Discernment


#1

How does one discern a calling? For example: Leading a Church youth group, teaching the CC, pursuing a vocation, etc.


#2

Well Mickey,

I am currently in the process of getting into seminary. I will say that discernment is a long process. Because, everytime you may discern for sure that God is calling you to do something, there will be something else to discern…for example.

When I was discerning a call to the priesthood at first I was looking at Religious Priesthood…then I went on a retreat, and by the end of the retreat I was torn between Religious Priesthood, or secular priesthood (i.e. a Diocesan Priest)…ect…

What I am trying to say, is God is not going to part the clouds and shout out to us…“HEY YOU! YEAH, YOU…COME DO THIS FOR ME!” He can call us several ways…

I would recommend getting a Spiritual Director…I would recommend going to a priest at least once a month…and just talking…talk about life, about what you feel you want to do, ect…he will help you to see more clearly what God is calling you to do.

I will pray for you! May your eyes be opened to the vocation that God is calling you to…

I hope this helped a little…

PAX,

Cody


#3

[quote=romeishome]Well Mickey,

I am currently in the process of getting into seminary. I will say that discernment is a long process. Because, everytime you may discern for sure that God is calling you to do something, there will be something else to discern…for example.

When I was discerning a call to the priesthood at first I was looking at Religious Priesthood…then I went on a retreat, and by the end of the retreat I was torn between Religious Priesthood, or secular priesthood (i.e. a Diocesan Priest)…ect…

What I am trying to say, is God is not going to part the clouds and shout out to us…“HEY YOU! YEAH, YOU…COME DO THIS FOR ME!” He can call us several ways…

I would recommend getting a Spiritual Director…I would recommend going to a priest at least once a month…and just talking…talk about life, about what you feel you want to do, ect…he will help you to see more clearly what God is calling you to do.

I will pray for you! May your eyes be opened to the vocation that God is calling you to…

I hope this helped a little…
[/quote]

Thank you so much for your response Cody. I just started to see a spiritual director, and I know this will help me on my journey. God Bless you.


#4

If God wanted someone bad enough, hed yell out of the crowds.

You are a priest forver in the order of Melchezedek.

Come follow me and I will make you fishermen of men.

Write to some seminaries and ask if you can go on a retreat. That way if they are jerks, you can find out before they got you roped in and take all your money and kick you to the curb.

This week is Vocation week.


#5

Mickey,

Discernment usually involves lots of time and prayer. The Lord frequently leads us by placing opportunities and guide posts along our path. As opportunities come we must pray. As guide posts are seen we must pray. When we ask for the grace of God, He never disappoints us. Grace will bring the knowledge that comes with discernment. Be patient, it is all on God’s time table and not ours.


#6

Mickey,

With respect to a lawful vocation choice, an excellent work is the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. By lawful, I mean that you are free to enter into the field of your choice without obstacle. A woman cannot enter the priesthood, and a married person cannot leave for the cloister, etc.

St. Ignatius learned by experience to discern God’s guidance through alternating consolation and desolation, and is a very good guide. You would need to look for this in the later chapters, rather those that deal with meditations.

Generally, the Shepherd goes ahead of the sheep, and leads them into “verdant” pastures. He guides through our desires, giving them light, joy, and confirming them with peace. He then opens doors of opportunity that allow us to follow Him, although sometimes these are strewn with thorns from the evil one, who has seen your good will and tries to thwart the fulfillment of your dreams.

I remember when I was praying about whether or not to teach CCD. One night as I lay in bed before sleep, I was especially asking God to show me what to teach, and at that very moment, my radio began the song, “The First Time Ever I Saw His Face.” Instantly, my memory made the connection, for I thought about my first meeting with Christ. I knew God was saying to me, “Show them Jesus.”

You see, God must have coordinated the timing of my prayer at the moment the answer was there on the radio. Coincidence? Perhaps, but the wonderful consolation and peace that flooded my spirit assured me that I was being commissioned. That is how God works!

May He open the eyes of your heart to hear His call!


#7

First of all, thank you for making a point in your question that vocations aren’t always as cut and dried as “religious/married/single”. It is also following God’s will in your life regarding the “small stuff” like teachign CCD or other followings.

Sometimes it is hard to know, and I have often learned through trial and error. When I was a kid I decided on a career. I had some misgivings at first, but I gritted my teeth and set to it. I was rewarded with this “dream job” almost immediately after graduation from college…and when I started I realized it wasn’t what God was calling me to do. He has and will use the experience throughout my life, and it has at this point become a building block of the person I am now.

Sometimes God sits back like any good parent, and says, “OK, if that’s really what you want to do…go ahead. Call me when you’re ready to listen.” And then we go and bungle things, God gives us a hug, a pat on the back and tries to set us straight again.

My point is this; sometimes you have to try it. You have to take steps and actually get dirty, so to speak, in order to figure out if you’re just digging a hole or laying the groundwork for the foundation.

Discernment is a journey, and there are no easy answers.


#8

I spent a lot of time in discernment and recently left a very good seminary for vocational reasons (it was to a very specific calling, which I don’t feel I have). However, in my time studying I came across many good orders.

If you are interested in any particular calling within the religious priesthood, email me at amarischuk@hotmail.com and hopefully I can point you in the right direction, from the foreign missionary SVDs to the educating Dominicans etc.

Adam


#9

I would say that discernment, expecially regarding a vocation to the Church, is not just a personal thing, it is done in concert with the Church.

As one is called by the Church to Holy Orders or a religious superior to a religious life, one does not call oneself to it.

This is something I notice as I work though my own discernment. I see people saying, “I have a calling to the priesthood” (especially women) when actually one is called to it. You may think you have a calling but until one goes though the process and is called by the Church (or religious superior) at the end of it you really can not say you are called to it.

Just look at American Idol (I know some may think this is a weird example but it works). People show up there and audition. Some are called to go on, others are not. Now some of those who are not called to go on refuse to listen and say that they are good and should have been allowed to continue, but they are truly awful.


#10

[quote=JCPhoenix]First of all, thank you for making a point in your question that vocations aren’t always as cut and dried as “religious/married/single”. It is also following God’s will in your life regarding the “small stuff” like teachign CCD or other followings.

Sometimes it is hard to know, and I have often learned through trial and error. When I was a kid I decided on a career. I had some misgivings at first, but I gritted my teeth and set to it. I was rewarded with this “dream job” almost immediately after graduation from college…and when I started I realized it wasn’t what God was calling me to do. He has and will use the experience throughout my life, and it has at this point become a building block of the person I am now.

Sometimes God sits back like any good parent, and says, “OK, if that’s really what you want to do…go ahead. Call me when you’re ready to listen.” And then we go and bungle things, God gives us a hug, a pat on the back and tries to set us straight again.

My point is this; sometimes you have to try it. You have to take steps and actually get dirty, so to speak, in order to figure out if you’re just digging a hole or laying the groundwork for the foundation.

Discernment is a journey, and there are no easy answers.
[/quote]

Good stuff JCPhoenix, worth repeating. :thumbsup:


#11

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