Six Ways to Discern
As you draw close to Jesus, his voice becomes louder. In other words, focusing on your primary vocation of holiness is the surest path to discovering your secondary vocation–as priest, brother, or husband.
Here are some tried-and-true ways to discover God’s will:
1. PRAYER. Prayer is a conversation with God—not just saying prayers, but speaking to the Lord from your heart. Every day, read the Bible and talk with Jesus as if He were your best friend. Ask Him to reveal His plan for you: “Jesus, I want to want what You want. Here I am Lord; I come to do Your will.” Trust completely that God has a plan for you.
2. SACRAMENTS. The soul is the window through which we can see God and hear His voice. If the window is dirty because of sin, it must be cleaned through Confession so we can be in union with God. When you receive Communion, ask Jesus to show you your vocation.
3. GOOD INFORMATION. It is impossible to discover your vocation without good information. What does it mean to have a holy Christian marriage? What do priests do? What is it like to be a religious sister or brother? Find good information, then take what you have learned back to prayer.
4. THE BLESSED MOTHER. Mary is the ultimate example of openness to the will of God. Are you open to God’s will for you? Pray three Hail Marys every day, specifically to know your vocation and have the courage to follow it.
5. GO ON RETREAT. Miracles happen on retreats! One of the surest ways to discover God’s plan for you is to enter into silence and prayer over an extended period. Ask your Vocation Director to help you find a good retreat. In addition, set up a time to visit the seminary.
6. GET ADVICE. Don’t try to discern your vocation alone, without the help of the Church. Talk to a sister, priest, or deacon you trust.
When the time comes, you must act! Move in the direction your heart tells you, confident that God will never send you where His grace cannot sustain you!