Is God Calling?
Learn to Discern
The following article offers practical solutions to finding God's will concerning a vocation in one's life. Determining God's Call for Your Life
The quest for discovering God's call for your life should be paramount. Nothing is more important. There can be no doubt that a person's earthly fulfillment and ultimate happiness greatly depend on properly discerning God's will, especially in terms of the particular vocation a man or woman may choose. Your God-given Vocation
Deciding upon one's specific state in life is not the same as merely choosing a career or picking a profession. While they may be closely connected, discerning your God-given vocation will greatly influence your response to the Christian call to holiness and it could even affect your eternal salvation. Without a doubt, all that Almighty God requires of us is the faithful observance of His Commandments. And strictly speaking, it is possible for a believer to be saved under every circumstance and in every situation, since sufficient grace to keep God's Commandments will never be denied a person. Yet a Christian who turns a deaf ear to the specific call of the Lord may expose himself or herself to eternal ruin-or to say the least, runs the risk of never reaching the heights of spiritual perfection, unless he or she embraces the grace of one's particular calling in life. Seeking Divine Guidance
It is important to remember that discovering one's vocation is a supernatural work, and is impossible without the help of Divine grace. This being the case, it is absolutely necessary to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, to enlighten our minds and to touch our souls. With regard to our own personal activity on the matter, we must be careful to fully cooperate with the prompting of the Holy Spirit. To do so, it may be most beneficial to discern your call in life by employing time-tested and proven steps of vocational discernment. St. Ignatius of Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises originally proposed this simple three-step method. It has been adapted and updated to meet the needs of young people today. The Method of Discernment
A young person about to embark upon a career faces endless choices and challenges. The many opportunities for education or training can at times cloud one's ability to determine what particular vocation or state in life God is calling you to follow. Is it to be married and raise a family? Perhaps the Lord wishes you to be a priest or religious? Does God want you to be a missionary or possibly to serve Him as a cloistered nun or monk? Is He inviting you to be a leaven in society as a member of a secular institute or perhaps as part of a society of apostolic life? Does being a hermit or consecrated virgin for the Lord attract you? Whatever the call, rest assured that if you are truly open to God's will in your life, the Almighty will manifest His desire in regards to your particular vocation. Either your calling will be made known in some altogether unusual manner, or else with extraordinary clarity as expressed in some ordinary ways of His Providence. To Know With Certainty
For whatever reason, perhaps known only to God, should He not make known your call in either of these ways, you can draw upon your intellect and heart. These gifts from God will assist you to determine properly the path in life to follow. In this way you can know with certainty how best to serve the Lord and lead many others, including yourself, into a deeper, more intimate relationship with God. This is your Divine destiny. St. Ignatius was given special spiritual gifts to share with others, including the ability to shed light on discerning one's vocation. In his Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius identifies three specific situations, which he calls "times" or circumstances favoring a good choice. His doctrine is as follows: I. "First Time": A Miraculous Vocation...