The following are 10 pieces of wisdom I picked up during my own discernment journey.Most of these were communicated to me, in some way, by mentors, teachers, friends, and family members. Nonetheless, they did help me get from point A to point B. God calls At the heart of the “American Dream” is the idea that one can be anything one wants to be.Eighteen months later, on June 7, 2009, I was ordained a priest by Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, O. Nonetheless, my heart goes out to those who are still in the throes of vocation discernment.I know that it can be one of the hardest tasks someone undertakes in life.On the other God respects our freedom and does not abandon us. Know thyself A key insight shared by many saints is that spiritual growth begins in self-knowledge.God, who will sanctify us through our vocation, has already endowed us with a certain nature.We have the freedom to pursue this or that line of work.If we are not in a place in life where we are free to commit to a vocation (perhaps due to an immaturity, an undue fear, or an addiction), then we must increase in our freedom before we can make a vocational choice. Furthermore, as long as we are not choosing something evil, God respects the choices we make.
talks to a visitor outside the abbey church of the Benedictine Archabbey of Saint Meinrad. These two events were, for me, not only the celebrated beginning of a new level of committed service to God and church; they marked the end of a long and sometimes difficult path of discernment.Discernment starts in faith, where we acknowledge God as the source of vocation, involve God in the decision-making process through prayer, and actively listen for God’s will. Vocation is a two-way gift God really does want us to be happy.When it comes to a vocation we sometimes struggle to believe that.It helps in discernment, then, to get as involved with the faith community as you can. One’s friends, ministers, family members, and fellow parishioners can be helpful sources of support and insight.It is by taking part in the life of the church and trying out different instruments—at the parish, on mission trips, in Bible studies, in lay apostolate groups—that you will most naturally find your place in the symphony. These folks can often see things in us that we don’t readily perceive.The glory of living in a free nation is that we have the opportunity to make of ourselves what we will.