Holy Orders

“Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood.” – Acts 21:28

Discerning your vocation is something that can happen in a single day, or take years to decide upon. No matter what you decide though your vocation is one of life’s most important decisions to make. God made you for a unique and special purpose, calling you for a mission that only he knows and you will discover. Whether you choose marriage, single life, religious life or priesthood, holiness is always the first vocation and a calling to help others.

It takes much prayer and careful discernment to know if you are being called to the priesthood or religious life. Formation takes years and when you get closer to making a final decision, God will give you an inner peace about your true vocation calling. Here are five helpful hints in discovering to discern your vocation.

  1. Prayer – Always pray about what your plans are and what God has planned for your life. This is one of the best ways in deciding what to do and what your best options are.
  2. Sacraments – Be sure to be cleansed through Confession so you are always in union with God. When receiving communion it’s always helpful to ask Jesus to show you your true vocation and calling so you can reach a deeper understanding about what to do.
  3. Research – It always helps to have as much information as possible, including what your duties would be and what it would be like. Look for a mentor or guide that could help answer questions, along with information online to aid you in making a prayerful decision.
  4. Get Away – Retreats and mini vacations are one of the best ways to come closer to God and discover his plan for you. Again, work with a mentor or Vocation Director to help you find events that will aid you in reaching a decision. Whether it’s a retreat for the weekend or a month long missionary venture, it always helps to see if what you are planning is your life calling.
  5. Apply – This could be applying for seminary, a lay missionary, or even just applying yourself to what your true vocation could be. Take the next step prayerfully and with the guidance of others to discern what your true calling is. Again, it’s always helpful to look to others when discovering the way, but be sure you listen to your heart and your true calling.

national-vocations-awareness-week

National Vocation Awareness Week is coming up November 6-12, 2016.
Here, is a link for more information. http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/national-vocation-awareness-week.cfm

Prayer To Know One’s Vocation

 Lord, my God and my loving Father, you have made me to know you, to love you, to serve you, and thereby to find and to fulfill my deepest longings. I know that you are in all things, and that every path can lead me to you.
But of them all, there is one especially by which you want me to come to you. Since I will do what you want of me, I pray you, send your Holy Spirit to me: into my mind, to show me what you want of me; into my heart, to give me the determination to do it, and to do it with all my love, with all my mind, and with all of my strength right to the end. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen

Below, is The Prayer for Vocations from Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr

Almighty Father,
You have created us for some definite purpose.
Grant us the grace to know the path
You have planned for us in this life
and to respond with a generous “Yes.”
Make our archdiocese, parishes, homes and hearts
fruitful ground for Your gift of vocations.
May our young people respond to Your call
with courage and zeal.
Stir among our men a desire and the strength
to be good and holy priests.
Bless us with consecrated religious and those called to a
chaste single life, permanent deacons,
and faithful husbands and wives,
who are a sign of Christ’s love for His Church.
We commend our prayer for vocations to You, Father,
through the intercession of Mary our Mother,
in the Holy Spirit,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.