Do you know Pope Francis’ vocation story?
It’s the reason for the motto on his coat of arms. When he was 17, on his way to see some friends, he decided to pass by the church. There was a visiting priest he had never seen before, and he decided to ask the priest to hear his confession.
Looking back on that moment, Pope Francis said: “…something strange happened to me in that confession, I don’t know what it was, but it changed my life.” He felt “the loving presence of God,” and at that moment, felt in his heart a desire to become a priest. He told no one, but would spend more and more time alone in silent prayer. When he graduated from university, he told his family he was going to become a priest. A few months later, he entered the Jesuits.
Sometimes we think we have to be perfect to have a vocation, and so we let that fear get in the way. But every genuine vocation – whether to the religious life, the priesthood, marriage, etc. – is born of a lifelong encounter with God’s mercy. Like the tax collector in the Gospel, like St. Matthew the Apostle, and like Pope Francis, only a person who knows God’s mercy can live their vocation with sincerity.
The 1st principle of Resurrectionist Spirituality: “We believe that God’s love for us is merciful and unfailing.”