A Pilgrim's Catechism

The Occasional Thoughts of a 21st-Century Roman Catholic on Journey

Towards the Reign of God 

 Caravaggio:  The Calling of St. Matthew


All are called but does not each individual have a special vocation?


God’s act is one.  In that act God does everything that he does. He generates the Son, who receives life from the Father, and Father and Son share that life in the Spirit who proceeds from them.  In the same one act that is his being God also creates and saves.  Thus, in the same one act, he calls every human to share in his life and to grow in it.


Just then as God is one and his act is one, the call from God to every human is one with that being and in that act.  In each successive created moment, however, the one call is manifest in the world in different ways according to the situation of the moment.  That situation is determined, not immediately by God whose act is constant, but by everything that has gone before, often the result of human freedom, and by everything that needs to be done in order that the greatest good be accomplished.


The one call from God is always to accept and to grow in his life.  The particular form the call takes for a particular person is determined by the global situation in which the person finds himself and how the person has responded in the past.


A person who has just rejected God’s presence in his life is obviously called to repentance and forgiveness.


A person who has embraced God in his life to the fullest that that they are able in the previous moment is then called to greater growth and commitment. 


The particular details of how that response is to be made is determined by what then and there needs to be done and is possible to do.


A person who thinks that he can best serve God and others by becoming a physician but who has just failed his university exams had better look elsewhere.


A young man who thinks that he should become a Catholic priest but who has just married had better reconsider.


No matter how good or poor one’s response may be, God’s one call is always there summoning to greater commitment and wiser choices.


Life should never be considered like a giant jigsaw puzzle that once a piece is misplaced the project can never be completed.


There is no such reality as a wasted human life, either because of bad judgment or bad will.  God’s one call is always there manifesting itself in a particular way for the particular situation so that the person can begin again on his journey to him.


The call is one but diverse and constantly changing in its manifestations in the world and in history.



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What is a human being?

A creature composed of body and soul?

Made in the image and likeness of God?

When does human life begin?

When is there a human person?

What is the fundamental human experience?

What does it mean for human beings to be responsible?

Can a human being interact with God?

Who is called?

Who is sent?

All are called but does not each individual have a special vocation?

Is faith to be found outside the Church?

Is true freedom “from” or “for?”

What does it mean, “to follow one’s conscience?”