July 18, 2014

Serra Club vocations essay

Love of God leads priests, deacons and religious to ministry

(Editor’s note: Following is the third in a series featuring the winners of the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2014 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

By Nicole Cerar (Special to The Criterion)

Nicole Cerar“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 Jn 4:8). Priests, deacons and religious brothers and sisters made vows that he or she would dedicate his or her life evangelizing and loving only Jesus Christ.

People who have been called to a religious ministry display love just as people in married life do each and every day. Husbands and wives show their fidelity toward one another and toward their children, just as priests show their community and members of their parish fidelity by providing knowledge of God and consecrating the Eucharist.

Priests and men and women religious make vows of celibacy, but that doesn’t mean they can’t love others as Jesus loved his people.

The greatest manifestation of God the Father was giving up his only Son Jesus on the Cross. Why? It was because he loves us so much. He sacrificed the greatest gift for all people so that we may have eternal happiness.

Men and women who live out a religious ministry believe that it is also their duty and mission to try to express love to the greatest extent of their ability as God so did to the world.

They also have to sacrifice getting married and having a family. But they instead receive the bigger prize of Jesus because he will give pure happiness and joy. Through service, good works, evangelization and the Mass, members of the clergy spread compassion and generosity to the less fortunate by providing them with love, food, service and faith.

Men and women religious and the clergy want to repay God by sharing his love, giving back to the community and giving back to God for sacrificing his Son.

Priests, religious men and women and deacons in their lives and ministry respond to their calling of love not only through their faith, but by glorifying God in all they do.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:13). Religious men and women and clergy devote their lives to spreading Catholicism and giving others hope. But they know that focusing on loving God is most important because, with love, all things are possible.

(Nicole and her parents, Pete and Sherry Cerar, are members of St. Simon the Apostle Parish in Indianapolis. She completed the ninth grade at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis last spring, and is the ninth-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2014 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)


Related: Read more vocations stories from our archives

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