Is it possible to know that your called to something just by feeling, not necessarily discerning?
Probable: Not really.
The problem with a lack of discernment is that you fail to account for the other side of the token, so to speak. How do you know that you’ve fully explored the alternative? How do you know that you’re not being called elsewhere?
I (personally) find the thought of living the life of a priest much easier than marriage, but at the same time I have to be cautious as to whether or not I have been called to that life, or if I have been called to marriage. I have an attraction to both, but, as vocation means “to be called”, discernment allows me to explore which is the true path of my life.
God tends to speak very softly (either that or we’re rather deaf:p), so it’s best to make sure we haven’t misheard.
Feelings can deceive us. Discernment is especially necessary when making major life decisions.
I have been discerning for close to 6 months and I am almost positive that I have a vocation to religious life. Originally I thought I had a vocation to one of the more “in the world orders” such as the Jesuits, Franciscans, or Dominicans. The more I thought, prayed, and researched new things I realized that I might be called to monastic life. I’m concerned that this is just an attraction, not a calling. I am attracted to becoming a contemplative, intellectual monk. I like the idea of solitude, where every single thing I do is for God and through God. I like the thought of pretty much constant prayer where my only major concern in life is praising God. Thanks. :blessyou:
You might explore if a monastery in your area does long term retreats.
When I lived in Yamhill, Oregon the monastery down the street from me let discerners live the life of a monk for a month. You were expected to live the same life, do the same work, keep to the same schedule as the monks. And they of course helped you in your discernment.
Discernment is very much a process of both Christian growth, as well as discernment and learning of self.
Our vocation is very much like a seed which we nourish with our talents, our preferences, our gifts, our passions, our prayer, our humility. This being said it is important to be a good Christian by trying our best to keep Jesus’ as our central focus in our day to day life.
By being a good Christian we give this seed a positive and fertile land to grow on; and before we know it, as we recognize our opportunities to serve Christ everyday, we begin recognizing this seed as a small flower, in which we recognize what our vocation is.
This is discernment.
After discernment, begins action, in which we protect and live out our faith, our discipleship, and our vocation, all of which are fragile, beautiful things; and we begin to live our vocation to its full fruit, initially as striving to be a holy person of God, and then as our assigned vocation.
Peace and blessings,