The word vocation comes from the Latin word “vocare” which means “to call.” It is where we get our english word “voice.” A vocation then is our calling in life, or more specifically, God calling us. God speaks to us constantly; he calls us and through His word invites us into relationship with Him. It is up to us to listen to His voice and respond.
A vocation then is our response to God’s call. Living our vocation is how me manifest God’s love to the world.
God calls us to specific vocations, specific ways of life. These are:
- Consecrated life as a Religious woman – Sister – or religious man – brother
- Ordained Priesthood
- Ordained Deacon
- Lay Missionary
Five Guidelines for Discerning Your Vocation
How do you know what God is calling you to do with your life? Following are five guidelines that, coupled with ongoing conversion, prayer with Scripture, the Sacraments, and communion with others, become a huge part of the practice of discernment.
1. Set aside time for daily prayer:Prayer and periods of quiet time are fundamental to the spiritual life. Have you ever taken a short “test” to discover what style of prayer best suits you? Drop in to the Resource Centre to find out how this can be done!
2. Put aside concerns about seeming foolish: This is your life call, so no one should tell you that discerning which vocation God is calling you to is foolish. Research is important while you are doing your basic discernment.
3. Don’t let setbacks stop your search: God often works in ways we cannot expect. Keep praying and listening to the voice of the Spirit, write out the pros and cons of your feelings as you delve more deeply into your discernment. Listen to your feelings as you reread your lists. Where do you find peace? Where do you find joy? Listen and pray!
4. Find a spiritual director, a Twelve Step sponsor, or a mentor: These people can help you in your journey. Where do you want to be in 10 years? What captures your imagination? What activities, settings, and possibilities give you joy and peace? Write your spiritual autobiography… your experiences of God and how your image of God has changed over the years, your heroes and role models. Then speak to someone from the various vocations or to someone from the vocation to which you feel called. Listen to your feelings as you interact with the various people.
5. Love God and lean on him: Whether you are discerning married life, religious or priestly vocation, a deacon, or the single life, God wants nothing but your happiness. Ask Him to show you your path in life. Your hunger and longing, when rooted in God’s loving embrace, can lead to choices that reflect God’s will in your life.
Have you ever thought of how God is calling you?
Sr. Rose-Marie Sanche PM