The word “vocation” means “to be called“. God created us and calls each one of us to be holy, to be His adopted children, to be servants and love to others, and to ultimately be with Him in Heaven for all eternity. However, while these are universal calls to every person, God has created each one of us with a multitude of different gifts and talents that have an enormous potential to be fulfilled within the context of a particular lifestyle. The possible vocational lifestyles that God places before us are: ordained and religious life, married life, or single life.
Discernment is the process of actively seeking to know God’s will for our lives. If we want to know something from someone, what do we do? First, we ask them and then we listen to their reply. It works the same with God. First, you must ask and then you must listen to His reply.
We call this communication between God and us – prayer. Often, the difficult part for us is the listening, because we usually don’t hear a voice speaking to us. So we must be open and ready for Him to speak to us in other ways. This could be through other people, through events or through heartfelt reflection. God speaks to us quite often. We are not always listening.
In your discernment, first and foremost, you should be active and disciplined in prayer life. Other steps often recommended include:
- getting a spiritual director,
- reading information about all vocations,
- speaking with persons who are happy and active in their vocation,
- visiting seminaries and religious communities,
- becoming involved in service to others.
Prayer is important in all vocations, not just priesthood or consecrated religious life. People in every vocation are called to communicate, talk, and listen with God. Not having prayer as an important focus point in your vocation, no matter which one that might be, is like not talking to or listening to your parents as you grew from being a baby to being an adult. It does not work.
Prayer is communicating with God, not just talking to Him. Communication involves talking and (more importantly) listening. Thus, prayer is extremely important in each vocation. It is possibly the most important part of a vocation.
Do not be afraid
Whatever way of life you will be called to it is important not to be afraid to follow God’s call and trust Him that He will be with you in this special way of life. For some people discernment takes a lot of time, but the longer time you take the more difficult it is to make a decision. So, recognising your vocation and making a life decision is based on a strong belief and trust in God.
Fr Harold Camonias
Phone: 0412 506 010
Heavenly Father you love me and call me every moment of my life You have a plan for me, a plan that will help me grace the world in the unique way that only I can send your Holy Spirit into my heart and mind.
Enlighten me with your wisdom that I may come to know today where you are calling me in life. Give me strength today to answer that call and inspire others to help me.
I make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen
Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mother of the Church and our Mother, encourage many vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life.
St. John Vianney, patron saint of priests, pray for us; obtain for us many holy priests.