“If a soul loves God enough to sacrifice what it most deeply desires (love and family), then it can be sure that God will care for its needs, and clear the path towards fulfilling His holy will, whether it be the married state, being single, religious or consecrated life, or Holy Orders.”
Usually, it’s when we are young adults when we make the biggest life choices.
The subject of this life choice can be on: professional life, family relationships (with parents…), choosing a state of life, friendships, life balance, …
It is also at this time that the Lord teaches us about the direction of our life, our VOCATION!
Vocation comes from the Latin word, vocare, “to call.” It is a calling, a calling from God, who made us, loves us, and has a plan for us.
We are all called by God to know, love and serve Him. The difference resides in the way we do it.
God gives each one of us a particular mission in life. As we grow and life progresses, He makes it known to us, usually in indirect ways, more as an invitation than an imposition.
Individual (specific) vocations vary between being single, married, consecrated, religious or a priest. However, we usually use “Vocation” to mean a call to the consecrated, religious or priestly life.
Discovering and ultimately following our vocation gives the greatest glory and praise to our Creator, because this is the key to our eternal happiness.
How to discern
What is discernment?
- Time of sifting and sorting.
- Seing with the eyes of your heart so that you can choose life in God.
- When you allow yourself to be open to God’s will, it is an opportunity to let your hearts guide your mind more than only trusting your reasoning.
Discernment is different from simply deciding on a career path or lifestyle. Discernment starts in faith, where we acknowledge God as the source of vocation, involve God in the decision-making process through prayer, and actively listen for God’s will.
Become aware! You are called to listen to God, to yourselves, and to those around you.
In order to listen God’s voice, prayer is essential! We need to take time to be in conversation with God, to ask for His help and guidance. ( In the gospels, before every major decision, Jesus went off alone to pray. He did this prior to choosing the 12 Apostles, and he spent much time in prayer as he prepared for his Passion and death).
Know yourself! God, who will sanctify us through our vocation, has already endowed us with a certain nature. Ordinarily the grace of our vocation will build upon this nature. An awareness of our personal gifts and weaknesses can help us considerably in gaining a sense of which vocations are possible for us and which are probably not wise paths for us to take. Along these lines it is also important to listen to our hearts, to be attentive to those relationships and activities that give us the most peace and joy. In addition, our dreams and desires are significant.
Frequent the Sacraments! Confess often, and attend to daily Mass, if possible, will allow us to keep on open heart and mind. God grants us many graces also through Eucharistic Adoration.
Live a healthy social life! avoiding of course friendships or atmospheres that go against Christian values. Pay attention to your duties (study, family, work, etc.).Wake up early and spend some time in prayer or spiritual reading. Before going to bed, spend time in prayer and make an examination of conscience for your actions for the day.
Be involved in evangelization! Some examples: helping start a discussion group, a prayer group or a Bible study, helping in a youth group, doing door-to-door evangelization.