St. Therese of Liseux once said that her vocation “is to love.” Vocation is the most intimate part of our relationship with God. It is what gives meaning to everything we do, so this simple proclamation that one’s vocation is just to love was a huge thunderbolt moment for St. Therese.
I recently had my own thunderbolt moment. As I was praying after Mass one day this week at the Life Teen Training Conference in Atlanta, I realized that my vocation is just as simple as St. Therese’s, and just as difficult. My vocation is to bring souls to Christ. In fact, I would go so far as to say that each vocation is actually dedicated to this mission of salvation.
For priests, bringing souls to Christ is acted out by providing the sacraments, most especially the Eucharist at every Mass. For religious, bringing souls to Christ happens through service to the Church and through acting as a prayer warrior. Marriage focuses on bringing one person, your spouse, to Christ. Everything a husband does should be centered on leading his wife to Christ and getting her to heaven, and everything a wife does should be focused on getting her husband to heaven. From their love for each other will come children, whose little souls must also be pointed in the direction of heaven by their parents.
As a missionary, it is a huge blessing to be able to live my faith in such a dynamic way, and to actively serve the church by evangelizing those who have never heard the name of Christ or had a real relationship with him. But even if I one day have a career apart from missionary work, it will still be my calling to lead others to Christ, especially within my vocation. No matter what each person’s individual vocation is, ultimately, they are commissioned to lead others to heaven through their witness and example of living a life boldly committed to Christ.