Every young Catholic man must one day ask himself a question with incalculable consequences: “Do I have a vocation?” This is of primary importance!
One cannot say that he who, by his fault, has been unfaithful to his vocation will necessarily be damned. No! That is false! For whatever sin that one has committed, no matter how grave it be, if one humbles himself and asks pardon from God, then God pardons and grants all of the means necessary to be saved.
It is not any less true that a man who, by his own fault, places himself outside of the way to which God has called him in a certain and pressing manner (for there are some calls more urgent than others), deprives himself of many graces and compromises his salvation. If St. Francis of Assisi had remained a cloth merchant or if St. Ignatius had continued to be a knight of the court, one could rightfully ask what would have become of them.
How many young ladies there are who should have been sanctified, who should have progressed in divine love, who should have drawn down every manner of blessing upon the earth by taking Jesus for their Spouse and who, setting off with a vicious or superficial husband who wants no children, are placed in the midst of every kind of sin, with little actual religious succor. How many of these should have had a completely different destiny! Likewise, how many young men there are who should have had a life full of merit for the glory of God, yet, bound a little too quickly to a superficial woman, egotistical or opinionated, are enmeshed in sin in order to have peace in the house; it is an unhappy peace which is often a prelude to a terrible reckoning to be rendered to the Sovereign Judge!
Question of primary importance
How many times a person has been torn from a generous choice of higher service in order to turn to mediocrity and, by that very fact, to many falls!
It is thus of primary importance to ask oneself this question: “Do I have a vocation?”
There are some men who had never previously thought of this question and who, one day, posing it to themselves, so transformed their entire lives that they became saints. Even more, they became, through the hands of God, instruments of salvation for millions and millions of souls (e.g. a St. Paul, a St. Francis Xavier, a St. Alphonsus de Liguori, etc.).
Every young Catholic man must one day ask himself this question with its incalculable consequences. The Spiritual Exercises, above all those done according to the strict method of St. Ignatius, are the best means to settle reasonably this question. For they obtain the necessary dispositions to see clearly and to have the required courage.