a vocation?
Everyone is called to do something of his life. If a person decides to serve a greater cause than his own personal preferences, it is said in response to a vocation.
Vocation, so this is a way to live life, understand and order as a service. But the call, the origin of the call does not come from the person. He can only receive and respond freely. The vocation is "to be called", "to be called by" and "to be called for." This requires listening for a response.
A vocation to the religious/consecrated life is a special grace that God gives to certain persons, calling them to a life of the evangelical counsels. It is a special grace that God gives to certain people to serve Him in a special and exclusive way. And every vocation is born of sacrifice, is maintained by sacrifice and is measured in the apostolate by the sacrifice of those whom God calls to this kind of life.
St. Paul points out that while we all have our place in the mystical body of Christ (His church), each of us has a different mission in serving Him, just as the human body has different parts with different functions (1 Cor , Ch. 12; Rom 12:3-8). And yet, how do we recognize our calling in life, if it doesn't seem readily obvious, as is the case for most of us? It seems harder at times to discern than to do God’s will for us.
We have to trust that God will help us to discern and fulfill His mission for each of us if we ask Him for His guidance with humility and sincerity. We may feel perplexed or anxious as to what our state in life should be. Yet we need not despair. God desires each of us to do His will in a particular way, which may or may not seem important to others.
The prayer reminds us of a fundamentally important truth in our faith: namely, that however cloudy or foggy our horizons may be, particularly in the troubling times, we are all precious in God’s sight. And while we may feel lost and anxious about our place in this world, remember that not one of us is useless to our Lord. Each of us is meant to be a “link in a chain” as Cardinal Newman puts it above.
And specially for you who still asking for your way, God have a plan.
You who are asking, How can I experience Jesus now? How can I respond to His invitation?
Jesus himself is telling you : “Come and see.” More, is calling you : "Follow Me" (Jn1:43).
The practical question arises of how to recognize a true vocation to the religious life. The need for recognizing a vocation is so important that everything else is secondary.
There is a need of Priests and Brothers, Sisters and many lay people who want to do good in the wake of Don Orione, working in our Institution or in your environment.
If some of you hear the call to follow Christ more closely, to dedicate your entire heart to Him, like the apostles John and Paul, be generous, do not be afraid, reply with a faith-filled, "Yes!", because you have nothing to fear when the prize that you await is God himself, for whom, sometimes without ever knowing it, all young people are searching.
Take heart young people! Christ is calling you and the world awaits you! Remember that the Kingdom of God needs your generous and complete dedication. Every vocation, every path to which Christ calls us, ultimately leads to fulfillment and happiness, because it leads to God, to sharing in God's own life.
Know the greatness of this mission, let yourselves be completely caught up in this whirlpool at whose center God himself is at work. Be fully aware of carrying out a mission that cannot be replaced. Do not let tiredness or disappointment dull that freshness of self-giving that the priestly vocation demands.
Be certain that, if you listen to His call and follow Him, you will find great joy and happiness. Be generous, take courage, and remember His promise: "My yoke is easy and My burden light" (Mt 11:30).
- PROCESS OF VOCATIONAL LEADERSHIP ACCORDING TO SDP
a) Service of discernment
This is not something separate from the youth apostolate groups.
There is a need for supporting and encouraging certain special activities that are proper to our Congregation: walks, Marian meetings, exhibitions, bicycle rides, pilgrimages, etc., At the same time we must, by our personal participation as well as that of the young people, support the ordinary leadership activities of each Province: district youth meetings, spiritual exercises, school camps, visits to our charitable institutions, experiences of service, missionary experiences, etc.
b) Personal guidance
This is meant to be a specialised kind of spiritual direction where the pace of the maturing process of each person is respected. The group itinerary cannot be a substitute for this personalised guidance.
This guidance presupposes: that we are patient in this gradual process of maturing in the faith, so that the young people may have clear criteria and true freedom to absorb the influences to which they are subject from various sources and that they may become capable of accepting their personal call from God with a Christian responsibility.
c) Vocational choices
The process of discernment and guidance must be offered to all young people in their varying options: marriage, the lay, religious or priestly state. Where there is a vocation of special Orionine consecration and a clear way forward is perceived, the Youth Apostolate will put the young person in contact with either the Vocational Youth Apostolate Team, the Seminary, the Religious Community or the Lay Institute. The young people must be given the opportunity to meet each other in a specially meaningful witness of faith and vocation.
- FEATURES OF VOCATIONAL LEADERSHIP
Vocational leadership must be carried out:
- by following the example of Jesus in His guidance and formation of His disciples;(Lk 24:13-35; 5:1-11)
- by responding to the exhortation to make use of the efficacy of trusting and persevering prayer: "Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest." (Mt 9:38)
b) By the witness of one's own life:
By one's presence, by consistency in one's life, by faithfulness to the Church and to the service of the poorest of the poor, by giving a prophetic witness to the paramount importance of charity, thus accomplishing a charismatic vocational service of leadership.
* The Charism, like all vocations, is a plan conceived by God and which covers all aspects of life. It is something which, by its very nature, is passed on directly.
* We must act in such a manner that the young people we approach become one with the Pope, with the strong emphasis on love and fidelity that was a feature of Don Orione. They must know and understand that we profess a 4th Vow of Faithfulness to the Pope (male religious) and of Charity (female religious) which is our special mark in the Church.
c) As a community
On this subject of the Youth Vocational Apostolate, the Community plays a decisive part. "We religious are personally called to bear an obvious witness to our Vocation, and each of our communities, by living in prayer, in the joy of brotherly fellowship and in willing service, is an attractive and reliable sign for those who wish to respond to the Lord's call. A fine strong community, where peace and the sweet harmony of hearts reign, can only be something that is treasured and desirable." (Constitutions of the SDP, No. 86.)
d) As a complete entity
All members of the Organisation are responsible for the furtherance of vocations, but it is helpful to specify a particular Religious as being in charge of the vocational guidance of his own Community, in collaboration with the respective Secretariat. It will be necessary to plan specific items for facilitating Religious in the Youth Vocational Apostolate by making use of: meetings with the directors, spiritual exercises, annual planning, meetings of young religious, permanent formation, etc.
This mission must be accomplished with an enthusiastic awareness of one's own vocation, passing it on effectively and convincingly, in the joy of belonging to God and of rediscovering one's own Orionine identity every day.
Oh Jesus, in Your infinite love for mankind one day you said to the Apostles:
"The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few:
pray ye therefore the Lord to send laborers into his harvest",
we humbly beseech you to accept this same prayer in your heart
and present it Yourself to Your Father in favor of the Little Work.
Gives rise to generous souls willing to work and sacrifice
to spread among the humble working class and among the poor,
the knowledge and the love of Thee, the Church and the Pope
Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Divine Providence,
reinforces our application with your Son Jesus
Our Patron Saints, intercede for us. Amen.
You feel that you are called by God to experience a life of special consecration, "Come and see."
Contact us at these numbers
Sons of Divine Providence _ Kenya
P.o.Box. 15145-00509, Nairobi
Tel. +254 0203561562
Mob. +254 729271461 / +254 722478889
Deac. Morris Mawira +254 729271461
Deac. Morris Mawira +254 729271461
For a video about Vocation: http://bcove.me/ktnx5ulf