On Sunday, April 22nd 2018, the Church celebrated the 55th World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
Each year, the Pope publishes a message for this occasion; this year, Pope Francis invited us to listen, discern and live the calling of the Lord.
In his message, Pope Francis wrote: “Even amid these troubled times, the mystery of the Incarnation reminds us that God continually comes to encounter us. He is God-with-us, who walks along the often dusty paths of our lives. He knows our anxious longing for love and he calls us to joy. In the diversity and the uniqueness of each and every vocation, personal and ecclesial, there is a need to listen, discern and live this word that calls to us from on high and, while enabling us to develop our talents, makes us instruments of salvation in the world and guides us to full happiness.”
Members of the Pius X Secular Institute have accepted to share a few reflexions with us to reveal in simple terms how they live their vocation…
Mr. Anibal Giovanni Ruíz Sánchez
Consecrated lay member – Guatemala
One day, in my life, I heard God calling me to follow Him… But, where? How? Then I had the chance to encounter the Pius X Secular Institute. The Institute allows me to answer this call day by day.
Throughout my life, I heard God telling me: “Follow me…” So I’ve always had this interior yearning to seek His will. Despite my weaknesses, I can make known to others, by my lifestyle, that there exists a kingdom of love and especially of mercy.
I try to allow God to forge in me this personal mystery that He has reserved for me so as to reflect Jesus Christ wherever I am. Be it in my workplace as a pastoral agent for the Archdiocese of Quetzaltenango, in my encounters with the poor, in my parish or with friends, the witnessing of my life becomes a page of the Gospel that others can read.
As Pope Francis reminds us in his new apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, let’s transmit, by our entire life, Jesus’ message that God wants to share with the world. Let us be transformed and renewed by the Spirit so that this transmission of His grace can become possible and thus, our life will become a mission.
That is why I chose the Pius X Secular Institute – or rather why I was chosen to serve in His presence – so that Jesus may be better known, loved and served. That way, I bring my share so as to “renew all things in Christ”.
Miss Suzanne Guérard
Consecrated lay member – Canada
I have been a nurse for close to 35 years, and more than 20 as a clinician in traumatology. Throughout the years, I have been in contact with great suffering but also with great moments of true self-giving. It is here that we live out human dramas and suffering which profoundly move us.
I try to be of help to those I come into contact with on a daily basis. Throughout these years, it’s thanks to my faith that I have a positive and attentive presence, and am available for others. My faith, lived out in my consecration, gives me the energy and is the source of my joy as I continue to work with the people who are experiencing a difficult time in their lives. I’ve come to understand through years that, in suffering, many things make no sense; yet, when you dare to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, it helps others advance on their journey. Just yesterday, a young colleague told me: “I like your positive outlook, your dedication; I find it inspiring to work with you…” It is my faith that allows me to give of myself without counting.
Through the years, my colleagues have discovered the importance that Jesus Christ has in my life; once the astonishment of my vocation passes, they come to share with me their dreams and difficulties and have asked me to help them to pray. I have become a resource – not just a clinical one – but also a spiritual one so that these colleagues and friends might discover their faith, their Church and the God of love that loves them more than anything. We have formed a prayer group that meets during our lunch hour once a week to pray together and share what we are living, our aspirations and our dreams for a different and more humane workplace, society and world.
Today, I have come to recognize that oftentimes others will come to me to ask me to pray for their loved ones, to share a problem, to ask questions about my faith, about Jesus Christ, my values and my vocation. I am a disciple-missionary in a secular environment, as a small candale that lightens up a dark room… My true source of light is Jesus Christ. Every day, I give thanks that I am able to advance with the strength of the Spirit, with my strengths but also with my weaknesses… In the end, I am but a simple Christian nurse serving others!
Miss Sandra Lorena Morillo Carlosama
Lay single associate member - Colombia
Hearing the Lord’s call, journeying with the Pius X Secular Institute, I have come to understand the privilege I have of having met Jesus Christ. With Him, I find meaning to my life on a daily basis; even though I have many failings, God and Jesus are there to encourage me and to forgive me with their infinite mercy.
Through journeying with others and sharing my faith, my relationship with God has been transformed. It has become a relationship of friendship, of mutual love, of trust; I live it intimately with Him through prayer and the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist where I feel he is my strength, my whole life!
This faith and great love become life for others, for those who share my faith, in my family, with my son, in my apostolic family of the Pius X Secular Insitute. It’s love that gives me the push to make Jesus known to others, to become a witness of His infinite mercy, to help others understand that God wants us to be happy… He is the best way and that is why my commitment grows more and more so that Jesus can be better known, loved and served.
The mission is a commitment that is not limited to one day, one activity or a specific action. It’s a total giving of self to the Lord with all our life! That is how I live the mission by witnessing to my family, to my son when I share God’s love with him, even when I correct or counsel him as a mother, as well as in my work at school with the children that are entrusted to me and with whom I share that God is our friend, when I listen to them and teach them with love, when I realize that God has placed them in my life to fulfil it… Even with the difficulties that life throws at me, I live the mission when I trust in God; He is my strength to overcome all hardships.
To put my talents at the service of others is also part the mission that God has entrusted to me. That is why I am happy to share my ideas and collaborate in the different activities of my apostolic family, the Pius X Secular Institute.
God loves me and I feel it every day!
Mr. Mrs. Norbert & Claudette Breton
Associate couple – United States of America
We met the Lord during an evangelization weekend called La Rencontre. We were just starting out in our marriage and today we can say without a doubt: we are loved by a God that is love and mercy! And from that encounter, we felt a calling: to make Him known in 100,000 ways. We carry just one desire: that Jesus be better known, loved and served!
Throughout the years, our vocation as Pius X Secular Institute members has sustained us to live out faithfulness and generosity. Be it as parents to four children, as a construction worker, as a secretary in the medical field, in our apostolic commitments with the needy, we have answered God’s call day by day. Years have passed… and throughout the journey, we have come to realize that our commitment is stronger and stronger, and ever more demanding. But our answer also brings an ever greater closeness to God, an intimacy that allows us to say: “My life is Christ!”
By sharing our faith with others and through the nourishment of God’s Word we seek every day, God has allowed us to profoundly live the Christian vocation of marriage and to grow together in our love for Him.
These last few years, after retiring from the workplace, God has put on our path poor people, men who struggle to lift themselves up from hard times in their lives. Some have mental health issues. The Pius X Secular Institute owns a house in the United States region that serves as a place of welcome for this population. Our presence with these men has shown us that God has been generous with us in gifts of hospitality and listening, so as to enter into a relationship with the least of His children. He invites us to become a father, a mother, a friend, a counsellor… And God is at work in every heart to “renew all things in Christ”.