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If you’re like most incoming students, you’ve probably been asked this question repeatedly by your friends, your family members and, especially, your parents. Maybe you’ve asked it of yourself. “What are you going to major in?” “What are you going to major in?” Coming right on its heels is a second question: “What can you DO with that major?” with that major?” (That’s the one your parents are asking.) They’re important questions. You do need to choose a major. And when you leave college, you’ll have to get a job. But during your time at Pepperdine, you will also be challenged to ask questions that go deeper than just what your major or your occupation will be.
Sometimes it is not easy to understand the nature of a "vocation". We know the word means "calling", but how does God call someone to ministry? We generally do not hear a distinctly audible call to go to work for the Lord, at least, not directly from the Lord. We do hear the anxieties of our fellow man. We hear them wondering where priests and religious will come from in the future because so few young people are following those vocations today. We hear them hoping and praying that someone from the parish will step forward to do the work of Christ. How do we know if God is calling us? How do we know what our vocation is? How can we listen to God? Many people are confused about their vocation. There are some people who have chosen a more difficult vocation. They chose to always follow God. They help us find our vocation in life. They have been helping people for many generations. They are our religious brothers and sisters. For many years’ people have ignored and listened to God. Some people chose to ignore God because they think that their path will be less difficult. We sometimes forget God and we fail to hear him. God is always trying to help us but how can you help someone if they aren’t listening. Priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters help us hear God’s call. They help us to listen not only with our ears but with our hearts. Listening with our heart is important because we can truly be aware of what our vocation is. Our religious brothers and sisters help us listen to God. Some people are afraid to answer God’s call. Fear can blind us only too easily. We sometimes can’t find God but someone helps us see and hear God again. People need help from others to find the right path through life. Our religious brothers and sisters help us find the right path. There are many ways to listen to God. We can listen through nature, people, and we can listen in our heart. Some of natural resources help us to be closer to God. The peaceful silence when you are out in nature alone. The security you feel when you’re around God’s creation. Our religious brothers and sisters help us find that peace and security. People help us listen to our hearts. We have to be willing to listen to God and to find our vocation. People can help make us more aware of what our vocation is. People can act as messengers to guide us to our vocations. We are the ones that have to find our vocation but we need help. There are different types of vocations. The two most important vocations are marriage and a religious life. Both of these vocations help us to be closer to God. These vocations may be hard to follow. That is why we have the help of the people around us. In church the priest talks about vocations. He explains how we can find our vocation. Finding your vocation may take a long time. Many people are confused about their vocation. The church helps guide us to our vocation. Our vocations are very important. Finding our vocation can be a very difficult challenge in life. Priest, deacons, religious brothers, and sisters help us find our vocation. Loving God and serving his people is also a vocation that we try to fulfill. With help from our brothers and sisters we can find our vocation.
You’ll have opportunities to serve that will take you places geographically and spiritually that you never imagined you’d go. Finding Your Heart’s True Calling . We want to be able to look back and feel like we’ve made a difference. That’s why thinking about vocation at this moment in your life is so important. On the one hand, it complicates things. After all, if the only thing that mattered was getting a high paying job, then the choices would be pretty obvious. But you’ve been called to so much more than that. And so I add my voice to the chorus of those across the centuries who have said, “It’s worth the struggle.” But I also want to give you this word of encouragement. I often talk with students beginning their senior year who find themselves gripped with panic because they don’t know exactly what they’re supposed to do with their lives. It sounds trite, but I typically give them the same advice that people gave me when I was at that point myself: “Work hard—give every job, even the most menial one, a hundred percent. Keep your eyes open. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Trust God and be patient.…...

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