by Father Scott Wallisch
This is the 23rd column I have written for The Leaven, which I am sure you already knew because you have cut them all out and stuck them to your refrigerator (or the bottom of your bird cage).
Periodically throughout those many columns, I have gone back to the basics, which I would like to do again.
When it comes to vocations, there are three levels. The first level is what I like to call the “Super-V Vocation,” which is the vocation, or calling, that is common to all people.
In the documents of the Second Vatican Council, this was referred to as the “universal call to holiness.” Every person is called to be holy, which simply means to be the best version of the person God made him or her to be.
To help narrow down what that lofty goal might look like for each of us, God gives us the second level, commonly known as the “Big-V Vocations.” These would be the six vocations we are familiar with in the church: marriage, holy orders, female religious, male religious, consecrated virginity and the single life.
Every Catholic, and really every human being, is called to one of these six (or, in the case of married permanent deacons or religious priests, two of the six).
Lest we feel as though the whole world is meant to be confined to just a few boxes, God gives us the final level, which encompasses all of the “little-v vocations.”
This is where our uniqueness can shine as we live out being the person God made us to be.
Each of us has many vocations on this level. These include our particular family situation, our religious community, our apostolate, our job, our schooling, our parish, our neighborhood, etc.
For instance, my “Big-V Vocation” is priesthood (hence the collar in my picture), and my “little-v vocations” are vocation director, co-director of seminarians, chaplain to the deaf community, assisting at St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at KU, spiritual director, son, brother, uncle, neighbor, coworker, roommate and friend.
There are over a hundred priests in our archdiocese, and around 400,000 of them in the world, but my “Big-V Vocation” becomes unique from all of theirs because of the combination of all of my “little-v vocations.”
The same is true for you and every other person!
Once we embrace the fact that God has called us all to the “Super-V Vocation,” we then will hopefully open ourselves to find the “Big-V Vocation” for which we were made.
Then, with joy and excitement, combined with some struggle and sacrifice, we can spend the rest of our lives living out the various “little-v vocations” given to us by God to help us find holiness.