Discerning God’s Call– a note from Megan Fish
Race for Vocations Participants,
Just about a month until the Race for Vocations! As we celebrate the joy of the Risen Christ we continue to pray in the days and weeks ahead for a greater awareness of vocations and for an increase to the priesthood, religious life, sacred married life, and sacred single life. In this letter let us dive into discerning God’s call. We all have a vocation and call planned by God and an important part of our journey to eternal life is to discover this vocational call. “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you,says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe. Plans to give you a future full of hope” (Jeremiah, 29:11-12).
Discerning God’s Call
As Father Nagel’s training letter mentioned last week, we all have this universal call to holiness, to live lives of charity. We are reminded of this in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
(826) “Charity is the soul of the holiness to which all are called: it governs, shapes, and perfects all the means of sanctification.”
It is through charity and love for God and for one another that we discover our own call in life. Love is at the heart of discernment as building a relationship with Christ and with others who God has placed in our journey is only possible through love and loving rightly. One of the best ways to grow this love for God is to have an active prayer life with God, to have a personal relationship with Christ. To know Christ, to Love Christ… We do this by seeking first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). This places God at the center of our life which allows our hearts to be opened to what God has in store for us.
The path to holiness will look different for each one ofus as God has created each of us uniquely according to His plan. Some may be called to priesthood- to minister and teach the word of God and to administer the graces through the Sacraments. Others may be called to religious life where one lives out their call through chastity, obedience and charity by bringing the light of Christ to the world. Others may be called to sacred married life where Christ pours out special graces to a man and woman as they live a life of love with the goal of getting each other to heaven and raising a family built solidly on the teachings of the Catholic faith. And yet,others may be called to the sacred single life…Whether this is a lifelong call or a time of preparation for marriage, the priesthood, or religious life. Knowing and discovering this path God calls us to, helps us to discover who we are meant to be which is the best version of ourselves and the fullness of life.
Discernment is not a destination or an ending point, but rather a life long journey and race. We are continually growing daily in our discernment and understanding of God’s call in our life. Even if we have discovered our vocation, we grow deeper in this vocational call each and every day as God makes us new again and brings us closer to Him through His love and mercy. The journey of discernment, and of life, requires that we always be steadfast through the good and bad. It requires persistence, discipline, wisdom, courage, patience, and trust. It may not always be an easy journey, but it is a journey that God will always be on with us.
Our Race to Eternal Life is also not meant to be done alone. God places specific people in our lives to help us grow in Love for Him and for each other. We are meant to be witnesses to others we encounter of God’s great love for us and the joy of discernment, of discovering what it is God calls us to. We are meant to share our stories with others to inspire them to share the good news of how God is working in and through our lives.
This week, I challenge you to reflect on the following as you train and pray for vocations:
+ Discernment is about growing our relationship with God. What are some ways you can grow your relationship with Him? Have you placed Him in the center of your life?
+ Do you have a personal relationship with Christ? What does this look like, and how can you invite Him even more fully into your daily life?
+ We are not made to journey through life alone. Who in your life has been an example of discerning God’s call? Who might you be called to journey with on their vocational call?
+ Love is at the heart of discernment. How are you loving rightly in your relationships in daily life and with God?
+ Offer up your training this week for someone close to you who is seeking clarity in their life that they might be given the eyes to see and ears to hear God’s call in their life.
+ Visit Jesus in a Holy Hour of Adoration and particularly pray for an increase in all vocations and ask Christ to give you the wisdom to understand more fully His call for your life.
May we all strive for lives of holiness and to answer eagerly God’s call. May we answer always with a firm “Yes” with trust in God’s plan for our life that will lead to the fullness of joy.
Pope Francis, pray for us!
St. John the Evangelist, Parishioner