In this year's message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Benedict XVI used the theme: Vocations, the Gift of the Love of God. He wrote:
The profound truth of our existence is thus contained in this surprising mystery: every creature, and in particular every human person, is the fruit of God’s thought and an act of his love, a love that is boundless, faithful and everlasting (cf. Jer 31:3). The discovery of this reality is what truly and profoundly changes our lives. In a famous page of the Confessions, Saint Augustine expresses with great force his discovery of God, supreme beauty and supreme love, a God who was always close to him, and to whom he at last opened his mind and heart to be transformed: “Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.” (X, 27.38). With these images, the Saint of Hippo seeks to describe the ineffable mystery of his encounter with God, with God’s love that transforms all of life.We read in the first letter of John: We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him (1 John 4:16-17). St. John, like St. Augustine after him, understood that God draws us to himself in love.
Vocation is a call to love. It is a call to lay aside marriage and family -- good and holy though are -- to love God alone with single-hearted devotion. It is the pearl of great price and the treasure buried in the field.
A vocation to the consecrated life doesn't take the dailiness out of our lives, but it sanctifies and blesses our efforts, even when we fall and need to begin again (and again). It is the love in our hearts that makes this possible, and that love increases every time we grow in virtue and avoid vice. It's a life-long process of surrendering to Love, who is God. Laying aside self will and allowing God's will to have ever greater access to our hearts and lives.