There is something in the depths of our being that hungers for wholeness and finality. Because we are made for eternal life, we are made for an act that gathers up all the powers and capacities of our being and offers them simultaneously and forever to God. The blind spiritual instinct that tells us obscurely that our owns lives have a particular importance and purpose, and which urges us to find out our vocation, seeks in so doing to bring us to a decision that will dedicate our lives irrevocably to their true purpose. The man who loses this sense of his own personal destiny, and who renounces all hope of having any kind of vocation in life has either lost all hope of happiness or else has entered upon some mysterious vocation that God alone can understand.
There is no excuse for anyone to write fiction for public consumption unless he has been called to do so by the presence of a gift. It is the nature of fiction not to be good for much unless it is good in itself.
In the eyes of others a man is a poet if he has written one good poem. In his own he is only a poet at the moment when he is making his last revision to a new poem. The moment before, he was still only a potential poet; the moment after, he is a man who has ceased to write poetry, perhaps forever.
Who is willing to be satisfied with a job that expresses all his limitations? He will accept such work only as a 'means of livelihood' while he waits to discover his 'true vocation'. The world is full of unsuccessful businessmen who still secretly believe they were meant to be artists or writers or actors in the movies.
You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you're not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn't a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.
I never heard that it had been anybody’s business to find out what his natural bent was, or where his failings lay, or to adapt any kind of knowledge to him. He had been adapted to the verses and had learnt the art of making them to such perfection. I did doubt whether Richard would not have profited by some one studying him a little, instead of his studying them quite so much.
Here is a truth that most teachers will not tell you, even if they know it: Good training is a continual friend and a solace; it helps you now, and assures you of help in the future. Good education is a continual pain in the neck, and assures you always of more of the same.
...young people know very little about themselves and their abilities. When the day comes on which they discover their real strong points and their weaknesses, it is often to late. They have usually been drawn into the current of a particular vocation, and have given too much energy to the preparation for a specific achievement to change the whole life-plan once more. The entire scheme of education gives to the individual little chance to find himself.
At his funeral the priest's words applied signally to him: 'The Christian Brothers are a body of men who live without luxury, labour without emolument, and die without notice, that they might stamp God's image on the soul of youth. That surely is a splendid vocation.
Education at a deep level means to ‘lead out’ what is trying to be born from within. The job of a true teacher is to help awaken the inner pupil that has its own way of being and unique way of perceiving the world.
The real education is when you awaken and nourish and guide the inner spirit, this inner genius. The community grows from the giving of the gifts of the people in it, which is really giving from the genius.
I have no expectation that any man will read history aright who thinks that what was done in a remote age, by men whose names have resounded far, has any deeper sense than what he is doing today.
Indifference destroys vocation unlike any other intangible force, for the reason that it shakes the very core of our motivation for doing what we do.
Suffice to say, the dream writer had a way of phrasing things. She could depict the curve of a cucumber, the shape of a sunbeam, the endearing, velvety tilt of a peach, in just such a way that she earned her living selling dreams. One simply made a selection, read it in solitude, and let it percolate till sleep. People swore they fell directly into her renderings, and one even asked if the dream writer could write a dream of dreaming forever. The dream writer could not do this, but she hired dream apprentices to expand the reach of her dreams and she wrote dreams for herself in which she would sit at a desk, pen in hand, and write even more dreams. This nearly doubled her output.
As nature has uncovered from under this hard shell the seed for which she most tenderly cares - the propensity and vocation to free thinking - this gradually works back upon the character of the people, who thereby gradually become capable of managing freedom; finally, it affects the principles of government, which finds it to its advantage to treat men, who are now more than machines, in accordance with their dignity.
For in the multitude of middle-aged men who go about their vocations in a daily course determined for them much in the same way as the tie of their cravats, there is always a good number who once meant to shape their own deeds and alter the world a little. The story of their coming to be shapen after the average and fit to be packed by the gross, is hardly ever told even in their consciousness; for perhaps their ardour in generous unpaid toil cooled as imperceptibly as the ardour of other youthful loves, till one day their earlier self walked like a ghost in its old home and made the new furniture ghastly. Nothing in the world more subtle than the process of their gradual change! In the beginning they inhaled it unknowingly: you and I may have sent some of our breath towards infecting them, when we uttered our conforming falsities or drew our silly conclusions: or perhaps it came with the vibrations from a woman's glance.
To become nobody but your true self and to struggle against the tide of sameness and the false security of simply fitting in is a fight worth having. To become oneself by contributing one’s native gifts and talents to this troubled world: that is the job to keep applying for and a work worth spending an entire life doing.
I've got to tell you that my vocation, my true calling, is serving others. Medicine is my avocation; it's part of how I answer my calling, but it's not all of it. I minister to bodies, but I also minister to hearts and souls.
Each life involves an essential errand; not simply the task of survival, but a life-mission embedded in the soul from the beginning.
If you want to impress someone, simply make up a vocation and preface it with the words “molecular” or “theoretical” (as in “molecular biologist” or “theoretical physicist”). After you do this no one will question the veracity of anything you say—whether it is related to your putative vocation or not.
The two ideas, justice and vocation, are inseparable.... It is by way of the principle and practice of vocation that sanctity and reverence enter into the human economy. It was thus possible for traditional cultures to conceive that to work is to pray. (pg. 258, The Idea of a Local Economy)
Every industrious man, in every lawful calling, is a useful man. And one principal reason why men are so often useless is that they neglect their own profession or calling, and divide and shift their attention among a multiplicity of objects and pursuits.
Making money isn't hard in itself,' he complained. 'What's hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting one's life to.
Vocation” comes from the Latin vocare (to call) and means the work a man is called to by God.There are all different kinds of voices calling you to all different kinds of work, and the problem is to find out which is the voice of God rather than of society, say, or the superego, or self-interest.The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need to do and (b) that the world needs to have done. If you find your work rewarding, you have presumably met requirement (a), but if your work does not benefit others, the chances are you have missed requirement (b). On the other hand, if your work does benefit others, you have probably met requirement (b), but if most of the time you are unhappy with it, the chances are you have not only bypassed (a) but probably aren’t helping your customers much either.Neither the hair shirt nor the soft berth will do. The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s hunger meet.
What do we advertise about You by how we serve? Do we reflect the belief shown in Jesus’ parable that You are a hard master taking what isn’t Yours? Forgive us for even brief lapses into such churlishness. Or, do we reflect a joy in serving that radiates from an intimate and time-tested knowledge of the goodness of the One we serve? Paul and Daniel were confident of this sovereign goodness even when they were prisoners rather than courtiers, and we can likewise tap into a joy that defies circumstances. When this happens, the oft-disappointed world will notice and investigate.11/02/2010 blog
My dear Mr FitzGeorge!' cried Lady Slane. 'You really mustn't talk as though my life had been a tragedy. I had everything that most women would covet: position, comfort, children, and a husband I loved. I had nothing to complain of - nothing.''Except that you were defrauded of the one thing that mattered. Nothing matters to an artist except the fulfilment of his gift. You know that as well as I do. Frustrated, he grows crooked like a tree twisted into an unnatural shape. All meaning goes out of life, and life becomes existence - a makeshift. Face it, Lady Slane. Your children, your husband, your splendour, were nothing but obstacles that kept you from yourself. They were what you chose to substitute for your real vocation. You were too young, I suppose, to know any better, but when you chose that life you sinned against the light.
A live-in domestic worker: You are never sure that your soul is your own except when you are out of the house.
I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you.