From the Bishops What are God’s plans for you?

I offer this column as an open letter to the young people of our diocese. It is an invitation to vocational discernment, to prayer.

What are your plans? What do you want to do with your life? What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, today, I would ask you to consider this question from a different perspective. Instead of asking, “What are my plans? What do I want to do?” ask instead, “What is God’s plan for my life? What does he want me to do with my life?”

What is God’s plan for my life? The answer is found in Jesus’ words to his disciples, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (Jn 13: 34). God calls each one of us to a future of love. To give your very self as a gift to God and to your brothers and sisters, as Jesus did when he died for us on the cross, is the way to true joy and happiness. This is not an easy way; but it is the way, God’s way.

Dare, then, to love as Christ loves. Loving in this way is like learning to speak a new language well or play a new sport.

Before you can speak a new language well, you have to learn the grammar. Grammar might seem to be all about rules and regulations. And to love like Jesus means learning the rules and regulations about self-control, purity of heart and mind; it is about learning how to deny oneself, to respect others, to serve instead of being served. And as you learn the grammar, you have to practice, practice, practice. …

It’s the same way in learning a new sport. We all have seen those ads about Tiger Woods. He is perhaps the greatest golfer ever. But that does not mean that he can ignore the rules and regulations of golf. In fact, knowing and keeping the rules make it easier, not harder, to play the game. In the same way, the Commandments, the rules and regulations of Christian living, give us the freedom to embrace a future of love.

Perhaps, God has a project of love for your future as a husband or wife, a father or mother. But, at the same time, be ready to say “yes” if the project is to follow the path of ministerial priesthood or the consecrated life.

Again, God is calling you — each of you — to a future of love. As Pope Benedict told a group of young people preparing for World Youth Day, “Love is the only force capable of changing the heart of the human person and of all humanity, by making fruitful the relations between men and women, between rich and poor, between cultures and civilizations.”

God’s plan is for us to love as Jesus did. To work out the details, to learn how God wishes you to shape that future, to overcome one’s own hesitancy or fears, requires the same discipline needed to excel in a language or a sport.

Just as a Tiger Woods can teach us about the game of golf, the saints can teach us about how to love as Jesus did. Obeying the Commandments — with the help of God’s grace gained through constant prayer — makes love possible and makes life an exciting adventure. Don’t just be a Tiger, be a saint!

The original story can be found at Florida Catholic.

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.