Sometimes Jesus will hit us over the head with a miraculous intervention which reveals His will for our lives in a burst of clarity. Most often we must intentionally seek the face and voice of God to discover our authentic vocation.
“The one who listens attentively to the Word of God and truly prays, always asks the Lord: what is your will for me?“ Pope Francis.
It takes prayer, reflection and a sincere desire to mature spiritually to find our specific calling.
We All Have a Vocation, a Mission
Pope Francis described this spiritual journey,”When the Lord gives a mission, He always has us enter into a process, a process of purification, a process of discernment, a process of obedience, a process of prayer.” This vocational process is the most important, exciting adventure in life.
Christian revelation recognizes two specific ways of realizing the vocation of the human person in its entirety, to love: marriage and virginity or celibacy. Either one is, in its own proper form, an actuation of the most profound truth of [wo]man, of [her]being “created in the image of God.” (St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio)
Of course, there are a few traditional discernment steps which are helpful in revealing our vocation. Journaling really helped me discern a vocation because the process of writing clarified my thoughts and feelings. When we put down our gifts, our limitations and the pros and cons of certain vocations, we can see things better in black and white rather than simply allowing our thoughts to swirl around in our heads
Most importantly, if you want to find out who you really are in Christ, place yourself in the presence of the loving God, come to a sense of peace and then try to listen to your heart. Even as a young Christian, God gave me an inner sense of which road to take when I stopped long enough to ask Him and listen to Him. Often His answer was opposite to what I thought would be the ‘holy’ choice.
For example, when I wanted to attend a Protestant Bible School at 18 years old with my sister, I knew I was supposed to remain in university even though it felt like I was refusing to dedicate my life to Jesus. But God surprised me; six months later when I attended my first Mass, God ripped the rug out from under me as I found myself yearning to receive the Eucharist. I made an appointment with the university chaplain right after that first Mass.
This not only led me into the Church, he became my spiritual director. This Jesuit was a good director who helped me deepen my relationship with God and helped me get to know myself better. If it was not for this priest challenging my preconceived notions of who I was, where God was calling me, I shiver to think where I would be right now.
Our vocation does lie deep within our own soul but we are part of a community of believers and we need each other as we journey together towards the heart of God.
Copyright 2018 Melanie Jean Juneau