The word "vocation" means "to be called". God created us and calls each one of us to be holy, to be His adopted children, to be servants and love to others, and to ultimately be with Him in Heaven for all eternity. However, while these are universal calls to every person, God has created each one of us with a multitude of different gifts and talents that have an enormous potential to be fulfiled within the context of a particular lifestyle. The possible vocational lifestyles that God places before us are: ordained and religious life, married life, or single life.
Discernment is the process of actively seeking to know God’s will for our lives. If we want to know something from someone, what do we do? First, we ask them and then we listen to their reply. It works the same with God. First, you must ask and then you must listen to His reply.
We call this communication between God and us - prayer. Often, the difficult part for us is the listening, because we usually don’t hear a voice speaking to us. So we must be open and ready for Him to speak to us in other ways. This could be through other people, through events, or through heartfelt reflection. God speaks to us quite often. We are not always listening.
First and foremost in your discernment is an active and disciplined prayer life. Other steps often recommended include: getting a spiritual director, reading information about all vocations, speaking with persons who are happy and active in their vocation, visiting seminaries and religious communities, and becoming involved in service to others.
Prayer is important in all vocations, not just priesthood or consecrated religious life. People in every vocation are called to communicate, talk, and listen with God. Not having prayer as an important focus point in your vocation, no matter which one that might be, is like not talking to or listening to your parents as you grew from being a baby to being an adult. It does not work.
Prayer is communicating with God, not just talking to Him. Communication involves talking and (more importantly) listening. Thus, prayer is extremely important in each vocation. It is possibly the most important part of a vocation.
Whatever way of life you will be called to it is important not to be afraid to follow God’s call and trust Him that He will be with you in this special way of life. For some people discernment takes a lot of time, but the longer time you take the more difficult it is to make a decision. So, recognising your vocation and making a life decision is based on a strong belief and trust in God.
If God is calling you to priestly and religious life and the charism of our founder Fr Francis Jordan is close to your heart, you are welcome to join us and become a Salvatorian Priest or Brother. Salvatorian Sisters are not present in Australia yet, but if you want to become one you can join one of their communities in other countries. In this ministry we serve people and proclaim Jesus as the only Saviour of the world.
If God is calling you to married or single life and you still want to actively participate in the apostolic mission of our Society we welcome you as a collaborator or lay Salvatorian. In this way you can help us to make Jesus Christ widely know and loved as Saviour of the world.
Whatever way of life you will follow, please remember us in your prayers, remember our apostolate and mission. Pray for our priests, brothers, sisters, lay Salvatorians and collaborators so that we can wholeheartedly fulfil our vocation. Please pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life especially to the Salvatorian life.