Discernment is a process by which we are helped to come to a decision. This is very important to remember and consider when it comes to making life choices. Are you reading this because you want to know more about how God may be calling you?
The Vocations that are traditional in our Catholic Tradition are:
Within these there are many calls to particular ministries. The lay ministerial vocations are being promoted more and more. But the basic life choices still remains much the same.
So discernment is about how you can come to a decision that includes your faith and belief systems. It is a process of distinguishing or separating what is of God from what is not of God. This may sound easy at first but when you realise that while many of your impulses come from God, many also come from your own ego, from your culture, and from peer pressure.
Every choice I make shapes me in some way. Remember the old saying "Not to choose, is to choose". You made a choice to search this website. That is already saying something about you. But what is that something?
Be Quiet in order to hear the Lord's voice calling. Take time to pray and meditate in silence about your vocation, especially in front of the Blessed Sacrament
Find a spiritual director - somebody you can be open with - who can help you to develop your relationship with God and to know yourself better.
Ask a priest, brother or sister in your parish to put you in touch with a vocation director.
Read up on religious and priestly life. Look at a good periodical on vocations and check out the ads.
Write to the communities that interest you.
Visit the ones you feel called too.
Build a relationship with the one where you have a sense of coming home. Get involved in its summer or monthly programs. Don't just talk the talk - walk the walk with them as well.
Wait for the Lord. Discerning your vocation is a process. God's timing is always perfect - but seldom seems soon enough!
Remember, if you ASK, SEEK, KNOCK, you may not find the vocation you thought you would, but by trying you'll have found out one of the most important things in life - self-knowledge.
My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road. Though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me.
And you will never leave me to face my struggles alone.