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Published by paulines1915, 2020-06-24 05:33:33

Discerning your Vocation

How to discern your vocation

Keywords: Vocation,Discernment,Call,Daughters of St Paul,Paulines Africa

1

How to Discern Your Vocation

VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT

VOCATION: WHO AM I?

Awareness of God at Work in Me.

God is patiently working in me (He is still helping me to discover
my vocation).

We are called to love and serve God in, with and through
the people around us. We respond to our vocation in communion
with other persons. No man or woman is an island, we come to
this world and journey throughout our life in the presence of other
persons. Similarly, when we speak of our vocation, we think of it in
connection with other persons and events of our life. Today we will
think of vocation as a call and a gift to live and work in communion
with God, the source of our vocation, and in relation to the people
around us.

There are three basic questions we con- We are called
stantly ask in life and that may help us to to love and serve
discover our vocation. Who am I? Where God in, with and
have I come from? Where am I going? through the people
Maybe in answering these questions we
will understand better the meaning and around us.
the implication of the concept and the re-
ality of vocation.

Gen. 1:26 –31: Who am I?

I am a person, a being created in the image and likeness of God. A
being endowed with a gift, with a vocation, with a call. A being that
is wonderfully created – God looked at everything that he created,
including you and me and saw that it was good. In Genesis 1, we
see God calling the things in the universe into existence. God giving
life to the universe. We can therefore say that you and me have a
vocation or a call to life. Everyone in this world has this call.

2

How to Discern Your Vocation

The Call to life is a universal be saved.
call. In this context we are called
to promote, to protect and safe- How do we live this call to ho-
guard life. You are responsible liness? Where do we find holi-
for your friend who wants to ness?
make an abortion, you have a
call to defend life. Holiness is doing the will of

How does God want us to God. We find holiness in doing
live this call to life?
God’s will. Our holiness comes
In a state of holiness. “I the
Lord am holy. You shall be holy from Christ. We say that holi-
because I am holy” (Lev. 11:44-
45). “Sanctify yourselves then ness is a participation in Christ’s
and be holy, for I the Lord your
God, am holy” (Lev. 20:7). “Be mission. We become holy to
perfect as your Heavenly Father
his perfect“ (Mt. 5: 48). the degree that we participate

God calls us to a life of perfec- in Christ’s mission. What was
tion, a life of communion with
Him. Why did God create us? (A the mission of Christ? Preaching
common question in catechesis)
– to know him, to love him, to the Kingdom of God/the Good
serve him and to be in commu-
nion with him fully in the eter- News,
nal life. We come from God, we
are with God, we are journeying forgiv-
towards God and we shall finally
be with God. Jesus yesterday, to- ing sins,
day and tomorrow. Jesus came,
he comes and he will come free- God calls us to
again in glory. We are saved, we
continue to be saved and we will ing the a life of perfection,

captives, a life of communion

healing with Him.

the sick,

raising

the dead,

showing mercy to the needy,

showing love to the homeless,

the lonely and the despised. So

if we want to become holy we

will do well to settle the dis-

putes and controversies that

arise among us. We will respect

each other’s property, respect

each other’s dignity, respect our

3

How to Discern Your Vocation

own bodies (keep them spir- often the sacrament of Reconcil-
itually and emotionally pure/ iation, Eucharist, etc.
clean).
Emotionally – We will do all
Physically – Maintaining good we can to control our inordi-
health, being tidy in body and nate feelings and desires such
clothing, being modest in cloth- as laziness, envy, anger, fear,
ing. NB. We do not always have sexual drives, etc. These are
to wear expensive clothes in or- things that we always carry with
der to be neat. All we need is a us and they cannot stop us from
bit of water, soap, a comb and a becoming holy as long as we
little oil/lotion. With these, those learn how to handle them in a
who are at school will save us a constructive way.
bit of time to study, a little pock-
et money. At the same time one Holiness is a constant remind-
may resolve some of the crisis
that may arise from desires to er to each one of us of our lim-
dress elegantly or to have our
hair styled like so and so. We itations
also lessen the temptation to go
out to look for money in immod- and sins,
erate ways, e.g., cheating, com-
mercial sex, stealing, etc. In this and a Holiness
way we save ourselves a little call to is the source and
money which we would use for conver-
charitable works if we wish. Oth- sion. the destiny of
er ways of respecting our bodies Holiness our life.
at the physical level may include
good diet, rest, physical exercise enables
and work.
us to
Spiritually – Taking care of our
relationship with God. We will admit
mind living our baptismal prom-
ises, rejecting Satan and all his that we are sinners and that we
glorious evil plans. We will do all
we can to mature in faith, receive have often been sinners be-

cause of our hardness of heart.

It reminds us of our need for

God. Holiness is the source and

the destiny of our life. All that

differs is the way, in which we

live and fulfil it. It is here that

we speak of specific calls: Call to

a religious consecrated life, to

marriage life and to single life.

4

How to Discern Your Vocation

CALL TO A RELIGIOUS CONSECRATED LIFE

To consecrate means to set apart for sacred use, set apart for God.
Consecration is a total self-giving to God and to others. This total
self-giving is expressed in two ways – dedication to God and to oth-
ers. Dedication to others is expressed in the apostolate or mission.
Religious call is a call to serve God freely in his people, with his
people and through his people. “Whatever you do to the least of
my brethren, that is what you do to me” (Mt. 25:45). “We cannot
love God whom we cannot see if we are not able to love the
brother or the sister that we see” (Jas. 4:21).

Religious life is a way of following Christ, imitating his life of
poverty, chastity and obedience. Religious life is open to men
and women ready to live the three vows in community life.

Vows are promises that a consecrated person makes and they
express in a concrete way different kinds of self–offering and de-
mands that the consecrated life asks of the one vowing.

Some points to note who can sort this out, say what
all this means. I will do that rath-
A vocation is an act of love for er than make a decision now.
God; it therefore takes a volun-
tary act of love to follow it and So I am at peace …. I want, Lord
correspond to it. Vocations have to do whatever is for your glory,
to be modelled on Jesus Christ, whatever is best for the good of
who said to the Father: “Here my soul. I want to make a choice
I am, O God, to do your will” that, long years from now, when I
(Blessed James Alberione found- am dying and ready to face God,
er of the Paulin Family). I will know was the right choice.

Am I at peace? Or am I up one As I stand before God, as I look
moment and down the next? Am towards Christ my Lord, is it per-
I tossed about by all kinds of up- haps absolutely clear what my
lifting or depressing feelings? If I choice should be?
am, I need to talk with someone
Is the judgement so clear that
there is no question about it?

5

How to Discern Your Vocation

Does this bring me peace? again for each alternative, pros
and cons.
When I consider the alterna-
tive, does that bring me peace Is your choice clearer now? Are
as well, or does it bother me? If you satisfied? Make your choice.
there is any question about the Does it bring you peace? Offer
right choice, I will move on to it to the Lord, and thank him
the following. for his help. You will need his
guidance in carrying it out. You
I will take a sheet of paper and should certainly talk with your
write one alternative at the top spiritual director about your
(for example, I might write: To choice. Ask for his or her judge-
be a religious sister) and put two ment. If you are satisfied, let the
columns below, one for the pros Lord continue to guide you with
and one for the cons. Then I will this person’s help.
list one by one, all the pros I can
think of in one column and all If you have not been able to
the cons that come to my mind choose, or if you are troubled,
in the other. I will do the same on talk with your spiritual director.
another sheet of paper for the Continue to pray for God’s help.
other alternatives; to be a single Do not give up. This is an import-
woman or a married woman. ant choice and God will certainly
help you to make it correctly. Be
Then compare the different patient!
columns and sheets; ask the
Lord to continue to guide you. Is (Adapted from; Discovering Your
your choice becoming clear? Is it Vocation. By Theodore W. Walters
perhaps so clear that you cannot SJ)
honestly deny it? If that is not
the case, ask for light from the
Spirit and look over the reasons

You have to always
remember that the Starting Point

of the Journey is the Home.

6

How to Discern Your Vocation

What do you need to do car, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria,
South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda,
when you make a choice to Zambia and South-Sudan.

become a religious sister? The Daughters of St Paul go ev-
erywhere from one country to an-
You need to know about dif- other, making Christ known and
ferent congregations; locally loved as St Paul did. They run book
founded (within your country and media centres, organize book
and in your diocese) or interna- and audiovisual exhibitions in par-
tional (working in different parts ishes and schools, and also partic-
of the world). ipate in national and international
book fairs. They as well train people
When you choose a congre- in the field of media studies.
gation, like the Daughters of St
Paul, there are key things you The Spirituality of the Daughters
have to understand; (specific for
the Daughters of St Paul). of St Paul (Prayer Life)

Who are the Daughters of St Our prayer life is centred on
the Word of God and on the
Paul? Eucharist. In prayer, we learn
from Jesus who is our Master,
Mission and Apostolate (the Way, Truth and life. In him we
work that the Daughters of St receive support and strength
Paul carryout in the Church) and to live generously our vocation
where they are found. and Mission, always open to the
needs of people. Every day we
The Mission of the Daughters of encounter Jesus in the medita-
St Paul is to spread the Gospel us- tion of the scriptures, Mass and
ing the means of social communi- the hour of adoration. We have
cation and all the means that mod- three principle devotions:
ern technology of communication
invents. Their boundaries are the Jesus Master our Way, Truth
boundaries of the world. At the mo- and Life,
ment they are present in 54 differ-
ent countries across the World. Mary whom we honour as
Queen of the Apostles,
In Africa the Daughters of St Paul
are present in fourteen countries, St. Paul the Apostle who is our
namely: Angola, D.R. Congo, Gha- patron and protector.
na, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagas-
7

How to Discern Your Vocation

Community Life. Our Formation programme
consists of:
We live in international com-
munities where sisters from Pre-Postulancy
different ethnic backgrounds,
cultures, nationalities and rac- Postulancy
es share the same vocation and
mission. Novitiate

We help each other to grow in Juniorate, which is a prepara-
faith and love as we share our tion for the final profession.
gifts and talents for the good of
the community. Thus in commu- We help the young women in
nity we gain strength, support their vocational discernment by
and encouragement for our mis- correspondence, giving them
sion. retreats and Come and See pro-
grammes. These are opportuni-
Formation (stages that one has ties to help them discover and
to go through in preparation become more aware of their vo-
to become a sister among the cation.
Daughters of St Paul)

How does one know that she has a vocation

God makes a call but does not whisper into our ears. He probably will not
speak to us through dreams or visionary.
He calls us in a variety of ways. If one thinks that she has a vocation to
religious life she should ask herself a set of questions:
Do I feel sometimes I want to work for God and help other
people?
Do I feel happy when I think of becoming a Sister?
Do I have love for God in my heart?
Do I like prayer?
Do I pray and have that desire to be with the Lord?
Am I trying to live a good Catholic/Christian life?
Do I enjoy helping people generously and without expecting
payments?
Do I admire people who are good and wish I could be like them?

8

How to Discern Your Vocation

Am I prepared to chose a poor, obedient and celibate life?
If the answer to most of these questions is YES then go ahead with
your motivation of wanting to become a sister.
• Then you are required to:
• Be baptized, confirmed and seriously living your Christian
life;
• Complete the secondary level of education and attain a
grade that can take you to university in your respective country;
• Be a person of sufficient good health;
• Be able to live with members of different ethnic groups;
• Be free and willing to embrace a celibate life;
• Be sociable and enthusiastic:
• Have the knowledge of your personal gifts:
• Love the mission of the congregation of the Daughters of St
Paul;
• Be docile to be guided and helped by a sister who has more
experience in life.

For Personal Reflection
Call of Jeremiah Jer.1: 4-19
Call of Moses Ex.3:1-6
Call of Abraham Gen, 12:1-20
Call of the First Disciples Mk 1:16-20
Call of Levi Mk 2:13-14
The mission of the twelve Lk 9:1-6
Condition of following Christ Lk 9:23-26
Rich young man Mk 10:17-23

9


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