I had a question for our permanent deacons who float around here. When you were first discerning the call to the permanent diaconate how did you prepare for your discernment?
I guess I am wondering what suggestions permanent deacons might have to someone that is starting to feel the call to the diaconate. I have wondered on and off over the past 5 years if I am called to service. Since I am only 40 and most of our deacons are in their late 50s or retired I just thought I was way too young to even consider it. Over the last 18 months to 2 years I keep feeling that God is calling me to service. Last month after my wife and I gave a talk on the sacrament of marriage to an RCIA class one of our deacons came up and asked me when I was going to enter formation. I was stunned because I have never really talked to anyone about it other than my wife. After talking to him and the other deacon I really started to consider if others might see what I have tried to brush off as something for the future.
So my diocese only has one class in formation at a time and the next aspirant phase doesn't start for 3 years. Before I approach the vocation director for the permanent diaconate I want to open my heart and ears to listen more closely to the call for lack of a better term. Any suggestions on readings, prayers, or activities that helped you in your early period of discernment? Are there any questions you asked yourself to determine if you were called to something else instead?
Thanks for any comments and suggestions.