Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Discerning? Don't know where to begin?

Look no further...

How to Discover God's Plan for You
8 Steps for Discernment


Be Quiet in order to hear the Lord's voice calling. Take time to pray and meditate in silence about your vocation, especially in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
Find a spiritual director - somebody you can be open with - who can help you to develop your relationship with God and to know yourself better.
Ask a priest, brother or sister in your parish to put you in touch with a vocation director.
Read up on religious life. Look at a good periodical on vocations and check out the ads.
Write to the communities that interest you.
Visit the ones you feel called to.
Build a relationship with the one where you have a sense of coming home. Get involved in its summer or monthly programs. Don't just talk the talk - walk the walk with them as well.
Wait for the Lord. Discerning your vocation is a process. God's timing is always perfect - but seldom seems soon enough!

Remember, if you ASK, SEEK, KNOCK, you may not find the vocation you thought you would, but by trying you'll have found out one of the most important things in life - self-knowledge.

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Discerning (discernment) is, as defined by Webster’s Dictionary, to recognize or identify as separate and distinct –or- to come to know or recognize mentally. So then discerning is to recognize or identify within yourself (your heart, mind, and soul) the will of God for you in your life. It is a time of great prayer and contemplation. It is not by any means a quick process; it takes time and a lot of commitment. Our lives have no meaning outside of Christ; indeed, all purpose flows forth from Him. We are called to Him and to follow Him, therefore, our purpose (and the discovering of our purpose in discernment) is made clear through our union with Him. (This is why prayer and the sacraments play such a VITAL role in discernment – and simply, in our lives as Catholics.)

A Prayer for Guidance:
"Most high, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and grant me, Lord, a correct faith, a certain hope, a perfect charity, sense and knowledge, so that I may carry out, Your holy and true command."

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