Discerning a calling

I wonder how one discerns a calling. I'm pretty sure every devout Catholic male would have wondered what its like being a priest or deacon. But how do you know if these thoughts are serious and placed there by God, or just playful on your part?

The thing to know about discernment is that it is never a one way street. You need to discern on your own as well as with the Church. When you are on your own pray, go to Adoration and listen, and go to Mass often. Get a spiritual director to help you start a prayer plan.

God bless

Jeff

Most dioceses that I know have a Vocations Director whose job it is to assist people in discernment.

religious-vocation.com/discerning_religious_vocation.html

How much are you consumed wiith thoughts of a religious vocation? If it’s intense, then I’d suggest you contact some groups that interest you the most. Visit them. Spend time in retreats there. If you do these things, and still feel as strongly about a religious vocation, you probably are being called. You will know at that point which one to concentrate on. You wouldn’t be taking permanent vows for some years anyway, so you can back out any time before taking those vows. Give it a try. Good luck and God bless.

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:1, topic:233792"]
I wonder how one discerns a calling. I'm pretty sure every devout Catholic male would have wondered what its like being a priest or deacon. But how do you know if these thoughts are serious and placed there by God, or just playful on your part?

[/quote]

Here's my take on callings: Though I was once considered by some to be a potential seminary candidate as a very young man, my life path took me to paganism, where I am today a priest. The surest way to discern a true calling lies with its longevity and persistence. After many years as an agnostic and secular humanist, I scoffed at the idea of becoming a practicing pagan, an educated man becoming a witch, of all things! I ignored it and hid from it for a decade, but that voice never stopped calling me home. I don't regret that "time in the wilderness" one bit because you need that time to figure out who you are, before you can figure out what you should be. Work on yourself first and do some research to see if what you think the priesthood is is anything like real life. Then be patient. If it's a true calling, you'll know it.

religiouslife.com/a_learn_discern.html

foryourvocation.org/

Well, you pray for sure about it :slight_smile:

Talk to other priests about it. A good spiritual director helps.

If you feel there is a possibility, you can try. If it is not meant to be, then obstacles will come up to prevent you. For example, you may find out you have an illness that completely excludes you. Well then, in that case it is not meant to be. Not unless that is healed anyways :slight_smile:

Or you may have massive debt that you cannot get rid of. Another way to know it is not for you…at least for now.

But in the end I think you just know - I am not sure how but it is just something you know. You stop asking and you just know. When you get to that point, and all the doors open for you, then I think you have a call :slight_smile:

[quote="Waiting, post:5, topic:233792"]
How much are you consumed wiith thoughts of a religious vocation? If it's intense, then I'd suggest you contact some groups that interest you the most. Visit them. Spend time in retreats there. If you do these things, and still feel as strongly about a religious vocation, you probably are being called. You will know at that point which one to concentrate on. You wouldn't be taking permanent vows for some years anyway, so you can back out any time before taking those vows. Give it a try. Good luck and God bless.

[/quote]

The thing about me is I have ADD, when my mind gets to concentrate on something its usually intense. When we were shopping for a home, I entertained thoughts about becoming a real estate agent (quite a good job still here in Vancouver where real estate prices are unbelievably high).

I know I'm called to serve. I'm a Catechist, albeit I didn't get assigned a class this year because no one enrolled in the level I teach. I still try to do something for the Church through volunteer work.

In my opinion, if may very well be a calling if, after discerning the different vocations, you are drawn to a particular vocation, and it remains consistent, maybe for years. You get excited looking at order websites, you love visits to orders, you feel closer to God at the community, etc. Obviously it's a little different for deacons and Priests, but I guess if you are really drawn to the Mass, homilies, preparing for Mass, helping people, etc.

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:9, topic:233792"]
The thing about me is I have ADD, when my mind gets to concentrate on something its usually intense. When we were shopping for a home, I entertained thoughts about becoming a real estate agent (quite a good job still here in Vancouver where real estate prices are unbelievably high).

I know I'm called to serve. I'm a Catechist, albeit I didn't get assigned a class this year because no one enrolled in the level I teach. I still try to do something for the Church through volunteer work.

[/quote]

You are right to question yourself. That's part of discerning. Don't forget, it takes years, even when you're sure of your choice, before you make final vows. If you get that far and are still questioning, then I'd say you don't have a religious vocation. You'll never know if you don't try it. Good luck.

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