Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
Have you taken the time to honestly pray and think about the vocation which God is calling you to give your life? Has your deep love for Christ or a certain encounter with Him touched your soul, making you desire to surrender yourself completely to Him? Are you restless? Can you no longer deny that God might be calling you to consider the vocation of religious life and/or the priesthood? If this is so, then take comfort, God has a special and distinct plan for you and He is calling you in a unique way. However, for one who begins discerning a vocation, fear, anxiety, and confusion are not uncommon feelings. For this reason, the role of a spiritual director in your life is indispensible.
What is Spiritual Direction and why should I consider it?
The job of a spiritual director is not to command or pressure you into a vocation. Rather, a good spiritual director will guide, advise, teach and encourage you on your path to sanctity. The relationship you have with your spiritual director is within the internal forum, meaning that it is extremely confidential. A man can pour out his heart and soul to his spiritual director, confident that whatever he says will not be repeated. During regularly scheduled meetings, you will be free to discuss not only your vocation but also your strengths and weaknesses, vices and virtues. You will discuss the health of your relationships with family and friends and how to improve them. In addition, your prayer life and love for Jesus are essential areas that must be addressed. Overall, growing in self-knowledge under the guidance of a spiritual director, one becomes freer to discern the life to which the Lord is calling him. Be cautious. Don’t think that spiritual direction will not benefit you. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux understood the necessity of a spiritual guide when he said, “He who is his own master is a disciple of a fool!” In discerning a vocation, the help of a good spiritual director will be indispensible.
How do I find a spiritual director?
Begin your search by praying for a spiritual director who will aid your discernment. Next, contact a priest whom you trust such as your parish priest. If he is unable to become your spiritual director, he will be able to point you in the right direction, perhaps even recommend a potential spiritual director to you.