The way we invite people to explore and then accept the vocation to which they have been called is the same way we invite people to come to know God in the wider world. We model it, we live it, and we guide others to it through our faith, hope, love, and works of mercy. We must never apologize for our faith and we must never be afraid to live it as Jesus taught. If we want to be effective in loving and serving Christ, we need to do more than simply hear that it is National Vocation Awareness Week: we need to pray, discern, invite, and act with faith and courage in living our own vocation, always relying on the Lord from whom all good gifts come. Let us embrace our call with faithfulness, encouraging others to do the same, that we might all live the ‘fish story’ which is the truth of God’s mercy and care for His people.
©Michele L. Catanese
Notes: Next post, November 19.
- While this week is part of the Catholic Church, no matter what church one belongs to, the need to fulfill the unique call given by God is part of everyone’s life, so we all need to pray for vocations to ministry.
* For more on National Vocation Awareness Week click here:
** Ichthys (ἰχθύς) is the Greek word for fish, which Christians in the early Church used as a way to identify themselves and other Christians. Each letter of the word stands for "Jesus Christ Son of God Savior." See the following link for more: https://ichthys.com/ichthys-explanation.htm
1. This is one of my photos, taken at Taughannock Creek, near Trumansburg, NY. I chose this photo because the creek was meandering just as the homily I heard was all over the place. But like this creek, it did lead somewhere, and so even in the midst of some 'strangeness' it brought me to unexpected inspiration.
2. This painting is called Sheaf-Binder by Vincent van Gogh (1889). It is a laborer at the harvest; he is alone, therefore symbolizing a dearth of laborers to help him.
3. This acrylic on wood painting is called Jonah and the Great Fish by Luisito Magno an artist from the Philippines. I loved this the instant I saw it, so I had to include it here. Check out his work at https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Jonah-and-the-great-fish/797781/2565151/view.
4. I took this picture while aboard the ferry traveling across the Long Island Sound from New London, Connecticut to Orient Point, Long Island, NY. That is the Plum Island Lighthouse in the distance. I chose this photo exactly because the water was choppy due to some winds. It reminded me of Jonah on the boat, a beacon of safety in the distance as a symbol of the grace and mercy of God which is never far from us, and the journey through life which is beautiful, even if perilous at times.
5.I took this at the ordination to the priesthood of Fr. Richard Hinkley, a friend and a wonderful priest. I could not write a blog on vocations to the priesthood and not include a priest! Please keep Fr. Richard in your prayers while he recovers from a serious illness. Thank you!
6. This icon is called Nuestro Salvador De Las Sandias, written by Fr. William Hart McNichols. Two thoughts: First, I chose this icon because Jesus is shown in a position of offering peace and mercy, new life and grace. He is depicted in the Sandias Mountains of New Mexico, which reminds us that Jesus is present at all times and in all places. Second, the iconographer is a priest! Priests have many gifts, many ministries, many ways of serving and glorifying the Lord. You can find this icon in one of many mediums for purchase if you so desire at https://fineartamerica.com/featured/nuestro-salvador-de-las-sandias-012-william-hart-mcnichols.html. We are nearing the holiday season; if you are thinking of cards or a gift for someone, perhaps some icon from the work of Fr. Bill might interest you. https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/william-hart-mcnichols.html?tab=artworkgalleries
(Remember, I do not get commissions and I do not get any remuneration from recommending Fr. Bill's work. But what I do get is the joy of sharing beauty!)
7. This is one of my photos taken in Trumansburg NY. This is Lake Cayuga, one of the Finger Lakes in mid NY State. I chose it because it seemed to tie up the theme of the 'fish story' and the beauty which comes with our Christian journey.
NOTE: In compliance with GDPR rules, I wish to make it clear that I do not gather any information on any of my readers at any time.