Update 4/28/2008

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
For the last two years, I have been searching for the order Our Lord has been asking me to serve Him through.
I notice that some of you are confused right now about where Our Lord is leading you, and I offer the following suggestions.

1. Pray as often as you can: pray written prayers, and also take quiet time to mentally tell God what's on your mind: what your fears and joys are, what you need help with, what's been bugging you. This is essential for someone discerning a vocation and will give you a taste of the prayer life of a priest or religious.

2. Attend Mass daily as often as you can, and Confession at least once a month. The grace you receive from these sacraments will aid your discernment, and strengthen your relationship with God.

3. Seek spiritual direction at least once a month from a priest: They have been in your shoes before at one point in their lives, and their wisdom and guidance is amazing!

4. Explore your options: You have to in order to know where Our Lord is leading you. He'll help you to find where He's leading you, but you have to explore different religious orders, and, in the case of men called to the priesthood, the diocesan priesthood.

5. Trust God to lead you where He is asking you to serve Him: He'll let you know where he's asking you to serve Him. After all, He's the one who created you, and when you find your vocation, he'll let you know.

6. Don't be afraid to follow the call when you find it. It might be scary, and you might be anxious about what God's asking of you, but He'll give you what you need to do what He asks. And, isn't God's love worth all the sacrifices you'll have to make? I think it is

7. If you find an order or diocese, that you feel may be where Our Lord is leading you, investigate further, and talk to your spiritual director or people you trust. If they agree that it may be a good fit, or even if they don't but your heart tells you otherwise, go ahead and apply for acceptance to the diocese or religious order if the vocations director also thinks it might be a good fit. The worst that could happen is you are turned down, and that will let you know that this isn't where God is leading you. But, don't fret. If that happens, that means that God has other plans for you, and if you were accepted into that order or diocese, you wouldn't be where He wishes you to serve Him.

Later this week, I will find out whether I will be invited to apply to enter a religious community I feel may be the perfect fit I've been searching for for two years. I don't know what's going to happen, but for some reason I'm, not worried about it. If I'm not called to this order, then there's another one out there somewhere. Someday, somehow I'll find where God is calling me in life.
Please keep me in your prayers, as I keep you in mine.
May God bless you abundantly in all you do, now and eternally.
Your brother in Christ,

+ Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam +


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