Saturday, January 10, 2009

COME, FOLLOW ME...


If one is serious about discerning a religious vocation, he/she should first find a knowledgable, holy and experienced spiritual director to help guide them and make sure they are going regularly to Mass (daily if possible), pray the Rosary, frequent and regular Confession, and a daily prayer life centered in the True Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist. If our Vocation is from HIM... we need to spend as much time before HIM who calls us. Secondly, one should begin discerning the way of life to which one is called. Am I called to an active life or contemplative? Monastic community or one that is more apostolic in action? Also, take a look at the relgious societies that Our Lord has already put you in contact with in your life. God places them in your life for a reason, even if you may not be called to this specific religious society. I look at discerning relgious communities like "dating" or wanting to dance with a particular person. One sits at one side of the gym and begins looking at the other side... look at what's out there... what are the possibilities? Then, narrow your vision to the ones that either you are drawn towards or that you believe God is drawing you towards. Then, narrow this list down. Then once you have about 3 or so... go to visit them. Spend time with them. A "Come and See" weekend is a great way to do just that. Make the effort to find out what they are about, their way of life, and give them an opportunity to get to know you. From these visits and asking questions, you will begin to realize which society you are actually called towards and which one you are not. Again, remain open with your spiritual director. If you are certain then you dive into the deep. If you still aren't sure, I would recommned doing some volunteer work with them for a year or so. One can always sit on the side and wonder "if this is the one for me"? But you will never find out unless YOU actually make the effort to go to the other side and ask them to dance. To get to know them and let them know you. Then you will find out if this is "the one" for you. The same principle can be applied to discerning a religious society and charism.

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