DISCERNMENT: There are four basic vocations in life: marriage, religious life (men or women), single life style and priesthood (diocesan). According to Rev. Martin Pable, OFM Cap., there are three basic signs of a vocation. Let us look at what he considers the first sign and that is “Do you have a desire for the life”. Do you feel inclined to become a married woman/man, to become a priest, to remain single, to enter religious life? If the answer is “no” to one of those, then you know that is not the vocation to follow in life. Look at the other three. Father Martin also asks: “Does it give you a certain amount of satisfaction to think about it,…a certain amount of enthusiasm or joy or some kind of positive feeling?” It is important to realize that God does not force a certain vocation upon anyone! God desires a cheerful giver, not someone who feels coerced into giving of oneself in a particular vocation . God respect each person’s will, each person’s desires. God wants your peace, your happiness, your joy. If a particular vocation goes against you inclinations, your desires and does not speak of joy, does not give you a sense of satisfaction, do not go there!
Being inclined toward marriage, religious life, priesthood, or the single lifestyle is important! If you are saying “I think God wants me to be a priest, a sister, a married woman/man, a single person but I don’t feel inclined toward that vocation, then that is not what God wants of you! Or if you are saying: I think God will punish me if I do not enter religious life, become a priest, get married and have children or remain single, then, too, you are not called to that particular vocation. God is not a punishing God. God does not coerce a vocation upon you! He respects that to which you are inclined, that which brings you satisfaction, peace, joy, excitement, enthusiasm!