Ten Tips for Vocational Discernment

by Therese Ivers, JCL

Happy New Year!  Here’s a list of some discernment tips that I hope will get your creative juices flowing in terms of shaping this years discernment process New Years resolutions…  Since each tip can be the topic of a whole book in and of itself, you are welcome to share your thoughts on them and share stories by going to the forum and commenting.


Our Lady, Pray for Us!

1) Do take the time to get to know all of your vocational options.
2) Starting a religious community?  Do wait until you have a few actual members together before you begin to approach the bishop.
3) Do think of the ways you can grow so as to offer the best possible version of yourself to your potential spouse, diocese, or community.
4) Do you think you’ll be more holy… if you become a sister, a monk, a priest, or get married?  Try sanctifying your daily actions now!
5) Do look at vocations in their nitty gritty aspects long term, not just the wedding day, the profession day, or day of consecration.
6) If you are living alone but regularly leave your home for more than a few hours a week, don’t put in an application to your bishop to become a diocesan hermit.
7) If you believe that the acts proper to the generation of children are sinful, ugly, or horrifying, or for any other (non medical) reason would be unwilling to consummate marriage vows, please do not get engaged or start seriously discerning celibate forms of life.
8) If you are a man, don’t sign up for the seminary for the diocesan priesthood until you have seriously examined religious life as a brother.
9) If you are a female virgin, don’t apply to become a consecrated virgin if you have not for some time lived out the resolution to perpetually remain a virgin regardless of whether you’ll be able to receive the consecration in the future.
10) If you are thinking about religious life, don’t join a community just because your spiritual director likes it or because you see that the brothers/sisters in it are joyful and happy.

(c) 2012 by Therese Ivers, JCL

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