Question Yourself

An ability to introspectively examine your desires and motivations is an important step in discerning a vocation. In the same way as we should end each day with an examination of conscience, this practice of examining your responses to questions about a vocation can be repeated frequently and you may find that your responses change over time and with the deepening of your communion with God through prayer and reception of the sacraments.

You should place yourself in a reflective situation (you are not about to undertake an exam). Begin with prayer and ask God to give you the grace to look inside yourself and discover the gifts you have been given and the calling that unique to you. Then, reflect on each of the questions and form your answers honestly. If you keep a journal, you can make a note of your answers, or, if you prefer, just use the process as a way to get to know yourself better.

What is it that precisely makes me think I have a vocation to the priesthood or religious life?
It the feeling predominantly my desire or God’s desire for me?
What gifts have I been given by God that point towards the priesthood or the religious life?
Can I live content and fulfilled for the rest of my life in a state of chaste celibacy?

Am I willing to be completely dependent on others for all my physical and material needs?
Am I willing to work in conditions that I might not be used to and give completely of my time to the service of others?
Am I willing to surrender my plans for my life and even my plans for each day and rely, in complete and willing obedience, upon the judgment of my religious superior or bishop?
Can I listen to those who disagree with me within a religious community or within the fraternity of the priesthood and parish life?

Do I have the disposition to learn, even from people I disagree with or might disagree with me?
How do I understand ‘success’ and ‘failure’ in the life of a priest or a member of a religious order?
How patient am I with others, and myself, as they grow in holiness, which is often a process both of personal successes and failures?
Do I yearn for time in solitude with God? Do I look forward to time spent in prayer and in the liturgical life of the Church?
Would I be willing to wash the feet of my enemy and be the servant all, even those who criticise me, in a spirit of Christ-like humility?