Discerning one’s vocation is not just about making good choices, like what to wear today, what to name a pet fish, or what to study in college. Discernment is about developing a relationship with God so that we can come to:
- —see our life as God sees it, and
- —desire for our life what God wants for us.
Discernment helps us become more attentive to what’s going on in our daily life, to our deeper desires and hopes, as well as our reactions or responses to the world around us. Our unique gifts and personalities, our own distinctive personal histories and backgrounds shape the way we see the world and what we can offer it. God doesn’t call us to become someone we are not. Instead God lovingly calls us to be the best version of ourselves, living our giftedness in the world in the same way that Jesus did.
Discerning our vocation, then, means discovering how God invites us to live out the gift of who we are in the world. Another way of looking at it is to ask: How might God be calling us to put ourselves, with all our uniqueness and giftedness, at the service of others?
Our relationship with God is the context of our discernment, or the foundation of our vocation. So, as we begin discerning, it’s important to be living a full Christian life.
How can we do this?
- • We embrace our own life and the lives of others as beautiful gifts of God, taking the time to mediate on the giftedness of our lives and focusing on gratitude in our prayer.
- • We grow in our relationship with Jesus and his Church through prayer and the sacraments. We take time to pray every day, especially praying with the Word of God. We participate fully at Mass at least weekly, and we seek to imitate Jesus more closely in our daily life, living in daily conversion and going regularly to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
- • We live as disciples of Christ by growing in our knowledge and love of the Catholic faith, and our desire to share our faith with others through the New Evangelization. We study our faith and seek to live it by serving in our parish or in another ministry that appeals to us.
When we are living a full Christian life, it is easier for us to recognize God’s invitation for our lives.