Archbishop's Appeal 2015
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Hear the Spirit Calling
There are many terms which are used when speaking of vocations to priesthood or religious life: “Hear the Call,” “God is calling,” The Spirit is calling,” are just a few. But how does one “hear" in a world that is wired for sound. Many men and women of the bible were called by God not by a loud voice, but in the stillness of their heart. Hearing God’s voice in the midst of many other voices and the business of everyday life can be a challenge. It is always our hope at the vocation office to help men and women who feel called, to guide them in the direction that will lead to a place of stillness where they can hear the whisper of God’s call in their life: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
How then, does one begin to be still? The best place to begin discerning God’s call is always with sincere prayer. Taking time for prayer and being still and quiet before the Lord is a start in the right direction. Also sharing your discernment with others: pastor, youth minister, deacon, parents, friends, or another religious sister or brother etc. It is a good way of showing others that you are sincere about your vocation.
For many men and women discerning a call to priesthood or religious life is a journey that can have some uncertainty, fear or doubt: that is why the journey is not one you take alone. It is a journey that is taken with others. God assures us that we are never alone. He is always faithful to place people in our life that will help and guide us so that we might hear his voice more distinctly.
As you discern your call to priesthood or religious life you might still have the question or desire to be a husband and a father; however, it does not mean you shouldn’t continue considering your call to a life of priesthood. It is those very questions that a vocation director or spiritual director can help you with.
The Lord always calls men and women who have those human desires and gifts to serve him in his Church. It is God’s grace (with the guidance of others), which will help bring to focus your gifts and desires to be confirmed to his will. God is calling willing men and women to be spiritual fathers and mothers to nurture his church family.
Those whom God calls come from many different experiences, personalities, careers and backgrounds. Men such as the prophets: Jeremiah & Isaiah, the apostles Peter & Paul, and saints like St. Francis of Assisi & St. Claire were men and women from different backgrounds. Some were fishermen, some scholars, some noblemen & women, and others commoners.
Today God continues to call men and women of courage & generosity to serve him and his church. Growth in discernment: is such an important part of any vocation journey and God will lead those he is calling towards a great adventure with him.
So once you have shared your desire to discern God’s call further: your next step is the Vocation Office.
The Vocation Director will meet and talk with you and will guide you, and determine with you God’s call in your life.
So is God calling you? Be encouraged and steadfast to respond to his call; for every gift and talent God has given you will be used for his glory.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will bring it to pass” (Psalm 37 4-5).