Discernment Guide

Catholics understand that it is God who calls each of us to follow him to a life of holiness (Leviticus 19: 1-4).  This is part of our Baptismal call as Christians.  We also understand that God calls us to follow him in very specific and practical ways: to be a doctor, designer, priest, cook, husband/wife, religious sister, etc.  And this call is specific to each of us and when we respond to this call, it helps us to realize our true freedom and potential as human beings—it allows us to become the person we are meant to be.  Our goal in life is to pay attention to this presence of God within us and to hear what it is that God is calling us to do in this world. Maybe God is calling you to be a Vincentian, to serve the world with the charism of St. Vincent de Paul.  The basic Vincentian call is to care for the poor, to be of service to those who are on the fringes of our culture, to care for those who are most neglected.

So how do I know if I am being called to be a Vincentian Priest or Brother?  What do I pay attention to? Pay attention to the feelings you have when you are caring for the poor, when you are trying to be a friend to someone who is hungry or thirsty.  Do you feel a deep-down compassion for those who live on the fringes of society? As you visualize your future and a possible future of spending your life in service to the poor, what kinds of feelings surround those thoughts?  What is the source of those feelings? Is God the source of those feelings? Is it God who is calling you to be of service to the poor? Do you feel as if you would like to bring the gospel of freedom and liberation and peace to the poor and do that for the rest of your life?  These are the central questions for you to ask. Is this work what God is calling you to do?

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