March 16, 2018 Author: Dr.Augustine Mulloor OCD 0 Comments

In a profession one responds to a subsidiary objective related to a particular aspect of life. In a vocation one responds to the fundamental goal of one’s existence.  

Profession depends on the many needs of life such as food, clothing and shelter. Vocation depends on the essential need of life: meaning.

Profession is initiated through a personal independent decision. Vocation is a voluntary and free decision in response to the call of God. And so deepening the relationship with God and dependence on Him is basic to vocation.

A profession may be changed according to favourable circumstances, available resources, shifting interests. Vocation is an “unchangeable” life-long commitment.

 A profession is learnt and practised. A vocation is lived and shared.

Professional quality depends on the aptitudes, hard work, perseverance and regular updating. Vocational life depends on decision, commitment, generosity and good will.

Profession leads to getting. Vocation leads to giving.

Profession is cultured on working. Vocation is nurtured on serving.

Profession is productive and commercial. Vocation is generative and donative.

Profession is oriented to profit, success and popularity for oneself ie. self-fulfillment. Vocation is oriented to altruistic good through self-transcendence.

In professional life one can get disappointed and wearied and worn out. In vocational life one can be ever fresh, joyful and recharged. 

In profession there is retirement and pension. In vocation there is only graceful aging and joyful death.

So,  if Consecrated Life is reduced to Professional Life,  its purpose will be defeated and it will become irrelevant. We should choose, hence, to be vocational than professional. Only then we can “wake up the world” to authentic meaning of life.

Professionality, however, can re-dimension and sharpen the vocational life of the consecrated persons. So we should be vocational and professional, without reversing the order. This will be right harmonization of the two movements of renewal: returning to the origins and adapting ourselves to the signs of the times.

Author: Dr.Augustine Mulloor OCD