Monday, March 3, 2014

Discernment: Can I live an active religious life well?

You might be wondering whether or not you are capable of living as a consecrated person, as a woman/man religious. Here are some questions that might help you in this discernment process, created from the “9 signs of a capacity to live active religious life well” by Brother John D. Hamilton, CFX, “The built-in tensions in apostolic vocations,” Horizon,  Volume 39, Number 1, Winter 2014, p. 11.  

1.    In what ways do you have the capacity for “relaxed-aloneness”—for healthy celibacy and healthy intimacy: “into-self-you see”?  Do you enjoy being alone with yourself? Do you spend time alone in meaningful ways?

2.    In what ways do you have the capacity of solitude, meditation and prayer? Do you take time to meditate on the Scriptures? Do you devote time to spiritual reading that nourishes yhour prayer life and fills your alone time with the gift of solitude, a stillness that opens to God?

3.    Do you have the capacity for relaxation and practices that diminish compulsion?  Or, is your times alone filled with compulsive activity: hours of playing computer games, for instance?

4.    Are you growing in self-knowledge, adequate ego development and self-acceptance that manifest in humility (honesty with self and others and the recognition that your point of view is not the only point of view, is limited without openness to the point of view of others, especially those views that differ from your own)? Are you willing to learn and grow?


REMEMBER, that if you are being called to consecrate your life to the Lord, the Lord gives you the strength to continue to develop all of these qualities.




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