Images of discernment: what's missing?

By Amy Taylor, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration on Thursday, January 17th 2019


Discernment ... can sometimes be inspired by reflecting on what is absent



Image courtesy pixabay

Have you ever been flipping through a magazine and come across a “spot the difference” image puzzle — two photos that appear to be identical yet contain slight dissimilarities for you to find? Perhaps a chain in the first picture is missing a link in the second image, which, if you thought about it before moving on in the puzzle, would make the metal implement less structurally sound, less effective.

What if the missing piece to the puzzle — the lost link in the chain — is you? The support and the strengths and the gifts that only you can give? Discerning what is next in your life can sometimes be inspired by reflecting on what is absent. You may have a fulfilling job and comfortable home; a car in the garage and loving friends and family by your side, but also a nagging feeling that something to make you more complete is missing.

Sometimes, choosing to volunteer and reach out beyond your comfort zone can help you identify an absence in your life and also spark new insight to the greater needs in your community. Who are the people lined up outside of the brick building you pass every night on your commute home? What is human trafficking and why is there a billboard bringing awareness to it in my city? 

What is lacking in these images depicting such great human need?

Are you discerning a call to service beyond volunteering  — perhaps religious life? 

Are you that missing link? 

Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link,, and join the conversation. And, stay tuned to Show me a sign for new videos in the FSPA discernment series!

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