The Beginning Process for Discerning One’s Vocation
A man who is serious about discerning his true vocation needs to begin with prayer. Prayer is the only way we can discover what God has planned for us. It is impossible to know God’s plan without prayer.
Prepare a ‘Spiritual Plan’ and keep to it. A Spiritual Plan may look like this:
Go to Mass every Sunday
Try to attend at least two extra Masses during the week.
Pray five decades of the Rosary every day.
Spend 20-30 minutes a day in prayer talking to Jesus.
During your prayer time, read the Scriptures of the day or just the Gospel prayerfully and slowly.
Go to Confession regularly.
Spend an hour in adoration or an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament each week.
Meet with your Spiritual Director regularly.
If you need assistance finding a Spiritual Director, contact the Vocations Director who can help you find one. Your Spiritual Director can hear your Confession and will help you to discern what vocation God is calling you to.
Ask others to pray for you. We can’t underestimate the power of prayer.
When you are ready contact the Vocations Director. Email him to make arrangements to have a chat. No one can discern ones vocation without the assistance of other people. The Vocations Director is here to support you, answer your questions and assist you to discern God’s call for you.
Meet with your Parish Priest. Let him know what your hopes and dreams are. Ask him questions about the priesthood. Take the opportunity to meet other priests in the Diocese of Hamilton and get to know the clergy. Ask them to tell you about their call to the priesthood. Each priest has a unique call from God.
Learn about the diocesan priesthood by reading good and accurate information, so you become well informed. Discover what the Church and the saints have to say about the priesthood. One suggested book to read for men discerning a call to the diocesan priesthood is “To Save a Thousand Souls” by Fr Brett A. Brannen.
Become actively involved in your Parish. Offer your assistance to your Parish Priest, to help out in some kind of ministry. For example assist with the Youth Group, St Vincent de Paul, running of the Sacramental Programme, become a reader at Mass or the sacristan, join the choir or mow the lawns around the church and presbytery, visit the sick or those in prison. Use your talents and gifts to serve in your parish and don’t be afraid to help out. ‘A man called to diocesan priesthood normally finds himself attracted to parish life.’
There are many wonderful opportunities prepared by the Church and the local Church to encourage you in your vocation.
Many people have been touched by attending World Youth Day. Besides the blessing of being present with the Pope at Mass and devotions, World Youth Day is a superb opportunity to grow in your Catholic faith and to discover your vocation and calling.
Hearts Aflame is another wonderful Catholic event where many people have discovered what the Lord has planned for them and it has changed their lives.
The Catholic Discipleship College provides formation in Catholic spirituality, prayer, scripture, study and community life, forming people into disciples of Jesus Christ.
In the Hamilton Diocese the Catholic Young Adults Office holds a Frassati Men’s weekend, another amazing opportunity to discover what God has planned for you.
Attend the Vocations Retreat at the end of the year at Ngakuru. This is a wonderful opportunity to spend time in prayer, listening to talks on the priesthood and vocations. It is a good opportunity to talk to the Vocations Director, other priests and seminarians from the Hamilton Diocese and to mix with men who are discerning their calling.
Don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid to make a decision, have courage, trust in the Lord, and have a go. Don’t let your fears prevent you from following God’s special plan for you.