Contemplation: Will and Grace

Contemplation: Will and Grace

Contemplation: Will and Grace 653 653 SVDP USA

The word vocation, as we know, is from the Latin vocāre, meaning “to call. A vocation, then, such as our Vincentian vocation, is a calling, specifically a call from God. If you have heard the call, it is for you. What matters most to our own salvation, then, is not the call, but our answer to it.

God’s call can come to us in many forms — a nagging feeling that we cannot shake, a pang in our conscience, an event in our lives that seems to hold deeper meaning, or a person who raises new ideas. It is in times of reflection and prayer that we may feel most attuned to God’s voice, but His call is not bound by our attention to it. If you hear His call, it is for you.

Nevertheless, even having heard the call, we often question our fitness to answer it. “Am I holy enough?” we wonder, when asked to consider serving as a spiritual advisor. “Am I really a leader?” we wonder when the nominating committee asks to consider us as a future president. “Do I have the compassion, or the knowledge, to be a home visitor?” we wonder, especially as new members.

If you hear His call, it is for you, and if He has called you, He will give you the graces you will need to fulfill His will. With our friends, we can offer all the well-considered reasons why we cannot do things; we can list out our other obligations, our shortcomings, or our self-doubts. All these things may be reasonable and true, and they may be quite convincing to our friends, but God already knew all of those things before calling.

Yet He called, and we heard Him.

When Gabriel appeared before a young girl in Nazareth to tell her she would bear a child by the power of the Holy Spirit, he was asking her to do some very difficult things. She might believe she was carrying the Son of God, but who in her community would see it that way? What would her betrothed think? Was she capable of raising a child in those circumstances? How could she even be sure she could provide food and shelter for the two of them?

But the angel in his greeting, “Hail, full of grace”, made clear that God had already given her all the gifts, all the graces, all the ability to fulfill His will, and so, in her humble obedience, she answered “yes” to His call. We, like Mary, are called only to those things that God wills for us. He knows what we can do, even if we don’t, and we can take the same reassurance as the angel offered to her, to not be afraid, for the Lord is with us. He has given us sufficient grace. And God’s will does not remove His grace.


Am I sometimes hesitant to answer God’s call because I doubt my own gifts?

Recommended Reading

Faces of Holiness

  • Thank you so much for posting this. Catholic author Matthew Kelly recently wrote a book called “The Rocking Chair Prophet”. It is about a man who is shattered by the deaths of his wife and daughters in an auto accident. In his grief and for solitary reflection, he retires to a mountain and becomes a hermit. But over time he encounters a few visitors there. He speaks kindly and truthfully with everyone he meets, and gains a reputation of being a Holy Man. A woman brings her little girl who has a debilitating illness to him. From page 29, the woman starts out by saying this.

    ” . . . you are obviously a prophet . . . a holy man . . . You have been touched by God. All I’m asking is that you place your hands on my daughter and offer a prayer. God favors you, and I am begging you to ask Him to heal her.”

    Then this happens. “He took a moment to think, and then replied . . . I’m none of those things you described. I’m not a prophet or a wise man . . . or any of the things people call me. I ‘m just a wounded soul.”

    “What are you afraid of?” the woman asked, raising her voice.
    “I’m afraid you will place your hope in me and that you will be disappointed, ” the hermit explained frankly.

    “I don’t think that’s it, ” the woman ventured boldly. “I think that you are afraid that you have the gift of healing. I think, like us all, you are AFRAID OF YOUR LIGHT.” (Caps mine).

    I can do with just this. But now you have put forth a longer and richer version of this thought. Again, thanks.

  • Always hesitant.
    But Then when I get involved I almost always screw it up.

  • I have been a Vincentian for about four years. I realize now that it was a vocation that drew me to even take the step and go to a meeting. From there, it has taken a few years of growth and faith within myself to understand that He is with me every step of the way to give our FIN’s hope even more than assistance. I have seen Divine Providence take over in many seemingly hopeless situations. I have grown to trust and to depend on His plan.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

    Skip to content