HOW DO I KNOW FOR SURE IF GOD IS CALLING ME TO RELIGIOUS LIFE AS A PRIEST OR BROTHER?
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The answer to this question is not easy, but here are five things that may help:
Prayer is one of the best ways to listen for God’s call. As you sit in silence...in God's presence...is your heart stirred? Do you feel the Holy Spirit tugging at your "insides?" Are thoughts of serving God’s people as a religious person present?
2. Talk With Others!
God reveals his plan for us through the special people that he puts in our lives. What are other people saying to you? If only one person has told you that you may make a good priest or brother—that is significant. If many people have told you the same thing, is God speaking to you through them? Is He trying to make His will known to you in this way?
3. Assess Your Skills and Talents!
What are your strengths? What do you do well? Look at the needs of the Church. Are your skills and talents in line with the needs of the Universal Church? With that of a missionary congregation?
4. Start Spiritual Direction!
Find a well-qualified spiritual director. It could be a priest, Brother, Sister, deacon or lay person. But find someone who can help you explore God’s presence in your life.
5. Enter Formation!
Formation is for men who have a general feeling that God is calling them to religious life. Formation helps you to grow and to understand your vocation better—formation allows you to see your vocation more clearly. Formation can help you to better understand where God is calling you to serve.
Characteristics of a Good Candidate for Religious Life.
1. Are you an active member of the Catholic Church with an appreciation of the past and a sense of hope for the future, while being engaged in the Church as it is here and now?
2. Have you developed a sound faith and spiritual life and are you willing to keep growing?
3. Do you have a positive life direction and a sense of purpose?
4. Do you have a sense of perspective and a good sense of humor?
5. Do you have the intellectual ability to complete the required education?
6. Are you physically and psychologically healthy to meet the demands of ordained or vowed ministry?
7. Are you a person of integrity and generosity, with a sense of responsibility and an awareness of God in your life?
8. Can you make a positive choice for celibacy?
9. Are you responsive to the needs of others? Do you have a desire and ability to serve generously in a variety of settings?
10. Do you have leadership ability so that you can invite and empower others to use their gifts?
11. Do you value men and women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds?
12. Can you enter into healthy relationships with others and have a good sense of self when relating to others?
If you answered "yes" to most of these questions, perhaps God is calling you to a religious vocation.