Discerning God's Call
Discerning God's call for our lives is not a quick and easy task. It takes time to listen to the voice of God within us. Here are a few foundational principles to help you on the journey of discernment:
1) Abide in Christ
The most important thing is to be abiding in Christ. We need to be walking in the presence of Jesus. If we have a friendship with Jesus that has lasted over some time, then we will get to know His heart. We need to have the position of John the Beloved at the Last Supper, with his head resting against the heart of Jesus, listening to His heart beat. In this way we will come to know the will of God since we firstly know Him with a “knowledge born of love”, and so we know the movements of His heart for us.
The fundamental purpose of life is to love, honour and serve God here on earth and to be with Him forever in heaven. All things, relationships, talents etc. are means to that end. Any inordinate attachment to any created reality make them an end in themselves, not a means to an end. My life is intended to give glory to God. What is God's call on me to fulfill this fundamental purpose in my life?
"Take Lord, receive, all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
my entire will. All I have and possess.
You have given all to me, now I return it
All is yours now
Dispose of it according to your will
Give me only your love and your grace
That’s enough for me.
Your love and your grace."
- St Ignatius Loyola
3) Humility and Obedience
When we are humble we have a healthy “self-doubt” i.e we are not plagued by irrational self-doubt, but at the same time we are open to the possibility of being wrong. If someone claims to be 100% sure about a vocation then there is probably something wrong.
Obedience in discernment is simply that we are open to submitting our proposed
direction to discernment of a spiritual director or a wise counselor.