Thursday, July 10, 2008
Discerning God's call
I came across the following beautiful words of wisdom on the Carmelite site mentioned in the previous article, under the "Do you have a vocation?" section. It is a nice, simple site with great quotes throughout. Go check it out!
What do you feel God calling you to do with your life?
Love does not depend upon emotional ups and downs. True love is a complete gift of oneself to the Beloved Christ. It is a free choice to love entirely. If you honestly want to know and do God’s will in your life, if you listen to Him in the Eucharist and in His Word, the Lord Jesus will make His will known to you personally. Then if you set your heart and hand to doing it, you really are loving God. You are uniting your will with His divine will - not only in words but in deeds. This is real love, the foundation stone of every vocation.
(My own little side note: What a perfect paragraph to meditate on in prayer to determine any vocation, not just the religious life. You have to first give yourself entirely to Christ with complete trust before he can lead you. That is what he has been showing me in prayer lately.)
The “Tug of War”
Archbishop Fulton Sheen, whose cause for canonization is underway, said, “A vocation necessarily creates a tension, a crisis, a tug of war in the soul. On the one hand, there is the call of God. On the other hand, a sense of personal unworthiness, or reluctance to give oneself completely to Him.”
When anyone begins to feel this inner battle, it’s good to do as St. Teresa did - think of Christ. Remember His words: “Remain united with Me and I will remain united with you...I have chosen you. Come follow me...find peace of soul in union with Me. Have courage; I have overcome the world.”
The first world to be conquered is the little but mighty world within YOU. Prayer and confidence in Christ are your strongest allies when discerning a vocation. Everyone who is called by God to a religious vocation is given the courage to accept His invitation, even when the sacrifice He asks seems tremendous! Saints are not born; they’re made with the combined action of God’s grace and personal cooperation. You must be honest enough to admit that you are helpless by yourself and wise enough to depend on God alone for strength to succeed. To all He calls, God says, “My grace is sufficient for you...I will be with you always.”
“If I were to advise anybody as to their vocation, I would never counsel anyone to resist good inspirations on account of fear of the difficulty of carrying them through. For I know now by experience that if I resolutely persevere in my purpose...His Majesty rewards it...”
St. Teresa of Avila