Cloistered Dominican Nuns Corpus Christi Monastery

Called by God? Me?! Eight Steps To Know Your Vocation (Part I)

Religious Consecration- Purpose quote from Thomas Aquinas REVISED (SMI Vow Renewal IMG_2796)

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

Consecrated life… Marriage… Ordained life… What comes to mind with these words? Excitement? Romance? Confusion? All vocations start with an invitation by God, rooted in our baptism, to grow in holiness in a particular way of life and to live the mission of the Church – that is, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus to others. All vocations. Your vocation is a gift from God that when fully embraced enables you to become perfect in charity, which is union with Him! Imagine, union with the Holy Trinity! That is the life God wants us to have, for all eternity, and your vocation is His plan for you that leads to Him.

Perhaps you feel apprehensive or think, “I could never be drawn to a life of … I’m not the right type of person!” Yet, because our vocation starts with God, our choice is really whether to accept God’s invitation or not – do we cooperate with His grace, or don’t we? God chooses first! And, in fact, His choice is often quite opposite from what we would think it should be. “My ways are not your ways, and my thoughts are not your thoughts,” He reminds us through the prophet Isaiah.

So, how does a person know whether God is calling him/her to consecrated life or another vocation, such as marriage (or, in the case of men, ordination)? It’s not as complicated as you might think.

Step One. Pray daily to God to make His will known to you as to which state of life you should embrace and to give you the strength to do it once you’ve learned it. He has offered you the gift and wants you to be able to accept it. Pray also to Mary, our Blessed Mother. Jesus and Mary will not refuse to answer your prayer, when it is prayed with humility, trust, and perseverance.

Step Two. Spend time with Jesus and Mary through frequent reception of the sacraments, adoration of the Blessed Eucharist, and praying the Rosary. The more you spend time with Jesus and Mary, the more your relationship with them will grow and you can more easily hear the voice of God through the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

(To be continued…)

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 at Vocations@nunsmenlo.org to register for our upcoming “Come-and-See” Day. We still have 2 spots available for the July 11th discernment day so do not delay!

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