The CALL comes from GOD in many ways.
The RESPONSE comes from YOU and requires careful preparation.
How do you know God is calling you to religious life?
DISCERNMENT is a word that describes the process of coming to understand how the Lord is calling you and inviting you to serve Him. It is a spiritual and personal journey. It is a journey of understanding, of seeing and acting.
The necessary ingredients for discerning a vocation from the Lord are trust, patience, faith, and prayer. These four elements will be constantly challenged during your journey, and will need to be renewed daily.
Stages of Vocation Discernment:
Attraction or Interest - a person feels a mysterious attraction to the idea of a serving God as a priest or religious. He feels in his heart that he was made for something different than others, that he is somehow invited to a deeper relationship with God and the Church. It may begin as a desire, or an attraction to religious things….read more.
Inquiry – A man takes the initiative to contact someone for more information (he talks with a Jesuit he knows, sends an e-mail, makes a phone call). The person will usually contact someone he has met, or he will seek out a Jesuit at a school or parish…read more
Information Gathering – This part of the process can take place over the course of months or years. He gathers information from many sources…. read more
Spiritual Discernment – The person enters into an agreement with the Vocation Director to begin a process of prayer, conversation and investigation concerning a future decision. The person agrees to regular prayer, spiritual direction, attending some events, visiting and meeting Jesuits…read more
Confirmation – After a while, the person begins to move toward more certainty about a decision. He commits more deeply to the process by working with the Vocation Director to set a time-frame for making a decision about formally applying to the Society of Jesus. Prayer, and spiritual direction are the guides at this stage…read more