It’s all about adding it up. Vocations Promotion new calling: “Vocation is a way, an itinerary, a process…” (9/10)
Most of us probably could not understand life without internet. Internet has created a sophisticated way of interacting and communicating with others. Human beings are communication and the internet has presented us a particular way of doing it. As technology advances, the experts on the world wide web have given different names to the different stages of progress: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0. It’s the same function and same tools, but it gets more and more complex to make it simple and practical. The same can be said about a person’s vocation; it’s a process, it’s a journey, an itinerary.
The person in essence will always be the same but throughout life he will acquire abilities that will make him different. There are three basic aspects that define the process of finding ones true self: It’s a personal, Christian and charismatic process. It’s all just one identity process with three dimensions of that identity intervening.
Back to the reference I made about the web’s development. Personal Identity or identity 1.0. At a time in history we appeared in this world in a specific family, place, culture, etc. This reality has affected who we are, our temperament, likes and inclinations. The other things that influence our personality type and character are society and those whom we relate to and how we relate to them.
Even if we pinpoint everything that makes us who we are, there is still a big part in the mystery of each individual which makes reference to freedom, ingenuity, sensibility, etc.; we will always be a mystery even to ourselves. Over all this, we create and share ourselves.
Christian Identity or Identity 2.0. Then comes the wonderful gift of being able to lovingly relate with God. It’s not another identity source but one that opens and stretches itself to greater dimensions. Either you have faith or you don’t; you put your trust in God or you don’t. This trust in God brings tough consequences in the task of defining one’s self and how one lives his own freedom and develops particular attitudes.
A Christian assumes the belief that he/she was thought, loved and created by SOMEONE, and that someone is what keeps him/her in existence, and you come to existence with a mission which you have to discover to live fulfillment and joyfulness. God helps in this process by becoming an interlocutor through his Word. God takes the initiative and it’s each person’s choice to respond with a willingness to carefully listen to God’s invitation and obey. This dialogue between God and each person starts a unique love relationship. Instead of isolating you, this life of communion with God introduces you to the rest of believers in the Church. The sacrament of baptism is at the base of our Christian identity since it’s the Divine calling to a personal encounter with God and it initiates a life in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Baptism offers an identity to a person of faith; it offers an ideal with which the person can guide his/her life to the best of himself in the fullness of love. The dynamism offered by this sacrament is an itinerary of growth in faith, hope and love. To sum it up, we are Christians to reach being true Christians.
Charismatic Identity or Identity based on a specific vocation, or Identity 3.0. It’s God’s calling to be Christian in this world in a specific way fulfilling a mission of readiness to serve. It’s not adding identities, it’s knowing that as time goes by, we find a our particular way of living a Christian life. It’s letting the Spirit fill us with life and become givers of life to others.
For each of Christ’s disciples, there is a way of existentially living his/her Christian vocation that starts with a personal calling. For some it’s will be lay ministry, for others it will be being missionaries, married life, religious life or priesthood. The particular vocation for each of us will be determined by God’s gifts to each of us, gifts that will help us share love, faith and hope with others as missionaries of Christ in this world.
Fabián Martín Gómez, augustinian recollect