We must bear it, and let it become a “vacancy for God.” All of this – the sadness and perplexity of life – will accompany you in your vocation.It will exist, with no contradiction, alongside the joy and truth of the Gospel.But it is a trap – and perhaps a very common one – to think that my vocation will sort out and join together all the scattered puzzle-pieces of my life, healing all the inner disintegration and painful incoherence of my past, present, and future.Your vocation will not cause life to make sense in that way.The problem is not with the traditional concepts and language, but with us and our mindset.
And we approach the discernment of our calling in a correspondingly wrong way.
), where my secret and eternal name – which I do not even know yet – will be given to me (Rev. Your vocation is not the answer to the question of your being; it is only a part of God’s pledge that the answer will be given in the end.
Nor will your vocation heal the deep sense of incompleteness and longing that you feel. Many people fail in their vocation – perhaps especially in the vocation of marriage – because they expect their life’s calling to satisfy, or at least take away, the impossible and inexpressible longing that lies within them: that strange mix of awe and desire and sadness before the mystery of existence.
We think that discernment consists in figuring out whether those expectations will be met.
Then we become frustrated when no option seems to fit the bill. Consciously or not, we sometimes expect a vocation to solve all of our problems, answer all of our questions, and satisfy all of our desires. Discernment, likewise, does not consist in finding the choice that will meet those expectations.