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Office of Vocations

English and French sector:

Rev.  Michael Goring
St. Columbkille Cathedral
188 Renfrew St.
P.O. Box7
Pembroke, Ontario
K8A 6X1
Tel: (613) 732-8513
Email

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Steps to Consider in Discernment

Discernment is a process through which a person comes to understand his interior experiences as he considers decisions in faith. The following are some interior experiences you can consider as you proceed to discern your vocation:

Sense of Identity as the Beloved of God

It is in the context of the love of God for each one of us that we set out to discover our life vocation. It is in response to God’s love for me that I will discover God’s desire for me. So it is helpful to reflect on the various experiences of my life that point out God’s special love for me. This knowledge will give me the freedom to be open to whatever life vocation to which I sense God is calling me.

Overall Goal and Purpose of My Life

As it is my life vocation that will influence all other aspects of my life, it is important to reflect on the goal and purpose of all human and Christian life. This gives me the perspective that will help me find the freedom necessary to choose any one vocation over another, remaining always obedient to the love of God moving me to fulfill the purpose of my being and to serve God in terms of Christ’s command: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

A Deep Appreciation of the Mind and Heart of Jesus Christ

To put on the mind and heart of Christ, it is important for me to pray over Jesus’ life, words and actions as presented to me in the gospels. By reading and pondering the accounts given in the New Testament, my hope is that the Spirit will come into my being. I pray “To see you more clearly, love you more dearly, follow you more nearly.”

To Pray for Light and Strength

I ask God to move my mind and heart to choose the life vocation that will better serve God and God’s people. I also pray for charity and strength to recognize and overcome the many fears and obstacles that I and others put in my path.

Discerning Interior Movements

As I move through these various steps many different interior experiences will take place in me, Some will be very new to me and others will seem strange. Such experiences may be:

  • A sense of surprise, bewilderment
  • A sense of sinfulness and unworthiness
  • A great desire to join Christ in building a more just and peaceful world
  • A peak religious experience in which there is clarity of what I am to do
  • An experience of fear and turmoil
  • An experience of peace and a sense of fulfillment.

Spiritual Counselling

As I consider what life vocation I should choose, I often experience being pulled in many directions. I question whether I can fulfill it. I have feelings of inadequacy and wonder if I am being realistic. I realize that I need someone to help me make the right choice, so I look for someone who will help me to judge the meaning of my interior experiences.

Prayer and reflection along with some spiritual direction and the possibility of a discernment weekend at a retreat center are all helpful when I am deciding a life vocation. Eventually I come to an awareness of what God is calling me to do. I become aware “I can do all things in God who strengthens me.”

 

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188 Renfrew Street
PO Box 7
Pembroke, Ontario
Canada K8A 6X1
613 . 732 . 7933 ( t )
613 . 732 . 1679 ( f )
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