The Call to Your State in Life

Part 3: Your relationship with family and friends

"I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
- John 13:34

"My daughter, in this meditation, consider the love of neighbor. Is your love for your neighbor guided by My love? Do you pray for your enemies? Do you wish well to those who have, in one way or another, caused you sorrow or offended you? Know that whatever good you do to any soul, I accept it as if you had done it to Me."
- Jesus to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 1768

The following is the third of a four-part series.

Read part one.
Read part two

This series began in January by explaining what true Christian happiness is, and in February it continued by examining the first level of your vocation: the call to goodness and holiness. This month, examine how well you live your second level of vocation: the call to your state in life.

Every person is created with the call to give of themselves to another in love. This is the very nature of the Trinity - self-giving love - which we are all called to imitate. Even though each person fulfills that call in a different way according to their state in life, whether it be through marriage, ordained, or consecrated life, it is only through a sincere gift of oneself that one can fully find oneself (see Gaudium et Spes, 24).

Therefore, according to your state in life, the more sincerely and authentically you give of yourself, the more fulfilling your life will be and you will find true peace and joy. Ultimately, this is what Christ calls us to. "He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it" (Mt 10:39). As stated in part one of this series, it is by living the Beatitudes that you can find fulfillment, and when it comes to loving your neighbor, what could be more applicable than "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy ... Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God ..." etc. (Mt 5:5,7). So, consider these questions and points to examine whether you are living your call to your state in life to the full:

•Do you take enough time to be with others, to listen to them and share with them your heart?

•Do you hold back in your gift of self (e.g., artificial contraception, lack of fulfilling one's vows)?

•Do you use your free time in a way that benefits others, or do you use it solely for your own enjoyment (e.g., TV or games)?

•How do you respond to those who have hurt you? Do you wish to take revenge or exclude others, or do you follow Jesus' example of forgiveness and reconciliation?

In our world today, it is difficult to give yourself away, especially if you've been hurt by others. Yes, you should be prudent, wise, and virtuous in your relationships, but you also are called to be like Christ to others - forgiving, merciful, and loving. This is what Christ calls us to in the Beatitudes. In becoming Christ-like to others, you will find true joy.

Read part four.

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