OTTAWA — The Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) released a message designed to help families do a better job of seeing their lives as a Christian vocation.
In its message, Love is Calling Your Children, COLF urges families to recognize the role they play in helping their children find their vocations.
"It is within the family — very gradually and in the course of daily life - that children and adolescents learn to know God and to trust him," COLF says.
"Rest assured: Christ will call every single one of our children to a very personal vocation."
"Their answer will depend to a great extent on the openness of heart acquired in the family."
The message explores ways families can come to love Jesus more by getting to know him better, through prayer, studying Scripture, practising forgiveness and regular participation in the Eucharist.
It encourages families to help their children acquire virtues of "gratitude, humility, detachment, obedience, sincerity, optimism and a spirit of service."
The message acknowledges the call to new evangelization and faces a "major challenge" from our "de-Christianized, secular and relativistic" society. It also dispels a narrow view of vocations as restricted to the ordained priesthood or consecrated religious life.
COLF outlines vocations such as a call to marriage, or to apostolic celibacy for single men and women outside of religious congregations.
"While some lay people are called to a ministry by their bishop for a particular mission in the Church, all laity receive from Christ himself, at the time of their Baptism and Confirmation, a call to the apostolate," the message says.
"Today, faced with the growing secularization of society, the lay apostolate is becoming increasingly urgent."
Lay people are on the "front lines of the spiritual battle" that contends for souls in a world "searching for meaning," it says.
The brochure can be downloaded or ordered via COLF's website, www.colf.ca.