As a vocation director, have you ever had a conversation that goes like this:

“Well, then, when would you like to visit our community?”

“Uh … I’m just not ready,” comes the hesitant response.

Like shifting sands in a desert, there is uncertainty, a lack of drive here. I think that Catholic vocation directors in the country encounter this a lot. They have good conversations with young men or women. These people are practicing Catholics. They seem level-headed. But they just can’t seem to pull the trigger.

So, what’s the problem?

You probably know already: they lack a sense of commitment. People seem to be just drifting today. One twenty-something man has written an article on social media about how he graduated from UCLA and found a great job with a financial services company. Yet he changes jobs every year or two. There seems to be something missing each time.

The writer doesn’t mention anything about marriage. I wonder if he has fallen into the common mindset of thinking that his life’s calling is defined only by his professional career?

First steps first

But what comes first? Once a person finds his “first vocation,” whether it is to marriage, the consecrated life, or the single life, other things just seem to fall into place. There’s a focus, a direction, a foundation from which to make life’s decisions. And when you enter that vocation, it has demands. And those demands keep you from drifting.

Two thousand years ago, the Roman emperor Augustus passed laws encouraging young men in the empire to get married. He saw too much drifting.

And yet finding one’s first vocation seems to be in short supply today.

But it might not be the young person’s fault. All of their years while undergoing a secular education, they’ve been told they are special, unique. But why? The real reason is that they are made in God’s image and likeness. Of course, you won’t find this with a secular education. And sometimes it’s not emphasized much in a Catholic education, unfortunately.

Unaware of a vocation

“Many people have grown up unaware that they have a vocation, much less that they should be asking God to reveal it to them,” says author and vocation expert Fr. Brett Brannen. “As a general rule, people flourish in their correct vocation!” (Emphasis in original.)

So, tell your vocation candidates to find their first vocation, and the steps afterward will fall into place.

Want a proven program that brings in good vocations? Read about our Come & See Vocation Assessment Quiz.