“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” – John 15:16
Finding your vocation is quite different to choosing a career or selecting a course at college. The process of discovering your vocation in life is called “discernment”. Discernment is faith-based decision making under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. For most people, the process of discerning their vocation takes several months and, often, years.
True discernment takes place in an atmosphere of prayer over a period of time.
“A soul receives much light and knowledge by means of the interior consolation it experiences, as well as through the discernment of spirits.” St. Ignatius.
Always remember that throughout your period of discernment that you are seeking to understand God’s will for your life. You are trying to discover how your talents and gifts can be used to serve God and others.
Here are some practical tips for discernment:
Firstly, get into the habit of praying daily. Try to establish a period in the day when you can find silence. Be still and become aware of the presence of God. An ideal way to do this is to attend Mass daily.
Try this discernment exercise:
Having established a routine of daily prayer imagine that you have decided to enter religious life. Imagine that this is your final decision. Live with that for a few weeks. What feelings do you experience when you do this? It often helps to write down or “journal” your emotions. This simply involves keeping a diary where you record your feelings.
Now, even if, after this, you have decided that you do not want to enter religious life, do the following- imagine that you have made a decision not to enter religious life. Live with this decision for some time. What feelings do you experience now? Compare this experience with the other. Which decision gives you the greatest sense of peace? This is a useful guide to where your vocation may lie.
If you are interested in the life of the Presentation Brothers, then the following process can begin…..stages of formation.