Franciscan Discernment Part 2 Continued
Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Marie Kolbe Zamora continues part 2 of a conversation on discernment.
- First, if the Father “spoke” us, then we must ask him “what he meant” when he spoke us. If human communication aims at understanding, how much more does God’s communication aim at understanding! God does not speak a word in order to create confusion! On the contrary, God speaks in order to be understood! And so, if God has “spoken” us into being he certainly wants us to know and live the meaning with which he has inscribed our lives! Our desire to understand “what God meant” when he spoke us is far surpassed by the Father’s desire to tell us or to reveal to us what he meant when he spoke us into existence!
- Second, if it is true that we can think of ourselves as being “words” of the Father, then, if we are attentive interiorly, we can hear the Father’s voice revealing us to ourselves as we live the various situations of our lives; a “voice” that urges us in the direction of that which we love and by which we are inspired (in the direction of truth and beauty); a voice that discourages us from pursuing those realities which weigh us down or sadden us (realities tainted with lies). “Hearing” this voice requires that we be attentive externally to the facts of our life as they unfold, and at the same time attentive interiorly as to how those facts make us feel.
The process of discerning one’s vocation, then is three-fold: first I must desire to know the meaning God has spoken in creating me; second I must pay attention to the facts of my life; third, I must pay attention to how the facts of my life make me feel and to my interior desire for what is good and beautiful. This entire process necessarily happens within the context of prayer and a life lived in the presence of Christ, THE WORD, who “reveals us to ourselves” and makes our calling clear!
Discovering one’s vocation, then, is not primarily about discovering where we will best fit in the Church and in the world, though it will surely lead us to that place. Nor is it primarily about deciding what we think we would like to do and then going for it, though if we follow the longing of our heart, we will certainly find ourselves doing that which we love. Discovering one’s vocation is the process of discovering or figuring out who it is that God created us to be from all eternity, of discovering what kind of loving word the Father wishes to speak to the world through us. When we let the Lord sing this word in us, we become powerful instruments within the Church and the world for bringing about God’s Kingdom.
Does this resonate with you?