Are you discerning a vocation? Are you discerning if you should discern? What is this word ‘discernment’ all about? We, the Sisters of the Society of Our Lady, invite you to set aside time during your day for this very important work. Discerning. You may be in school, you may be working, you may be wandering in the wilderness……where ever you are in your walk with the Lord, one very important tool for forging ahead is to attune your ear, your inner ear of the soul, to the voice of the Father, His Beloved Son Jesus and His Holy Spirit.
One frequently asked question is, “How can I know He is calling me to be a Sister?” This can only be answered through quiet attentiveness to the movements of the Spirit. It is also very important to realize that only you can freely make the gift of yourself to Christ. No one can do it for you, nor tell you that yes, you have a vocation. As the Vocations Servant for the Sisters of Our Lady’s Society, I have often been asked this question by women desiring to enter our community, and after time the second question is usually, “Do you think I have a vocation?” Honestly, I can only tell people I see signs of a special calling, but I believe, as Blessed Mother Teresa herself would say, “No one but the woman herself can know what is happening in the depths of her soul.” This is important to realize, especially if you find you are an indecisive type of person who would rather someone else make the decision for you. I think meditating on Our Blessed Mother’s response to the angel Gabrielle, is a wonderful example for us as she responded with a joyful, free response that burst forth from within her. She didn’t stop and say, “Hold on a minute…..I’ve got to get more information. This is way too complicated. Maybe you don’t know what you are asking of me.” The point is, she had already been conversing with the Lord through deep prayer. The Holy Spirit had been preparing her since her birth for this moment. Look to see how the Spirit has been preparing you. You will find the answer that you receive will be the one that ‘makes sense’ for you.
Some very helpful activities for an ‘active discerner’ would be: spending time before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, praying and meditating on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, attending Daily Mass, reading spiritual books and the Lives of the Saints, and availing oneself to the Sacrament of Confession. All of these things will aid you in hearing the voice of God with greater clarity. For those who feel ready to pursue more serious discernment, we have what is called an Aspirancy Program which is held twice a year for four months and is an extended ‘live in’ with our Sisters. This is held within our mission in North Dakota on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation.
For further inquiries about the Sisters of Our Lady’s Society and if a “Come and See” visit awaits you, please feel free to contact me at 651-428-8762 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to answer any of your questions. I too will have some questions for you.
Please be ready to answer the following:
~ Are you a convert? We recommend that you have been Catholic for at least 3 years before discerning a religious vocation in order to not confuse the powerful graces of conversion with those of a vocation.
~ Have you ever been married? If you are in need of an annulment, we will not be able to discern with you at this time.
~ Do you have any children?
~ Do you have any debt? Do you have a plan to pay this off?
~ Would you be willing to share your medical history?
~ Have you ever been in formation (or vows) with another community?
~ How long have you been discerning?
~ Please be ready to share high lights of your spiritual journey.
** The Sisters of the Society of Our Lady do not have an age limit, however, one must be in relative good health with the ability to serve in mission.