There are various grades or states of life in human society; there are ecclesiastics, physicians, lawyers, soldiers, married people and unmarried; human society is like a body, each member of which has its own individual functions (1 Cor. Xii.12), or like a clock, in which all the wheels, large and small, work into one another. It is God Himself Who calls every man to his special state, hence we speak of it as his “vocation”, and God gives everyone the graces necessary to his calling. Thus if a man feels inwardly drawn to one particular state, he ought to obey this attraction, just as the migratory birds obey the motion that teaches them to seek a warmer clime in the autumn. Those who do not follow that interior impulse, but force themselves to embrace a calling for which they feel no inclination, too often share the fate of the birds who do not journey southwards; like them they do not thrive.
As our vocation comes from God, in fulfilling its obligations we serve Him; consequently the duties of our state ought to take precedence of all others. In some cases we have to leave God for God.
Those who conscientiously accomplish the duties of their calling are conscientious in all things. Like the principal wheel in a machine, if this goes well all else goes well; but if it stops the whole of the works are at a standstill. “If a man” says St. Francis of Sales “does not perform the grave obligations of his state, though he raise the dead and practice all manner of austerities he is in mortal sin and will perish eternally”. In vain those pray who will not work; all piety is false which is not subordinated to the claims of our calling, for no state of life if lawful, is a hindrance to salvation. (The catechism explained – Spirago Clarke).
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