Discernment: Yesterday we looked at the first of four ways-- “availability and openness, desire, proper motivation and general disposition”--by which a person would know whether or not he/she is being called to religious life and/or priesthood, as suggested in a pamphlet entitled “How will I know? Discerning the call to religious life,” published by the priests of the Sacred Heart, Hales Corners, WI, 2000. Today we will look at the second of those four ways, namely, “desire.”
“What do you desire?” is an important question to ask yourself. Are you looking for a way out of a difficult situation? Have you just gone through a devastating breakup and have angrily stated “No way will I ever consider marriage again”. I’m going to be a priest/a nun?”
What is your motivation? What is driving you to this decision? Is it that you feel a strong call to consecrate your life to the Lord? Is it that you hear the Lord calling you to devote all of your energies to serve the poor of this world, to the task of evangelization, healing the sick, counseling the mentally ill, educating God’s little children, working for peace and justice in this world, growing in intimacy with the Lord, living a life centered on God and on the Gospels? When you think of being a sister/a priest, is your heart filled with peace and joy; does it feel totally right in your heart? Are you saying something to yourself like: “If this is God’s will for me, I will see it through; I trust that God will show me the way.” Or are the thoughts floating through your mind nothing like these?