“Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” (1 Sam 3:10)
The Lord calls in as many ways are there are people. Sometimes the call is very obvious, often it is curiously subtle. The call can take on many forms, such as:
* Sudden interest in religious life
* A desire to be closer to Christ
* Through the Mass
* Thoughts of religious life just keep cropping up
* A new sense of wanting something more in life
How do you know that religious life is truly God’s will for you? Discernment is prayerfully seeking God’s will in your life. It takes time, patience and a willing heart, humility and trust that God does indeed wants what is best for you.
* Spend time each day in silence with the Lord, open your heart to Him
* Attend Mass as often as you can (even daily)
* Spend time in Eucharistic Adoration
* Pray the Rosary, asking the Virgin Mary to help you
* Read the Bible. Here are some great texts to start with, all focusing on God’s call: Abraham (Gen.12:1-4); Moses (Ex. 3:10-12, 4:1 10-12); Amos (Amos 7:14-15); Isaiah (Is 6:8); Jeremiah (Jer 1:4-8); Ezekiel (Ez 3:1-4) Kings (1 Kings 10); Rich Young Man (Lk 18:15-30); The Cross (Mt 16:25-28) Few Chosen (Mt 22:1-14) Temptation (Lk 4:1-13); Martha & Mary (Lk 10:38-42) Seek First (Lk 12:22-31); What Matters (Phil 1:9-10); All Things (Rom 8:26-31).
* Talk to a priest, sister or brother about religious life.
* Seek a holy spiritual director
* Read about religious life. There are many beautiful Church documents and books about religious life that can help you.
* Learn about communities that interest you.
* Talk to a vocation director
* Visit communities
* Above all, place yourself in the hands of God and ask for His help to lead you on this journey.
* Do not be afraid. Nobody discerns a vocation in the Church alone. Talk to a priest, seek the assistance of a good spiritual director, and as you move forward on your journey, a vocation director from the community/ies you visit will also be able to assist you in uncovering God’s will for you.