Discernment Resources

How will you know if a vocation to religious life is a call for you?

Sisters in Mary of the Angels Chapel

Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for openness and courage to follow your inspirations, to be free from undue influence and fear of change. Pray for the wisdom to seek and know the way that will best enhance your own gifts and talents and use them to serve God and the church. Identify your greatest fears and what you want to hold onto most.

Look at your own history and feelings surrounding your past expectations. Gather facts. Consider the pros and cons, losses and gains in the situation. Share your findings and get feedback from a friend, advisor, or spiritual director. Ask yourself why this would be good for you, and explore good reasons for or against your choice.

As you make a decision, take care to ensure it is life-giving to you, so that it can be life-giving to the world. It may not always be the easiest choice, but there will be some confirmation in the form of God's peace. When it comes, you may feel it unmistakably or just have a quiet sense that the choice is right. The correct choice should bring you peace and should be in harmony with your gifts and personality.

Seven Discernment Guideposts

1. Listen to God in your life.
2. Know your heart's desire.
3. Pray for freedom and guidance.
4. Search out data.
5. Talk with someone you trust.
6. Make a decision.
7. Experience peace with that decision.

Recommended Viewing

Show me a sign, featuring several Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

Recommended Reading

Show me a sign: discernment tools published by FSPA, follow the Blog and Newsletter 

Sustaining the Spirit: Callings, Commitments, and Vocational Challenges, Catherine Cronin Carotta, Michael Carotta

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, Parker J. Palmer

Discern: Mission and Ministry, Kathleen Bryant, RSC

Vocation, A Reflection, Fr. Franco Cagnasso

The Discerning Heart: Discovering a Personal God, Maureen Conroy, RSM

Discernment: Seeking God in Every Situation, Christopher Aridas

Paying Attention to God, Fr. William A. Barry, SJ

Called What Happens After Saying Yes to God, Casey Cole, OFM

Related Sites

Catholics on Call
Franciscan Federation
Religious Ministries Online Guide
Facebook: The Vocation Discerners 
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