“Vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life are born out of the experience of a personal encounter with Christ, out of sincere and confident dialogue with him, so as to enter into his will.”
-Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
How to discern a call
Like a good recipe, proper ingredients are essential to a good outcome. In discerning a call to the priesthood, the following ingredients are essential:
To hear, we need to be listening and in conversation. That is prayer at its most basic level – a conversation with God. Listening and talking.
One cannot actively discern a vocation to the priesthood without a prayer life. Begin with a few minutes each day. Silence. Talk to God in your heart. Ask Him what are His plans for you. Read the stories of the Gospel and the Letters of St Paul. Read some spiritual books. Make some notes in a prayer journal. Find out more about what the priesthood is. Prayer is the essential first step.
A regular time of Adoration is a certain way to find your vocation. Simply spending time in the presence of the Lord, being open to Him, is the way to seek His will in clarity and peace.
Many churches have a regular time of Adoration. Some parishes have chapels of Adoration where you can go at any time. Find a place and time where you can be with Jesus regularly and open your heart to Him. Talk to Him and then listen to Him. No time spent with Jesus is wasted.
Sportsmen need coaches; some people have personal trainers; some walks of life have mentors – the same principle applies to our spiritual life. We need somebody to guide us and help us discern the Lord’s call.
If you have a priest you are talking to , be honest with him about your discernment. If you are serious about finding the will of God for your life, you will need a spiritual director. If you do not have one, the Vocations Director will be able to help you. Any conversations between you and a spiritual director are confidential and you can be sure confident that he will do his best to help you on the path of discernment.
We know the Mass is the greatest prayer that we have. For priests, the celebration of the Eucharist is the high point of the day. If you are discerning the priesthood, trying to get to Mass as often as possible is really important. It is here that we are fed by the Lord’s Word and the Eucharist. As Jesus offers Himself each time Mass is offered, our participation at Mass is an offering of prayer and ourselves to the Father, asking Him to show us His will for our life.
Devotion to Our Lady is an essential hallmark of our Catholic faith. St John Paul referred to the Rosary as his ‘favourite prayer’. Regular praying of the Rosary with the intention of discernment brings the prayers of Our Lady to help you and to guide you to Jesus.
Each month the Quo Vadis group meets for a time of prayer, Mass, a meal and discussion. Quo Vadis is a group of men discerning priesthood. It is helpful to be in the company of others in the discernment journey, and to support others as well.
The Vocations Office offers retreats each year to spend some time away with the Lord. A retreat is an essential time to look a bit deeper at life and to listen more intently to the Lord’s call away from the distractions of everyday life.
Make the Call……
The Vocations Director waits for your call or your email. He is the one who can guide the journey of discernment with you, and for you.
Making initial contact can be confronting, but it is not an irrevocable decision. It is a necessary and important first step to talk and obtain some help to make a decision.
Please contact the Vocations Director, Father David Cartwright on 9926 5733 or at Vocations@cam.org.au