PRAYER & DISCERNMENT
ANY GOOD-HEARTED, God-fearing Catholics wrestle with the idea
For the person discerning a religious vocation, these questions can be even
of God’s will. “What is God’s will for my life?” “How do I know if
I’m doing what God wants me to do?” “What happens if I want to
do X, but God wants me to do Y?” While these are important questions, ruminat-
ing on them often cripples the spirit of the sincere Catholic seeking to love God
and neighbor. And yet, the questions remain.
more anxiety-inducing. I’ve been discerning a religious life vocation for several
years, and here are some new ways of thinking about God’s will that have dramat-
ically reduced my fears.
Everyone is called
For the first 1,400 years of Christianity, the topic of “religious vocation” was seen
much more broadly than it often is today. For the early and medieval Christians,
the word “vocation,” coming from the Latin word vocare (meaning “to call”), was
seen as a universal thing, something all Christians were called to—namely, a life
in service to God and neighbor. As early as the Acts of the Apostles we hear of the
early Christians: “They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to
the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers” (Acts 2: 42).
ALL CHRISTIANS “have a vocation,” and it’s this: to become saints.
A young discerner has advice for his peers on how to stay
calm and understand who God is and isn’t.
about God’s will
John Monaco is
a graduate stu-
dent at Boston
scripture is the
used apart from
the universal call
BY JOHN MONACO