Cloistered Dominican Nuns Corpus Christi Monastery

Called by God? Me?! Eight Steps To Know Your Vocation (Part 2 of 3)

002 Step 3 - Practicing Virtue IMG_0408
Here’s the second post in this series!  If you missed the first one, you can find it here.  
Check back for our third and final installment in this series – it will be posted soon!

I pray that the Lord may enlighten you concerning His most holy will.  If He allows you to hear His voice, do not block the ears of your heart, but follow the insights and the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, in spite of the reluctance of nature.  Tell yourself very seriously: What would I wish I had done at the hour of my death, on the day of my judgment?  Right now, do what you need to do so that later you will have accomplished it.  It is a question of a happy or an unhappy eternity…

Do not delay too long, and do not be stingy concerning your soul.

-Bl. Hyacinthe-Marie Cormier, O.P., in a letter to a postulant

Step Three.  Avoid sin and grow in virtue.  Become the person God wants you to be, and the kind of person you would want to marry or live with in community.  Also, sin keeps us from fully receiving God’s grace, just as grease and grime clogs water pipes, and mortal sin cuts us off completely.  But we need to do more than sweep our house clean of sin – we need to practice the virtues.  The two sides of this single coin prepare us to hear and receive God’s word to us and, once we know His will, do it promptly, completely and joyfully.

Step Four.  Consult a spiritual director (or another wise, prudent person).  Sometimes we need another person to help us reflect on our motives for a particular vocation, our own disposition and current state, etc.  Yet, many of us find our friends and family have strong feelings about our vocation and, though usually they have good intentions, may try to influence (or even coerce) us one way or another according to their desires.  Make sure the person you consult is a well-informed and prudent person who is especially disinterested – that he or she desires only God’s will for your life and does not try to introduce their own opinions, tendencies or ideas about the Providence of God.  It is up to God to call a person to a particular vocation.  It is the director’s role to help the person discern that call.  It is the person’s obligation to respond to the gift of vocation generously, once she has learned it.

Step Five.  Consider and pray to God about the reasons you feel drawn to one particular vocation or another.  For example, if you are drawn to religious life, do you think about entering so you can:

•    devote yourself to following Christ with your whole heart?
•    share God’s love with others in a more perfect and complete way?
•    follow more freely Jesus and His counsels?
•    persevere in following Christ wholeheartedly until death?
•    devote yourself to prayer with greater fervor?
•    practice certain special virtues which delight you?
•    give witness to Jesus and glorify God and a greater love than what this world offers?
•    work for the salvation of souls?

Want to learn more about how to discover the gifts God has given you and about cloistered, contemplative life as a Dominican nun?  Contact Sr. Joseph Marie to register for our upcoming “Come-and-See” Day.  The deadline to register is fast-approaching!

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