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Discernment: Finding Our Vocation by Listening to God's Whisper

Aside from the fact that we are all called to be holy, God has chosen a particular plan for each of us; a way to serve him as we live out our life in one of several vocations: 

  • Sacramental Marriage
  • Holy Orders [Priesthood or Diaconate]
  • Religious Life [Nuns, Sisters, Brothers, and Monks]
  • Generous Single Life in Christ

When we want to discover God’s particular plan for our life, we have to find a way to hear God telling us about that plan.  When we are trying to listen for God’s plan for us, we are said to be “discerning” that plan.  So how does God speak to us?  Let’s read a scene from Scripture that tells us a little bit about God’s way of speaking to us:

 Then the LORD said to Elijah: Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD — but the LORD was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake — but the LORD was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire — but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a light whisper.  When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
 [1 Kings 19:11-13]


 The story of Elijah tells us a lot about how God speaks to us.  He often speaks in a whisper.  In fact, he speaks so softly, that we sometimes miss the words that God is trying to tell us.  That is why it is so important for us to be quiet and listen, in order to hear God’s plan for our lives.

The step-by-step process to help us learn the particular vocation God has chosen for us consists of:

  • Fervent daily prayer.
  • Consultation and collaboration with your parish priest and the Diocesan Director of Vocations.
  • Spiritual direction from a qualified spiritual director, such as one recommended by the Director of Vocations.
  • Seminary formation for those pursuing possible ordination to the priesthood or diaconate; or formation within a religious community for those pursuing possible religious life as a sister, nun, brother or monk.


Contact the Office of Vocations for additional information.