Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Discernment: The role of sacrificial love

Discernment: I came across the following statement about discernment of one’s vocation and believe it is worth sharing. It was written in August of 2013 by Mother Katherine Caldwell, TOR, in an article entitled “There Is No Greater Love: The Close Bond between Martyrdom and Religious Life”. She writes:  

In discerning a vocation, it is, of course, not a matter of discerning
 if one is called to embrace the Cross. All Christians are called to
 follow Christ and to embrace the Cross—all are called to love as
 Christ has loved. The question is this: What way of giving yourself
 in loving sacrifice best matches the person who God made you to
be? Those called to religious life are specially consecrated to Christ
 by laying down their life through embracing the evangelical counsels
 of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Religious renounce family life,
personal possessions, and following one’s own will for the sake of
Christ and His Church. This radical way of letting go of the world and
those things that the world deems most important is for the greater
 good of giving oneself totally in loving and serving Christ and His
Church. Like the martyr, the religious who gives up the goods of this
life bears witness to the supreme love of Christ and directs all Christians
to gaze toward heaven, our true home, where the greatest Lover
desires us to be with Him forever.

The question that most touches me is: What way of giving yourself in loving sacrifice best matches the person who God made you to be?  In other words, each vocation in life—marriage, religious life, priesthood, or the single life—all involve sacrifice. What you, as a discerner, need to come to is your answer to that question.