The following is excerpted from an article by Sister Lisa Maurer in Advent Pathways for 2019
This is National Vocation Awareness Week. We all are called to a vocation, whether to the priesthood or consecrated religious life, a profession in service to others, the single life, fatherhood, or motherhood. We discern our calling, listen for the voice of God speaking in our heart, and seek to align our own will with the will of God.
There are countless books written about discernment and you can find a myriad of websites dedicated to the practice. The steps to discernment found below come from vocationnetwork.org.
Step One: Pray Listen to God’s voice. Invite God into your decision-making process. Try different prayer styles. Attend Mass. Read, meditate, and become aware of God’s presence.
“Ask and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be open to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
Step Two: Know Yourself Listen to your voice. What are your fears and motivations? What makes you feel most whole, holy, and true to yourself. What brings you the most joy?
“Let us search and examine our ways and return to the Lord’s. Let us lift up our hearts as well as our hands toward God in heaven!” (Lamentations 3:40-41)
Step Three: Seek Counsel Listen to other voices. Gather honest input from people who know and love you. Friends, family, parish staff, and spiritual and vocation directors can all help you assess a path you are considering.
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” (Proverbs 19:20)
Step Four: Act and Confirm Follow your heart. Once you make your decision, you should be at peace and feel satisfied and confident in your choice. Continue to listen with your heart.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)
To learn about discernment as a Benedictine Sister at St. Scholastica, go to www.duluthbenedictines.org/vocations or call Sister Lisa Maurer at 218-723-7011.