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Old Oct 16, '04, 3:09 am
brabble brabble is offline
Join Date: September 25, 2004
Posts: 85
Religion: Roman Catholic, practising
Smile Discerning God's Call

Can anyone tell me how one can discern, know, to what God is calling one as a way of life? The first step of course would be to pray about it. But how do you know, this is the way God wants me to go - take the really big steps necessary (in my case) - and then commit yourself to it and I should imagine thru thick and thin and despite all and any obstacles? How does one act with a sense of sureness - by just following a director's advice or are there more criteria and if so, what?

Last edited by brabble; Oct 16, '04 at 3:13 am. Reason: add phrase
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Old Oct 16, '04, 4:28 am
Dunmoose Dunmoose is offline
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Join Date: May 19, 2004
Posts: 131
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Discerning God's Call

What I would suggest is to try to determine what your gifts are. That should help you out a great deal. Also ask yourself what would you be best at. It can be a hard choice. I know. But with an analysis of your spiritual gifts will make it easier to decide. At least you will have more data points on which to make your decision.
Sirach 6: 5-17
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Old Oct 16, '04, 7:23 am
T.A.Stobie, SFO T.A.Stobie, SFO is offline
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Default Re: Discerning God's Call

You must learn to recognize God's voice in your life and open yourself to it fully, accepting whatever He wants, then listen closely in prayful meditation and research the area that God brings up. In your research, you may find yourself called to a particular area.
Thomas A. Stobie, SFO

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Old Oct 16, '04, 9:48 am
mtr01 mtr01 is offline
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Default Re: Discerning God's Call

Hi Brabble. In order to help you out, I got this from my Archdiocesan (Baltimore) website. It's a small test (in addition to prayer) to help discern whether or not you are called to a religious vocation or perhaps a lay apostolate:

Are you responding to God's call today? How do you know if He is calling you? How do you know to what He is calling you?

There is a very fine line between a call to a Church Religious Vocation and a call to a more committed walk with Jesus in the Lay state. Use the following self-assessment opportunities to help you in your discernment process.

If you are being called to a Church vocation, you will see visible signs of this calling in the following areas:
  • Human - you are someone that others like to be around
  • Spiritual - you have a lively and personal love for Jesus Christ and the Church, the people of God
  • Intellectual - you have the capacity and ability to learn and grow in the understanding of your faith, culture and environment
  • Ministry - you make a difference in people's lives through the witness of your life
If you recognize these qualities or their potential in yourself or others, maybe God is calling!

How do you know if you are being called to serve God as a priest or religious? Take this "vocations anonymous test" to find out! Answer "yes" or "no" to the following questions:

1. Does the idea of becoming a priest or religious keep coming back time and time again even though you thought you had moved on in your life and forgotten about it?

2. Do you feel called to give more, to be more?

3. Does your relationship with God sustain you, enliven you, invigorate you in such a way that you want to share the Good News with others?

4. Do you find your weekly ministry more live-giving and energizing that your 40 to 60 hour work week?

5. Do you long for "MORE?"

6. Do you have a sneaking suspicion that you are on the brink of a major life decision?

7. Are you afraid to tell friends and family that you are thinking about a Church vocation?

8. Does the idea of becoming a priest or religious excite you and at the same time frighten you because you feel "unworthy?"

If you answered "yes" to two or more of these questions, contact [your diocese's] Vocations Office.
Hope this helps you in your discernment!
De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine; Domine, exaudi vocem meam.

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Old Oct 16, '04, 1:35 pm
Ter Ter is offline
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Join Date: September 19, 2004
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Default Re: Discerning God's Call

As well as praying you should also investigate the way(ways) of life you think you are being called to and try and imagine yourself in that. I was in the position where I felt called to religious life was in the pre-noviciate progam for an active order while still being undecided whether I was going to be active or enclosed/contemplative. I decided (after discussing it with my guide/director in the program) that I would continue to act as if I was going to become a member of their order i.e. folllow the program, meet members of the congragation etc. while also meeting different enclosed orders and trust that God would not let me make the wrong choice. That was hard 'cos I really couldn't see how God was going to let me 'know' but I believed that when the time came I would make the right choice. So I took part in their pre-noviciate program for almost two years and then during a 3 day retreat with an enclosed community I 'knew' this was where I was supposed to be.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is you need to really look at what attracts you to a particular way of life, take part as far as possible in that life before making a commitment, take steps towards achieving that life if you feel God is calling you to it (even though you're uncertain) and finally have lots of patience.
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Old Oct 16, '04, 5:39 pm
jmm08 jmm08 is offline
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Religion: Was Baptist, RCIA class finished in 2005
Default Re: Discerning God's Call

Great posts.

I add one more question. Do you think the same way about your call six months later? Or have you thought this way consistently for the last six months? With getting married, I now consider that it is best to wait some time.

If you are considering joining a religious order, there is a novice period. Talk with somebody in the religious order. See if it is OK to try something, and if there is no penalty for changing your mind during the novice period. Perhaps waiting six months before becoming a novice is a six month delay and not so good. Often, I think the religious orders offer potential candidates a retreat. And the retreat may help you to discern. So go and ask about it.

I'm only in RCIA. But I suppose God is merciful and gracious to those who become a novice in a religious order even if they change their minds. They looked and tried.

There are some canonized saints who tried to join a religious order and it didn't work out for them. So I think there is no harm in trying.

Last edited by jmm08; Oct 16, '04 at 5:52 pm.
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Old Oct 16, '04, 11:22 pm
Mamamull Mamamull is offline
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Join Date: June 9, 2004
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Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Discerning God's Call

A good spiritual director is priceless in helping you sort out your call.

Also, a generous amount of time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is also wonderful He is not always silent if He thinks one needs to know. At least it is true for me.

Then of course, a Novena to the Holy Spirit -- any devotion to Holy Spirit will help you to be led well.

All big decisions are worth exploring as best you can. The Blessed Mother, her Son and her Spouse will lead you.
Grace Happens!

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