After I returned from the convent I was filled with worries, fears, and questions about my future. I asked God over and over: What do You want me to do now? Where do You want me to go with this life You have given me? Why am I back here?
I like to have a plan, directions, and a goal. When I left the convent I felt like I was plan-less, direction-less, goal-less. I didn’t know where to go, what to do, or how to do it.
So, two weeks after I got back I got my first job, working at a deli. I knew if I didn’t start doing something I would go crazy. St. Joseph, the patron saint of workers, isn’t my namesake for no reason! I recently quit the deli in favor of a bakery job and am now saving up for college in the Fall. I don’t know what I’m going to study, what career I want to pursue, or even if God is calling me to religious or married life in the future. These are all future vocations, vocations of later; I needed to have a vocation of now.
I believed that I didn’t have a vocation of now. But I do. What is my vocation of now? I am a single working lay Catholic woman, soon to be a student, too. I try to attend daily Mass and to “pray unceasingly” throughout my day. I try to serve everyone at work with the dignity they deserve as my brothers and sisters in Christ, even if I am only serving them donuts and coffee. I try to be a joy-filled witness of Christ’s love to all. And soon I will also be called to be a living example of my Catholic faith in a college setting, too. This is a pretty busy vocation: spiritual priorities, being in the workforce, and being a student.
Sometimes I get so caught up in wondering what my vocation of later is that I miss what is right before me. I need to live in the moment and use each second to glorify God. This is my plan now: to trust God, show Christ’s love to all, and be joyful no matter what my directions are. My goal is to use where I am now to bring me closer to Heaven, and to bring as many of my brothers and sisters with me, too. These directions, plans, and goal fit with every vocation: vocations of now and later.
Let’s realize that God is calling us now and that we do have vocations of now, and God will guide us to our vocations of later in His own time.
“Entrust your works to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” ~ Proverbs 16:3
Josephine was a postulant for six months before discerning that God was calling her back to the world to attend college. She has been back for four months and is enjoying her job at a local bakery. She is still discerning religious life but is open to married life, too, if that is what God is calling her to. She loves to read, write poetry, sing, cook, go thrift store shopping, and she likes to laugh a lot! She is grateful for the opportunity to reach out to others who are going through the same situations as her.
Very well said, Josephine. I think the temptation when I first returned to the world was to live in the future (or worse, the past!) because I felt as if the present were just an “empty” time between the convent and something else yet to come. Thank you for your insight – I’m still in the process of discerning my “vocation of later,” as you described it, but your post was a beautiful reminder to me that the best preparation for this vocation is to use the present moment in the service of God.
All the best for your college plans!
Josephine, I love what you have written here. As a suddenly single mom of five boys facing an unwanted divorce and a crisis pregnancy at the same time, I SO understand the vocation of now! It is something I am still learning to appreciate. Stop worrying about the future. Start learning what to today has to offer and enjoying the ride!
We have different circumstances but similar vocations of now, and I also try to pray throughout the day. Today, I will stop several times and think of and pray for you. God Bless…