Prayers for vocations are for more men and women to dedicate themselves to serving our Lord and His flock in the religious life. Now more than ever, in these difficult times, “the world needs heroes,” as the New York Archdiocese's Office of Vocations puts it. Our police and firemen are considered heroes when they save lives. Why not also think of our priests that way when they do so much to save souls?
As Christ once said, in sending out His disciples in ministry, “the harvest is great but the laborers are few” (Matt 9:37). We offer these prayers for vocations to help send more “laborers” to bring our Lord an abundant crop of people whose lives have been transformed by the graces they receive from our faith!
Perhaps you’ve heard a priest at Mass speak of the importance of religious vocations. In addition to the New York Archdiocesan Vocation website, this other website from the USCCB offers informative articles, and this one offers more prayers for vocations.
Let us pray that the Holy Spirit helps more and more people discern whether or not the Lord is calling them to the priesthood or the religious life (perhaps as a Brother, Sister, or Deacon).
The first of our prayers for vocations brings up the theme of our clergy and religious as being much needed laborers for our faith.
God who willest not the death of the sinner, but rather that he be converted and live; grant, by the intercession of the Blessed Mary ever Virgin and of all the saints, laborers for thy Church, fellow laborers with Christ, to spend and consume themselves for souls. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
The second reminds us of the importance of the Holy Spirit in giving priests and religious “unselfish zeal” for God’s glory and our salvation!
Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, show forth, we beseech Thee in Thy Church the Holy Spirit with whose power the apostles were so abundantly filled. We thank Thee for the blessings bestowed upon the work of priests and religious; and we pray that Thou wilt add to the number of those who now pray, labor and sacrifice themselves for Thy glory and the salvation of souls. Give them unselfish zeal for Thy glory. O good Jesus, give us more priests and religious after Thine own Heart!
And, finally the last of our prayers for vocations, lengthier but nonetheless quite moving, was composed by Pope Pius XII, who referred to the priest as being “the ambassador of the divine Redeemer” in his 1947 encyclical Mediator Dei.
Jesus, who from the tenderness of Your divine Heart, uttered prayers of compassion for poor humanity, seeking a guide that might conduct it along the difficult paths of the world towards the light and the life; O Lord, who made messengers of Your angels and flaming fires of Your servants, send to these people who are Yours, and who wish to be Yours, many priests, and clothe them with holiness so that Your saints may rejoice.
You who know all hearts, point out the elect to whom You wish to entrust so sublime a ministry of truth and love. Enlighten their minds so that they may understand the great grace of Your divine call. Strengthen their wills so that they may not allow themselves to be overcome by carelessness and pleasure or trapped by the hidden evil desires of human nature and so that they may not fear sacrifice, but spread their wings and, like the royal eagle, soar towards the serene and glorious heights of Your eternal Priesthood.
Reveal to their parents the honor and matchless beauty of the gift of their own sons that they would make to You. Grant them the strength to overcome opposing interests and affections. Inspire in generous souls a desire to aid generously those of Your elect whom poverty prevents from following Your voice. Bestow upon their teachers the necessary light to cultivate in their young hearts the delicate plant of a vocation until the day when, ardent and pure, they will mount to Your holy altar.
Then, Jesus, in their turn may they become true angels for Your people-angels of purity who renounce for Your divine love all human love, tender and holy though it be; angels of charity who renounce the consolations of an earthly family to create another and greater family of which they will be both father and pastor, and in which the little ones, the unfortunate, the weary and the abandoned, will be the object of their love; angels of light through whom faith in You will cause human understanding to be as resplendent as the morning star; angels of sacrifice who will be consumed for the welfare of their brethren; angels of counsel and comfort who will console them in their grief, sustain them in the combat, and point out to them in the trying hour of doubt, the bright way of virtue and duty; angels of grace who will purify and comfort souls and unite them to You by distributing among them the Bread of Life; angels of peace who, at the moment of death, will cause them to taste the inexpressible sweetness of desire for and love of You and will open to them the gates of heaven, where You are the light and the infinite joy of hearts forever. Amen.