DISCERNING YOUR CALL


Discovering Your Vocation

What is Discernment?

 

At any age of your life, you may feel a call toward a particular state in life: Priesthood, Religious Life, Married Life, or Single Life.  In fact, most people experience a desire for different states in life–often at the same time.

The word “discern” means “to sift” or “to filter.” When we discern, we filter out what is less important so that we can clearly hear what is most important. In this case, we must filter out what is not of God so that we can hear Him clearly.  The task of discernment is to identify what we hear or experience, make a judgment about its origin, and then choose the best path. Discernment is meant to prepare us for decision.

 

The Four Voices

 

There are four voices that are constantly competing for our attention: the voice of the world, the voice of our own will, the voice of the Evil One, and the voice of Our Father. It is difficult to ascertain, because not all things are evil in and of themselves. The esssential point of discernment is to identify what is best, not merely what is possible.

The Voice of Our Father

God loves us, and has created us to be perfectly happy with Him. He continually guides us, inviting us to trust in His mercy and His power. Being a good Father, He rarely shouts. In fact, He often whispers, in such a way that silence is essential to hear Him and respond,

The Voice of Our Own Will

Each person has desires, hopes, dreams, passions, and vices which at times inspire us to grandeur, and at other times to misery. In the sanctuary of our minds and hearts, there is a great drama which is being played out each and every day.

The Voice of the World

Many things clamor for our attention each day. The constant barrage of information from websites and television; pressures from work, family and school; worries about money; the lure of social media–all of these things fill our attention each day, making it difficult to shut our minds down even for a short time.

The Voice of the Evil One

St. Ignatius calls Satan, “The enemy of our human nature.” The Evil One, jealous of Our Father’s love for us, continually entices us with to look away from our supreme good and choose to follow a less glorious path–a path that will lead us to sin, darkness, anger, and despair. In the cacophony of voices, he is always present seeking to harm us and Our Father.

The Importance of Prayer

 

This is why prayer is so important. Before making a choice in your vocation we must take a moment to seriously asses our relationship with the Lord. A solid Christian life requires: prayer, hard work, generosity, and sacrifice. These are the keys to hearing God’s call more clearly.

These qualities begin many years earlier while living at home with the family. Christ calls us to be holy, to be conformed more closely to His image and likeness. Growth in holiness is a continuous development, nurtured by the Sacraments, personal prayer and spiritual reading. In the words of Saint John Paul II:

“The call to holiness is a universal call, valid for all human beings without distinction of age, profession, race or language. Just as all are redeemed, so all are called. The vocation to holiness means putting into practice, in one’s own daily life, the example and teachings of Jesus Christ.”

From Holy Scripture we read: “It is God’s will that you grow in holiness; that you abstain from immorality…” (1 Thessalonians 4:3) And again: “In a word, you must be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48). The general call to holiness is made concrete and lived in one’s particular state in life: Diocesan PriesthoodReligious LifeMarried Life, or Single Life.

Explore these states below.

Diocesan Priesthood

Diocesan priests are called to act in the person of Christ throughout the Diocese, preaching, teaching, and celebrating the sacraments. They baptize children and adults, visit the sick and imprisoned, bury the dead, teach the faith, celebrate weddings, forgive sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and celebrate Mass.

Holy Matrimony

The state of life to which most people are called is the married life. In Holy Matrimony, the natural human love between a man and a woman is taken up into God’s own love. Husband and wife love each other with the love of God Himself, and receive the strength to guide each other and their children to a life of holiness.

Religious Life

Some men and women experience a deep desire to follow Christ more closely, with a distinctive spirituality and form of service. These consecrate their lives to Jesus through vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in a particular religious family, such as Dominicans, Benedictines, Franciscans,  or Carmelites.

The Single Life

Similar to those who live the Religious Life, those called to the single life share in the mission of the Church through a life of joyful friendship in this world. By their manner of life, they are living signs of the new world which has already begun.

Diocesan Priesthood

Diocesan priests are called to act in the person of Christ throughout the Diocese, preaching, teaching, and celebrating the sacraments. They baptize children and adults, visit the sick and imprisoned, bury the dead, teach the faith, celebrate weddings, forgive sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and celebrate Mass.

Holy Matrimony

The state of life to which most people are called is the married life. In Holy Matrimony, the natural human love between a man and a woman is taken up into God’s own love. Husband and wife love each other with the love of God Himself, and receive the strength to guide each other and their children to a life of holiness.

Religious Life

Some men and women experience a deep desire to follow Christ more closely, with a distinctive spirituality and form of service. These consecrate their lives to Jesus through vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in a particular religious family, such as Dominicans, Benedictines, Franciscans,  or Carmelites.

The Single Life

Similar to those who live the Religious Life, those called to the single life share in the mission of the Church through a life of joyful friendship in this world. By their manner of life, they are living signs of the new world which has already begun.

Contact

Office of Vocations
Catholic Diocese of Spokane

1023 W Riverside Avenue
Spokane, WA 99201 

Mailing Address :
429 E. Sharp Ave.
Spokane, WA  99202

 
Rev. Daniel Barnett
Director of Vocations

(509) 313-7100

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