“Parents, give thanks to the Lord if He has called one of your children to the consecrated life. It is to be a great honor, as it always has been, that the Lord should look upon a family and choose to invite one of its members to set out on the path of the evangelical counsels? Cherish the desire to give the Lord one of your children so that God’s love can spread in the world. What fruit of conjugal love could be more beautiful than this?
“We must remember that if parents do not live the values of the Gospel, the young man or woman will find it very difficult to discern the calling, to understand the need for the sacrifices which must be faced, and to appreciate the beauty of the goal to be achieved. For it is in the family that young people have their first experience of Gospel values and of the love which gives itself to God and to others. They also need to be trained in responsible use of their own freedom, so that they will be prepared to live, as their vocation demands, in accordance with the loftiest spiritual realities.” – Pope John Paul II, Vita Consecrata
PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR PARENTS
Everyone’s first vocation is to holiness, so parents should strive to create a home environment where Christian virtue can flourish. Here are a few other ideas:
- Invite a priest, sister, or brother to dinner at your home.
- Show your children a good example of holy marriage.
- Attend an ordination (normally held in early summer)
- Pray the diocesan prayer for vocations at supper.
- Always speak with respect for clergy and the Church.
- Read and discuss the Bible stories of Mary’s response to God (Luke 1:26-39), and about Jesus’ calling the Apostles (Mt 4:18-22).
- Speak openly of vocations to marriage, priesthood, and religious life.
Sometimes, as every parent knows, children ask very insightful questions that aren’t easily answered! When this happens, look for the answer online together. That shows that you take their inquiry seriously, and that it is worthwhile to get a good answer.