Learning About Religious Vocational Discernment

It is very easy to be stressed during the process of religious vocational discernment. High school and college students find it especially tough. Some Catholics can take years figuring out what they feel God’s will is for them. Breaking down what religious vocational discernment is so that it can be seen in a new light is helpful for many people discerning God’s call in their lives.

What Is Religious Vocational Discernment?

Vocation itself is a Latin word meaning, “call.” Discernment means “discovery.” Religious vocation discernment is when you discover your calling in religious life. Lives of the saints like St. Mother Teresa or St. John Vianney are beautiful examples how individuals responded to God’s call in their lives.

Learning About the Four Vocations or States of Life

Married Life – Married persons vow to be faithful to each other throughout their marriage. Spouses are committed to helping each other grow in Christ. They teach their children in Christian faith and are actively involved in the life of their parish.

Single Life – Believing that remaining single is the right way to live their calling faithfully, they embrace celibacy as well as living alone, with family, or with other singles. They still perform acts of service to others and serve in their church or church community.

Religious Life or Consecrated Life – A priest, brother or sister commits his or her life to prayer, apostolic work, and sharing the Gospel of Christ. The traditional vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience are central to the way in which they live out their vocation. They can work in many different sectors, be it education, youth ministry, pastoral ministry, among the poor, or missionaries in other countries and cultures.

Priesthood – A Catholic priest is an ordained minister of the Church and lives his life in total service to God’s people. Priests are celibate and adhere to a life of prayer and sacramental ministry. They are teachers of the Catholic faith, proclaiming the Gospel, ministering the Sacraments, and working to build up their community in worship to Christ. They can serve in local church settings, or serve as chaplains to the armed forces, hospitals, and even prisons.

Some are afraid to discern their vocations because they might be asked to do something they don’t want to, or haven’t thought about. But that isn’t the case. God calls everyone to follow Him, and the various vocations of the Church can lead to a life of fruitful service to God. If you have any questions about God’s calling for you, or would like to learn more about Conception Abbey, please visit us, as we’d be happy to share our knowledge with you.