The Power of Intention

Have always before your eyes

the sublime end of your Christian commitment.

See your particular vocation

and the attraction of divine grace

which draws you gently but firmly

to the practice of great virtue.

Do nothing that might distance you from

or make you undeserving of the graces

with which Divine Goodness has been favouring you,

perhaps for some time and with little effect. 

Maxim of Love 1:1
Jean-Pierre Medaille, SJ

 Sharing our stories...

I experience this first MAXIM as very grounding for my entire life journey. It reminds me to keep returning to the essential goal and purpose of my life. Yes, I have a direction. I have a purpose for being here. I am loved and cherished by God and that 'attraction of grace' is my constant companion, no matter what is happening in my life circumstance.  


As we prepare to celebrate our 30th anniversary of The Upper Room Home of Prayer life and ministry, and my 50th jubilee as a Sister of St. Joseph, I am filled with a peace surpasssing understanding. This MAXIM is now living in me as a witness to the truth that it points to! My vocation as a Sister of St. Joseph, as a contemplative woman, and as a spiritual director and teacher is bearing fruit. I know that God-within me has been the Prime Mover, the Great Attractor, and gifted me with a receptivity to respond to this magnetic pull of Divine Love. Today, we are dancing in unison! Truly, something sublime is happening here in the ordinariness of my life! 


This MAXIM points to the essential discernment for all of us to discover and live in our own unique vocation. The term 'vocation' actually refers to three distinquishable callings, or three interrelated aspects of a single complex mystery. They are:

  - who the Lord calls us to be. (We grow in self-knowledge through intuitive experience)

 - how the Lord calls us to become ourselves for God and for others. (We adopt a certain lifestyle- married, single or celibate.)

          - what the Lord calls us to do for God and for others. (We accomplish a mission;   make a contribution to the Body of Christ.)

The first refers to self-identity. The second refers to vocational lifestyle. The third refers to mission or ministry. Let us delight in the way God chooses us to be unique persons, to become ourselves in a certain manner and to bear fruit, fruit that will last. (John 15:16)   

Rosemary O'Toole, csj
Ottawa, ON, Canada



#1 rosemaryo 2014-01-17 01:37
arletteh writes...
WHO the Lord calls us to be: that direct relationship is primary. I would call this vocation. HOW the Lord calls us to become ourselves: married, celibate, single-this is what is usually called vocation. I also see this as secondary to WHO we are called to be. Thanks for the distinction! The WHO call is the most intriguing and challenging.

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