Monday, March 11, 2013

Discerning a State in Life

Are you discerning the direction you want to take in life?  Are you wanting God to show you what He is asking of you?  Broadly speaking, in any state in life, God asks you to “act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6: 8).  But how do you go about discerning to which State in Life God is calling you.

Sister Clare Wagner, OP, identifies four key points connected to discerning one’s state in life:

1.      Listening to God’s purpose

2.     Listening to your heart

3.     Listening to the data available and

4.     Listening to the decision being made in you  (emphasis is mine)

(Source: “Make a difference! A guide for life choice,” National Religious Vocation Conference, 1995)

 I will develop each one of these over the next four discernment blogs.

“Listening to God’s purpose”:  From the quote from Micah, it is obvious that God desires justice toward the oppressed, the orphaned, the widowed, those  who are treated with disdain, the “have nots” of society, the marginalized, against whom society discriminates. His purpose is that all people are set free from bondage of any kind and that hungers for righteousness are addressed.  Love is to triumph over hatred in every segment of society.  No one is to be excluded from one’s love.

If I am “acting justly, loving tenderly and walking humbly with my God”, if I am following Jesus’ way, then, truly, I am making a difference in the world as did Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi and, yes, the Foundress of my own religious community, Mother Frances Streitel.  Do you want to make a difference in the world as did these men and women?  Do you want to make Jesus’ mission to the poor, the sick and the outcasts of society your own mission? Do you want to participate in the mission of Jesus to bring fuller life to others by revealing God’s love for all, especially the poor (Mission Statement of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, 2013)?

Do you see yourself abandoning all to serve the poor and the needy of this world---needy in any area of their lives—and giving your all to bring fullness of life to yourself and others,  excluding no one from experiencing God’s love through you?

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