God is calling your child to be a saint. But how? Which vocation will He lead them to? Teaching your children to listen to God’s call in their lives and uncover how He wants them to love and to serve Him in this world is a great gift. There are a few simple things we can focus on as parents, teachers, and catechists to help children learn about and foster their own vocations:
3 Simple Ways To Help Children Learn About Vocations
- Relationships: Give your children the chance to be around, to talk with, and to learn from Catholics with various vocations. This can mean inviting your parish priest over for dinner, getting to know the sisters at a local Catholic school or order, or taking pilgrimages to spend time at a monastery or convent, where your child can see and pray with monks and nuns who have given their life to Christ and the Church. To help them better understand and appreciate the vocation of marriage, talk about your own wedding day, your vows, and let your children experience the real joy of married life by intentionally caring for one another and growing in holiness together in a way that’s visible to the children.
- Prayer: Teach your children to pray for their future vocation! This can be as simple as adding a short prayer to the end of a habitual family prayer, saying something like, “Jesus, I pray for my future vocation. Help me to know how you want me to know, love, and serve you!” You can help your children each evening to say a short prayer for their future spouse, should they be called to marriage, or for their future order, diocese, or life as a religious, if God puts that call on their heart someday. Also, pray regularly for an increase in vocations in general, as well as for specific priests and religious, as well as married couples, close to your family. This can be as simple as making “vocations” an intention in one of your rosary decades each night.
- Books: Read books about marriage and the religious life! In addition to exploring the lives of the saints who lived out their vocations as priests, monks, nuns, or through marriage, creative children’s books can do wonders for exposing kids to – and opening up meaningful conversations about – the religious life. The newly released Sister Clare Gets Ready for Prayer allows young readers to tour a cloistered monastery while following a day in the life of a Dominican nun. The book’s delightful interactive elements and thorough look at the routines of the nuns in the convent spark great discussion and interest, and children will have so much fun as they read through this unique book! Other titles that are excellent for teaching kids about the religious life and for getting them to think about and pray about their own vocations, include Father Ben Gets Ready for Mass (also interactive, like Sister Clare) the moving rhyming story, Jack Giorgio, Future Priest – my son’s current favorite, and the beautiful tale highlighting the Sacrament of Matrimony, One Holy Marriage: The Story of Saints Louis Martin.
May the Holy Spirit guide each of our children to be the saints they were made to be!