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The process of discernment
How do you hear God’s call in your life? How do you understand what He is saying to you?
Taking concrete action in the process of discerning God’s will for you can be difficult in such a chaotic world. The struggle to understand God’s call is not a new concept, think of the story of Samuel (1 Samuel 3:1-10). He didn’t understand God’s voice on his own, he needed the help of Eli. So the first thing you need to do if you want to understand what God is saying to you is find yourself a good Spiritual Director to be Eli to you.
Progressing step by step on the path of the authentic you… Discernment is a gradual process of coming to know who God is calling you to be. If you are to progress on the journey, you need to be open and honest with your Spiritual Director about your life journey. Prayer is also essential to this. You need to build up a habit of prayer to truly hear taht “still, small voice” of God.
Listen to the Word and arm yourself for battle… We believe Jesus is the Word of God and that the Scriptures are the Word of God. Jesus is the Word! Study the Scriptures to understand him. Both Old and New Testament give us insight to this God who calls us. Also, remember the words of Jesus “Do not be afraid” … you will also need courage for the trails that will come your way distracting you from the goal.
Remember you are not alone… As well as you and your Spiritual Director, the wider Christian community will be there to enocurage and support you. You will often find God’s voice in those around you!
Thy will be done… We pray these words each time we pray the Lord’s Prayer. Now is the time to mean those words! This is about God’s will, not ours. Only in fulfilling God’s will and not grasping at a Vocation can it truly succeed.
Be prepared… If you are going to take up God’s call to a state of life, shouldn’t you understand what that state involves?Look at Church teaching and understand all four states of life (Priesthood, Religious/Consecrated, Married & Single). Forearmed is forewarned!
Examine yourself… Ask yourself questions like ‘What is the most loving choice I can make?’, ‘Which choice will help me be more fully myself?’, ‘What are my skills?’, ‘What do I enjoy doing?’ and ‘Is there any REAL value in persuing x, y, z?’
Stick to the journey… Remember your holiness is at stake! Once you make a decision, stick to it!
Don’t over analyse… It is not your place to over analyse your life. Don’t read into every event or feeling. Your Spiritual Director will help you gain perspective.