“Vocations begin with the Eucharist; they are developed through the Eucharist; and they are preserved by the Eucharist. All of this is true because the Eucharist is Jesus Christ, still on earth, working through men and women whom He calls to share His plan for salvation.” -Fr. John Hardon, SJ
God has a plan for you and for your life! This is the good news of discernment. Discernment begins with your relationship with God, with seeking Him who is all the more seeking you. At the heart of discernment is prayer and silent adoration where the heart listens to know the desire of His Heart. Jesus Himself has given us the key to discovering His designs for us. Ask, seek and knock consistently. He has the answer and will reveal it in His own perfect time and way.
On this quest of discovery, it is important to attend Mass as often as possible and to frequent the Sacrament of Confession. This is important since the more open we are to the grace of God, poured out in abundance in the Sacraments, the more surely we can recognize His promptings. If you then are drawn toward any particular Religious Order, or want to know more about a community, take a big step and write to their Vocation Director. There are Sisters ready to help you in this big venture!
Another important ingredient in the life of a discerner is daily Scripture reading. Pondering on the Word of God is a sure avenue to hearing God speak to your heart. A spiritual director is also a great help in learning to listen to Our Lord and to distinguish what He may be asking of you. Reading the lives of the Saints and books on the call to Religious Life (such as “And You Are Christ’s” by Fr. Thomas Dubay) are also sources of inspiration which can help bring clarity to your desires.
Questions, fears, doubts are sure to intermingle with your ardent hopes and aspirations! This is not cause for abandoning the search, but serves to prove your faith and love. Staying close to Our Lady by praying the Rosary is a wonderful way to hand your worries and concerns over to God. She understands! Don’t be afraid to take the step of visiting a community. As you step out in faith, pay attention to where and when you are most at peace, that peace the world cannot give. That is the sure sign that you are on the road God has in mind for you – the road that leads to Heaven.
A vocation is a gift from beginning to end — a call rise above the things of this world and prove by a living witness that there is something more and better to come. -Mother Angelica