Are ‘Vocation’ and ‘Calling’ the same?

Vocation and calling are often used as interchangeable words in everyday conversation. A ‘call’ is a sense in a person that God is asking them to undertake a life of service. This may arise from prayer or a period of discernment. It could be a general call, for example, to serve the Church – and the person would then seek advice as how best to follow that call. Or it could be more specific, for example, someone might work as a volunteer in a deprived area and then feel that God is calling them to do this work long-term. A vocation is the settling of the call into a particular path: ordained ministry, the Religious life, nursing, teaching. But the two terms are not mutually exclusive.