How do I know I have a Vocation?
One who expects a religious calling coming in the form of a spectacular miracle will be sadly disappointed. Sure, it is not entirely impossible for God to use big signs in people’s lives, but such instances are few and far between. God makes his plan known in the hearts of those whom he calls.
Nevertheless, there are times when the will of God is unclear. There are time-tested ways used by the Church to help people discover what God wants of them in life. This is called ‘discernment‘, a process of prayerful reflection.
These are some signs that you may be called to a Franciscan vocation:
- At least 21 years of age
- Wish to join because of a personal and religious motive
- Have enough stability and maturity to see decisions through
- Able to relate to other people
- Sense of openness and willingness to learn
- Sufficient level of education
- Reasonably good health
- Some knowledge of religious life and the vows
- Some knowledge of the life and spirit of St Francis
- Have been a practising Catholic for at least two years
It is also important not to neglect prayer in your discernment. May this short prayer help you in your journey:
Prayer for discerment to the Franciscan vocation
Most high and glorious God,
lighten the darkness of my heart
and give me sound faith,
and perfect love.
Let me, Lord have the right feelings
properly to carry out
the task you have given me.
— St Francis of Assisi’s prayer before the crucifix of San Damiano