A Shared Journey


Vocation, as a gift of God, seems like a path that we go through with joy, enthusiasm and sharing life with someone who helps us in this process of discernment, fulfillment and happiness.




Many words are said and expounded on when one speaks of vocation. Often, these words assume a more religious or clerical tone. However, it matters to understand vocation in the fullness of its meaning, not confining it to one or two paths.

In fact, as St. Paul says, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.” (1 Cor 12: 4-6)

Thus, there are no more valid paths than others. On the contrary, if it is true that there is an immense number of possible paths for us to go through and if each one corresponds to a specific vocation, then one has to take into account the direction of his or her own journey to fulfill his or her vocation and, consequently, feel fulfilled.

The desire and the dream of God for each one will be just a dream unless one dares to set foot on the “road.” Begin by discerning, that is, walk the path that seems to lead to vocational accomplishment and see if it is in tune with what you are.

Embark on A Journey
Fears surround the journey (especially before starting to walk). However, as St. Daniel Comboni tells us, it is often necessary that “the path so far followed must be abandoned, the old system must be changed and a project must be drawn up which will lead more effectively to the desired end.” (Writings, 809) You have to take a step forward. To stop is cowardice!

Of course, it is not always easy to make decisions, but we don’t go anywhere if decisions are not taken. The first steps will be full of uncertainties, misunderstandings and may even cause suffering. This is the normal process of happiness.

Take, for example, the moment of birth of a baby. The suffering of childbirth is undeniable, but it would be unthinkable for a mother not to wish the child to be born for fear of giving birth. On the contrary, the future mother will try to learn the best way to live the moment of childbirth and, after the pains of that moment, happiness inhabits her and not the memory of the pains nor the worries and sufferings that may arise in the future.

Vocational discernment elevates our lives and, like St. Daniel Comboni, allows us to discover the joys and true happiness in the midst of the most adverse situations. Like him, along the way, we can pray: “Blessed is the Lord for he has guided me on the way of the Cross, and now he shows me his mercy a hundredfold!!!” (Writings, 187).

Share and Move On
When everything goes gray and the path we take seems to lead only to blind alleys, it is important to have someone beside us who, in addition to helping us discern our vocation without judging or condemning us, listens to us and understands us.

The vocational path always has sharing as its mark: sharing of feelings, of worries… sharing of life. This is a path that cannot be done alone nor can it be confined to individualistic solitude. Because vocation is a gift of God, one only advances on this path by sharing one’s joys and sorrows.

This sharing reveals who we are… and what we want to be. Above all, the gift that God offers us, and its acceptance, is translated into true and authentic life.

It is not a question of telling everybody about one’s own life, but of accepting to walk the path with someone we trust, with someone who opens up and understands us beyond his or her own personal desires and without the concern of pleasing someone. What is at stake here is happiness itself, and for this very reason, it is only when authentic sharing happens that it is possible to discern the intricacies of the vocational path.

It should be noted that this sharing is not an effort or burden for the one who shares and the one who accompanies. As with the different parts of the body, all are important and for the body to be healthy, it is necessary that all members live in fullness.

In this way, it is natural for the members to have the same concern for each other. Thus, “if [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.” (1 Cor 12: 25-26) Sharing promotes growth and happiness to all who intervene in it, because… in the end, everyone shares and everyone comes out stronger and enriched.

Walk Together
Vocational discernment compels us to share and it leads us towards the goal for our full realization. One might think that making everything depend on us would be faster and easier to achieve what we desire. However, when we talk about vocation, things are not what they seem.

It is necessary to walk accompanied in order to go further. Only this accompaniment can help us to overcome difficulties, to discover new possibilities, to rise after the fall, to prevent one from giving in to difficulties and, finally, to go further than what we even dare to dream of or to imagine.

God’s dream for us is always greater than we imagine when we decide to walk a path of discernment and vocational experience. To make this journey with a companion is to make possible the entrance into this divine dimension that overcomes all our frailties and apparent incapacities. With God we are more than we appear and more than what we believe to be.

There is no right vocation or wrong vocation. Every vocation has the mark of God and, as such, the way we respond to that gift may be right or wrong. However, it is not something external that is imposed on us by God, but something that is life and is given to us for our happiness and fulfillment.

With Two, Three …  Or More!
Vocation should not be confused with something isolated. It exists only insofar as it is shared and accompanied by the following: with God, with those who accompany us in the vocational discernment that lasts a lifetime, with the people who most directly become part of our life along the vocational journey, and with all the humanity that, in some way, benefit from the blessing of our vocation.

Who can deny the goodness of being next to a fulfilled and happy person? In our day-to-day life, we all experience the benefit that comes from the joy of others. Where does this incessant joy come from? Certainly it is not the result of a life without difficulties, but it will undoubtedly result in an authentic life lived in its fullness.

Share Your Thoughts

All comments are moderated

From The Same Issue

The articles and content about this issue

From The Same Issue

The articles and content about this issue

From This Topic

The articles and content about this topic

From This Topic

The articles and content about this topic

Explore Other Topics

Browse other coverage

Explore Other Topics

Browse other coverage


Presents, discusses and draws readers to reflect on issues of outmost relevance to the world today.


Very often, mission is carried out in frontier situations around the world. Those who embrace these situations have much to share.


Writer Ilsa Reyes will be exploring the richness of Pope Francis’s latest encyclical Fratelli Tutti with a view of helping our readers to get a grasp of the this beautiful papal document.


Puts to the front committed and inspiring people around the world who embrace humanitarian and religious causes with altruism and passion.


Focus on a given theme of interest touching upon social, economic and religious issues.


As the Philippines prepares to celebrate 500 years of the arrival of Christianity. Fr. James Kroeger leads us in this series into a discovery journey of the landmark events in the history of faith in the Philippine archipelago.


Aims to nurture and inspire our hearts and minds while pondering upon timely themes.


The large archipelago of the Philippines, in its richness of peoples and cultures, offers varied and challenging situations for mission.


Reflections and vocation stories that shape up the lives of young people.


As humor and goodness of heart are qualities of Christian and missionary life, the new column “Mission is fun” will be publishing some anecdotes and stories that have happened in a missionary context to lighten up the spirits and trigger a smile in our faces.


To help readers of World Mission live this year dedicated to Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue and Indigenous Peoples, Tita Puangco, writer and lecturer, shares in this section insights on the spirituality of communion.


A historic view of the Catholic movements that emerged from the grassroots as an inspiration by the Holy Spirit.


On the Year of Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue and Indigenous Peoples, radio host and communicator Ilsa Reyes, in her monthly column, encourages Christians and people of good will to be one with their fellow people of other sects, religions and tribes.


Questions to a personality of the Church or secular world on matters of interest that touch upon the lives of people.


News from the Church, the missionary world and environment that inform and form the consciences.


A feature on environmental issues that are affecting the whole world with the view of raising awareness and prompting action.


The editor gives his personal take on a given topic related to the life of the Church, the society or the world.


A monthly column on themes touching the lives of young people in the Year of the Youth in the Philippines by radio host and communicator I lsa Reyes.


A missionary living in the Chinese world shares his life-experiences made up of challenges and joyous encounters with common people.


Life stories of people who deserve to be known for who they were, what they did and what they stood for in their journey on earth.


Stories of people whom a missionary met in his life and who were touched by Jesus in mysterious ways.


Critical reflection from a Christian perspective on current issues.


Comboni missionary Fr. Lorenzo Carraro makes a journey through history pinpointing landmark events that changed the course of humanity.


A biographical sketch of a public person, known for his/her influence in the society and in the Church, showing an exemplary commitment to the service of others.


Gives fresh, truthful, and comprehensive information on issues that are of concern to all.


A column aimed at helping the readers live their Christian mission by focusing on what is essential in life and what it entails.


Peoples, events, religion, culture and the society of Asia in focus.


The human heart always searches for greatness in God’s eyes, treading the path to the fullness of life - no matter what it takes.


The subcontinent of India with its richness and variety of cultures and religions is given center stage.


The African continent in focus where Christianity is growing the fastest in the world.


Well-known writer and public speaker, Fr. Jerry Orbos, accompanies our journey of life and faith with moments of wit and inspiration based on the biblical and human wisdom.


On the year dedicated to St. Ignatius of Loyala, Fr. Lorenzo Carraro walks us through the main themes of the Ignatian spirituality.


Fr. John Taneburgo helps us to meditate every month on each of the Seven Last Words that Jesus uttered from the cross.


In this section, Fr. Lorenzo delves into the secrets and depths of the Sacred Scriptures opening for us the treasures of the Sacred Book so that the reader may delight in the knowledge of the Word of God.


Reflections about the synodal journey on a conversational and informal style to trigger reflection and sharing about the synodal path the Church has embarked upon.

Shopping Cart