As I was catching up on blog reading this morning I came across this amazing post about vocations by Deacon Dan Wright.
In my diocese I have been frustrated for years because the only time the children or teens hear about vocation at all it is in reference to the priesthood or religious life. It is as if to choose anything else would be a less holy choice for ones life.
When I worked for the church it frustrated me to no end that I couldn't even craft a general intercession that mentioned vocation to marriage or the single life even though it was statistically accurate that the majority of the teens at the Confirmation mass would fall into those two vocations. Any vocational intercession HAD to be only for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
For me it is a matter of discernment to which vocation I was called. Had I chosen to enter religious life knowing I had been called to the vocation of marriage because I thought that the religious life would lead me to a more holy life would have been wrong. God chose my vocation and the only way for me to enter into the fullness of whom I was created to be was to accept that vocational call and enter into marriage with my husband almost 24 years ago. My holiness comes from being wife, helpmate and mother.
I don't think we can pray for an increase in vocations, because God calls whomever He wills. I think the only valid prayer that we can pray, and the only way that I can pray for vocations is that every person will open their heart to God's loving vocational call wherever it leads them. When one is open to God's loving call and willing to follow that call wherever it leads, only then will one be able to become the truest self.
That is my prayer for my children. If God were to call any of my children into religious life I would be behind them 100%. And if God's vocational call is for my children to be married I will be there to help them be strong in that vocation as well. And if God asks my children to remain single as their vocation (which in the case of my two autistic children he might) I will be there to support them in that vocation, with its stresses and needs as well.