Every baptised person has a vocation. By deepening our relationship with Jesus Wisdom in prayer we become sensitive to God’s call, God’s specific purpose for each one of us. Each vocation has its own intrinsic value, whether it is expressed through marriage, lay ministries, the single life or the call to the priesthood, the diaconate or life as a consecrated religious.
The response of the Church to the many issues of injustice present in our world today e.g. homelessness, human trafficking, poverty, displaced persons is reliant on the dedicated service of lay men and women, members of religious Congregations and missionaries dedicated to the work of the Gospel. Behind this dedicated service is a sense of vocation, of responding to God’s call.
The call to live as a consecrated woman religious requires a deep personal relationship with Jesus. It is a calling to a unique lifestyle, a vowed life, lived in community. By taking the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience a religious responds to the call to ‘act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God’.
People make different choices in life and the paths of vocation each come with their own distinct challenges and rewards. If you ask any Daughter of Wisdom why she became a religious you will find that she has a story to tell which traces her personal call from God and her response to that call. She will tell you of her ‘inner conviction’ that this was to be her path in life. How she ‘listened with her heart’ to the ‘voice’ of the Spirit within her, an insistent ‘voice’ amid the cacophony of the culture in which we live.
Many of us have asked the question, ‘what is God’s desire for my life?’Could the call to religious life possibly be addressed to me? Yes, God’s invitation can come to any one of us – to you! Who else will bring God’s love and compassion to our world of today?
Anyone thinking of a religious vocation is encouraged to engage in a process of discernment, an accompanied journey of self discovery and faith, which begins with the heart and is about developing an on-going relationship with Jesus and a deep desire to respond to God’s deep desire for our happiness.
Discernment Programmes organised by many religious congregations enable those who are discerning their vocation to meet like minded people and provide space for discussion, prayer, silence and one-to-one direction. ‘Come and See’ programmes and discernment retreats all have a place in the discernment process. Each vocation is unique. In finding our true selves, we surely find God.
The Vocation Discernment Team of the Daughters of Wisdom is based at Wisdom House, Romsey, where they can be contacted.