Listening for the call
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." (Antoine de Saint-Exupy, The Little Prince)
The process of searching for God's will and becoming aware of what God is calling me to do, is called discernment. Sometimes the call can lead a person towards priesthood or religious life. It is important to note at the outset that this is not a scientific process leading to mathematical certainty. You can never be 100% sure of what your call is. It is enough to be confident and willing. There may well be a certain anxiety and doubt about the path God has in mind for the individual. There is an element of mystery and grace which we never fully understand. Having said that, there are certain qualities and hints which enable one to set out on that journey.
The process (for one discerning priesthood or religious life) might involve reflection on some or all of the following:
- Listening: to my life - my yearnings, my aptitudes, my gifts, my personality, what gives me life? What am I passionate about? Am I attracted by a life of service and a concern for justice? Am I attracted to a life of prayer and liturgy?
- Motivation: what is my real motivation?
- Are my temperament and aptitudes suited to the type of life I'm thinking about?
- Am I attracted to the spirit and lifestyle of the congregation I'm thinking about?
- Can I live a celibate lifestyle in a community, without the more intimate support of a wife/husband and family?
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference.
Characteristics of a Salesian Vocation
Some characteristics which might show evidence of a Salesian Vocation:
- Ability to live and work in community
- Feel drawn towards working with young people
- A desire to spread the Gospel of Jesus
- Good health and required educational standards
- A sense of humour.
Do you feel interested or attracted by what you have just read?
Would you like to know more about the Salesians?