Reflecting the Mind of the Vatican since 1850
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God is to be Found in All Things
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We must all seek God in everything, but each person must do so according to his or her own vocation.

According to the Second Vatican Council, there are only two types of religious vocation and they are characterized by the Institutes in which they are incarnated. The same thing can be said both for vocations “in the evangelical counsels” and also the lay vocation. Some Institutes are “devoted entirely to contemplation, in such a way that their members relate solely with God in solitude and silence.” In other Institutes “apostolic action […] takes place within the very nature of religious life.”

In the first type of vocation, only prayer and penance are essential components; in the second type, along with prayer and penance, apostolic action is also essential.

The difference, therefore, is not rooted in the idea that in one vocation you pray while in the other you do not pray; in both there must be prayer, since they are Christian vocations. The difference lies in how prayer and action relate to the essential nature of religious life, and also – consequently – in the mutual relationship between prayer and action.
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2021