Helping Someone Else Discern a Vocation


Hi, so this is a bit of a weird story. I’m a protestant currently inquiring into the church. When I was a protestant I was frequently exposed to teachings about spiritual gifts. I believe I might have had a special gift towards discernment. Lately, a lot of my Catholic friends have been discerning vocations. One friend of mine wanted to serve as a female active religious but eventually discerned marriage and married a wonderful man two months ago. When I saw them together, I got this strange (and I assume to be holy) feeling of ‘rightness’ and affirmation and I instinctively knew that they’d be headed down the aisle even though they had just started dating. The man she married is a byzantine catholic considering the priesthood. Again, the sense of ‘rightness’ filled me at the thought of this couple serving a byzantine parish, him acting as a parish priest, and her working to support his minstry. Another friend of mine is at crossroads in life with his career. When I picture him lately, I always seem to picture him in a friar’s robes. It’s really bizarre. This might be partially due to the fact that I thought someone with his personality (very patient, friendly, dedicated) would be a good Friar. Part of me wonders, is it possible that a Catholic could see/hear signs of their vocation from the work of a friend? And where can I find basic info about the discernment process? I am a protestant so ‘discernment’ is a bit foreign to me.


I won’t give too much comment on what you’re feeling in regards to other people’s discernments. However, (and especially since you’re discerning entering into the Catholic Church), I actually would recommend setting up an appointment with a priest at a nearby Catholic parish to discuss these events, since this, I suspect, is something that is best dealt with someone that’s a spiritual master rather than discussing with uneducated online forum posters. It’s really simple to set up an appointment. Just call the parish office and ask for an appointment with a priest. Easy as 1, 2, 3!

What I will say in regards to this topic is to make sure you don’t rely too much on your thoughts, since our human logic doesn’t correspond to the logic of the Holy Spirit, and I don’t want you to fall into the trap of choosing to listen to your own thoughts due to a misguided zeal.

God bless you and protect you.


Discernment is for our own lives.


While talking about it with a good friend is fine, Catholics who are considering a religious vocation need to seek the help and advice of a spiritual director. A spiritual director is usually a wise and holy priest or religious who can help the person discern what it God’s plan for them and if they are called to a religious life. Discernment is a process and you just seem to be sensing the end results (nothing wrong with that!). You sound like a sensitive and caring friend and I hope your discernment into the Catholic Church goes well and you join us soon! :grouphug:


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