Prayer for Vocations
Mary, humble servant of God Most High,
the Son to whom you gave birth has made you the servant of humanity.
Your life was a humble and generous service.
You were servant of the Word
when the angel announced to you the divine plan of salvation.
You were servant of the Son,
giving him life and remaining open to his mystery.
You were servant of Redemption,
standing courageously at the foot of the Cross, close to the Suffering Servant and Lamb, who was sacrificing himself for love of us.
You were servant of the Church on the day of Pentecost and with your intercession you continue to generate her in every believer,
even in these our difficult and troubled times.
Let the young people of the third millennium look to you,
young daughter of Israel,
who have known the agitation of a young heart
when faced with the plan of the Eternal God.
Make them able to accept the invitation of your Son
to give their lives wholly for the glory of God.
Make them understand that to serve God satisfies the heart,
and that only in the service of God and of his kingdom
do we realize ourselves in accordance with the divine plan,
and life becomes a hymn of glory to the Most Holy Trinity.
- Pope John Paul II from the Vatican, 16 October 2002
This Prayer is Attributed to Fr. Olier (he popularized it with the seminarians). He learned it from his spiritual director Fr. Charles de Condren. Most scholars attribute the prayer to Fr. Olier since he made it a popular prayer.
O Jesus living in Mary,
come and live in your servants,
in the spirit of your holiness,
in the fullness of your power,
in the perfection of your ways,
in the truth of your virtues,
in the communion of your mysteries:
Overcome every hostile power in your Spirit,
for the glory of the Father,
Prayer for Vocational Discernment
O loving and gracious God, Father of all, you
bless your people in every time and season and
provide for their needs through your providential
care. Your Church is continually in need of priests,
sisters and brothers to offer themselves in the service
of the gospel by lives of dedicated love. Open the
hearts of your sons and daughters to listen to your
call in their lives. Give them the gift of understanding
to discern your invitation to serve you and your
Church. Give them the gift of courage to follow your
call. May they have the spirit of young Samuel who
found fulfillment in his life when he said to you,
"Speak Lord, for your servant is listening." We ask
this through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Papal Reflection Reprinted on the Solemnity of All Saints (November 1, 2010)
" Since I have the chance now, there is something I very much want to say to you. I hope that among those of you listening to me today there are some of the future saints of the twenty-first century. What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy. He loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine, and he wants the very best for you. And by far the best thing for you is to grow in holiness.
Perhaps some of you have never thought about this before. Perhaps some of you think being a saint is not for you. Let me explain what I mean. When we are young, we can usually think of people that we look up to, people we admire, people we want to be like. It could be someone we meet in our daily lives that we hold in great esteem. Or it could be someone famous. We live in a celebrity culture, and young people are often encouraged to model themselves on figures from the world of sport or entertainment. My question for you is this: what are the qualities you see in others that you would most like to have yourselves? What kind of person would you really like to be?
When I invite you to become saints, I am asking you not to be content with second best. I am asking you not to pursue one limited goal and ignore all the others. Having money makes it possible to be generous and to do good in the world, but on its own, it is not enough to make us happy. Being highly skilled in some activity or profession is good, but it will not satisfy us unless we aim for something greater still. It might make us famous, but it will not make us happy. Happiness is something we all want, but one of the great tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in the wrong places. The key to it is very simple – true happiness is to be found in God. We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationships with others, but in God. Only he can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts
Not only does God love us with a depth and an intensity that we can scarcely begin to comprehend, but he invites us to respond to that love. You all know what it is like when you meet someone interesting and attractive, and you want to be that person’s friend. You always hope they will find you interesting and attractive, and want to be your friend.
God wants your friendship. And once you enter into friendship with God, everything in your life begins to change. As you come to know him better, you find you want to reflect something of his infinite goodness in your own life. You are attracted to the practice of virtue. You begin to see greed and selfishness and all the other sins for what they really are, destructive and dangerous tendencies that cause deep suffering and do great damage, and you want to avoid falling into that trap yourselves. You begin to feel compassion for people in difficulties and you are eager to do something to help them. You want to come to the aid of the poor and the hungry, you want to comfort the sorrowful, you want to be kind and generous. And once these things begin to matter to you, you are well on the way to becoming saints.”
--Pope Benedict XVI
Greeting to Catholic Pupils of the United Kingdom
St Mary's College, Twickenham
17 September 2010