The word vocatio comes from the Latin root vocare, which means "to call." Vocatio means to be called by God, to fulfill God's purpose for us in this realm, and to complete assignments given to us by God through our vocatio, or call. No matter where we are in our understanding and
development of our vocatio, it will continue to evolve with us throughout the stages of our life.
The word vocation stems from vocatio and can often lead people to associate "work" with "purpose." It is important to understand that in God's eyes, all vocatios are of equal importance, while we as humans tend to put classifications of importance on different vocations. For example, the doctor is revered more than the custodian, or the successful entrepreneur more than the administrative assistant. In God's eyes, though, there is no difference between the stay-at-home parent who has been called to raise children and the cancer researcher who has been called to understand and help cure a disease.
Each call or vocatio has known and unknown ramifications of support and goodness, more so than if we were making these decisions on our own. If our vocatio or call is not related to a vocation (e.g., supporting loved ones as they age or mentoring fellow members in a twelve-step program) and we need to earn money, God's guidance will help us to find or create work that is in alignment with our gifts, talents, and passions. For some, how they make money is their vocatio; for others, their vocatio is not their job-for-income. What is important to remember is that we avoid the negative emotions associated with emptiness and loneliness when we listen for God's call and follow it. We also strengthen others and our community when we discover and follow our vocatio, and in doing so, we ensure the strength and continual growth of our church.
In each of us the Spirit is seen to be at work for some useful purpose. One, through the Spirit, has the gift of wise speech, while another, by the power of the same Spirit, can put the deepest knowledge into words. Another, by the same Spirit, is granted faith; another, by the one Spirit, gifts of healing, and another miraculous powers; another has the gift of prophecy, and another the ability to distinguish true spirits from false; yet another has the gift of tongues of various kinds, and another the ability to interpret them. But all these gifts are the activity of one and the same Spirit, distributing them to each individual at will.
- I Corinthians 12:7-11