The best way to know God’s will for your life is to develop a relationship with Him through daily conversation, also known as prayer. Develop a daily prayer habit. Be with God! How? Where can you find Him?
In His word—read the scriptures, try Lectio Divina.
Spend time before His gaze—go to adoration.
Feed your soul with spiritual food – spend some time in spiritual reading.
What to Look for in a Spiritual Guide:
Spiritual Direction is important in the life of every Catholic who is seeking holiness. It’s a rugged journey and having someone to guide you on the trail can help you stay on point and avoid dangerous pitfalls. It is particularly important for someone discerning a major life decision such as your vocation.
How to Find a Spiritual Guide:
Ask! Pray to God to help you find a spiritual guide and pray for your spiritual guide.
Seek! Start with who you know, your parish priest, an older lay person, a consecrated or religious man or woman. Ask around.
Knock! Approach your potential spiritual guide as a kind of interview. Learn about them, their experience and if you feel comfortable, start on a trial basis. One of the subjective qualities of a spiritual guide is that you feel you can trust them. After a few encounters, assess your experience. If it has been fruitful, thank God and commit to meet regularly.
Beware of faulty spirituality. Some spiritual directors turn to other teachings and practices that are not compatible with the Catholic faith. Reading “Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian Reflection on the ‘New Age’” can help you discern.
What is discernment?
“In a more general sense, discernment means the process by which important decisions are taken; in a second sense, more typical of the Christian tradition and more relevant for our purposes, it corresponds to the spiritual dynamic by which a person, a group or a community seek to recognize and to follow the will of God in their particular situation: ‘test everything; hold fast to what is good’.” (1 Thes. 5:21) Pope Francis adds: “A particular form of discernment involves the effort to discover our own vocation.”
- The Art of Discernment: Synod document Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment
- Ignatian Spirituality: Fr. Timothy Gallagher Discernment of Spirits
- US Catholic Conference of Bishops Vocation Page
- Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious
- Leadership Conference of Women Religious
- United States Conference of Major Superiors of Men
- Religious Brothers Conference
- Contemplative Life for Men and Women
- A Guide to Religious Ministries
- Vocation Boom
- Labouré Society Help with student debt
- Discerning Your Vocation: A Catholic Guide for Young Adults
- Youth Missions (mission programs for teens and young adults)
vocation ministers for local communities
A vocation minister can provide insightful, honest, and compassionate answers as you consider the consecrated life. They will help guide you on your journey of discernment, introduce you to the community you are interested in as well as facilitate visits to the community. Local or national Vocation Ministers for congregations who are active in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati: