Discernment: The fourth suggestion that Sister Clare Wagner, OP, gives is to listen to the decision being made within you. Yes, the decision will rise from the depth of your being where you and the Lord are one. It will rise from your true self. Your ego will oppose that decision, because the ego wants to be in charge of your life and does not easily submit to your spirit-self.
To test the waters, “live with your decision for a while,” Sister Clare suggests,—the decision you have come to by considering God’s purpose for our life, which is to live life to the full, to heal “the woundedness in the world, [render] peace for those threatened by violence, [be] nourishment for the hungry” and set the oppressed free. In the words of the prophet Micah, God purpose is that we “act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly” with our God (Micah 6:8). Is the choice that you are considering going to be the most effective way for you to achieve this purpose?
Sister Clare suggests that you answer the following questions as a means to come to the decision that you know God is asking of you:
· Does this decision bring you peace?
· Is this decision in harmony with your gifts and personality?
· Are you able to do all that will be required of you in this life choice?
· Does this decision free you?
· If it does not work out for you, can you imagine other options?
· Do you get a sense of excitement, challenge, and possibility for growth as you consider this decision?
· Does the possibility for mission—of acting justly, loving tenderly and walking humbly with God in the particular way your decision offers—give you energy?
· Is you sense of God’s response one that indicates God’s delight and pleasure in your choice?
If you answered yes to those questions concerning a decision to become a sister, I encourage you to take the next step: contact a vocation director and talk about your hopes and dreams, share you vocation story and talk about your sense that God is calling you to consecrated your life to Him as a woman religious.