Discerning a Vocation

Called to Be is a series of blog posts on the vocation of marriage, written by Melanie Jean Juneau. Our guest blogger – who is is the administrator of the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers, Editor in Chief for Catholic Stand, and regularly posts on joy of nine9 – shares with us her story and reflections. Catch up with the first article, Advice for People Who Are Dating and stay tuned for the next ones!

When women try to grapple with crucial questions about who they are and what they should do with their lives, they are usually confused at first. It has never been easy to discern a vocation but it is especially difficult in the current milieu because modern society is so complex and messy. Yet it’s precisely in the complexity and messiness where some of the most important answers in life are often found.

Facing what seems like indecipherable riddles when they stand at a crossroad, women need other women to show them how to journey through the discernment process, how to open their hearts and minds to new possibilities. Perhaps some seekers are already successful in a career but are restless, dreaming of making a difference in the world yet don’t know exactly where to turn.

Others might find it impossible to ignore a raw, inner longing for intimacy with God and feel misunderstood by friends. Often university students don’t know what to major in or are fed up with school but dread the idea of settling for a boring job. And then, some women might simply want to get married and become a mother but can’t find husband material at the local pub or Catholic singles group. The good news is no matter how confused women feel, they can discover their own unique purpose in life because it lies deep within their own soul:

Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice ‘out there’ calling me to be something I am not. It comes from a voice ‘in here’ calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God.  – Fr. Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O

The discernment process helps us figure out who we are and what our gifts are as we differentiate our true self from our ego, society’s current expectations and family and/ or peer pressure. If we honestly seek God, we discover a secret; who we are and what we are called to do on earth is hidden in Christ.

“The Holy Spirit transforms and renews us, creates harmony and unity, and gives us courage and joy for mission” (Pope Francis).

Logically, we discover our mission as we grow closer to Jesus. When we shut the door of our heart and mind to Divine inspiration, we become isolated from the source of life. We might as well be an ant existing under an overturned teacup. We are even more isolated when we are constantly plugged into modern technology, unable to understand or connect with Christ’s Good News because our minds are never quiet enough to hear what he wants to tell us.

I thought God wanted me to be an active religious sister. Somehow, Christ managed to slice through my preconceived notions and let me hear a call to marriage and motherhood.



Suggested reading:
Beloved – An essential spiritual companion for married and engaged couples



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