Day 26 - Discernment Tip #4: DO Something!!

Welcome to another week in our 40 Days for Vocations! This week, I will be sharing with you some of my favorite tips for discernment.

Linking up with Auntie Leila today. Did I mention that I got to meet her and hear her speak last weekend???

She was an absolute delight! Even lovelier in person! I'm still absorbing the wisdom and inspiration she shared.

(Pictures today are courtesy of the incredible weather we had last weekend/Monday, by the way.)

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

So, today I want to share with you an incredibly important step in discernment - doing something.

I definitely place myself in the "give your vocation to God" camp. I don't think you can force God's hand to discover your vocation sooner than you're meant to. But, at the same time, I don't think you can just sit on your laurels and wait for your vocation to fall into your lap. There are things you can do to prepare yourself.

Of course, some of this depends on what direction you feel you may be called in. If you have even the faintest desire in your heart for priesthood and religious life, why not do a vocations retreat or a "Come and See" weekend? Even if you end up discerning that you are called to marriage, time spent in prayer and with like-minded people will help prepare you for that. (Andrew actually went on two vocations pilgrimages, one while we were dating!)

If you feel God is calling you to marriage and family life - why not intentionally seek out like-minded young Catholics who can help you develop the relational skills that will prepare you for marriage? Andrew and I have found that an essential component of the health of our marriage is surrounding ourselves with like-minded friends and other married couples. Let's be honest - Catholic marriage, openness to life, etc. can look very different than secular views on marriage. It helps to have friends in your corner, to encourage you.

But can you possibly meet a potential spouse if you don't spend time with others? Ironically, my husband was introduced to me by a classmate who I never dreamed I would one day call a friend. But friendliness can go a long way...and my friendliness to that young chap led him to highly recommend me to my future husband! You just never know how you'll meet your spouse!

I think the bottom line is that, yes, God is ultimately in control of your life and vocation. But you have to do something on your end, too. If God opens doors for you, and gives you the grace to try something new - go for it! It is scary - terrifying, really - to be trying to discern your vocation. It is even more terrifying to say yes to your vocation, or to take steps in a direction that will lead you there.

But here's the big secret. Are you ready?

If you want to be a saint, you can't cower in the corner, scared. And we're all called to be saints!

Yes, it is scary to take steps toward your vocation. But it is good practice for facing the inevitable fear that will creep in at other points in life. I'm not a religious or a priest (obviously) but I'd imagine that it is scary to enter seminary/noviate. It's scary to take final vows, or get ordained. It's scary to get your first pastoral assignment. 

And from the perspective of a wife and mother? It is scary to say your vows, scary to be open to pregnancy, scary to be pregnant, scary to give birth, scary to be entrusted with the life of a tiny child. The fear never goes away! You will feel afraid, to some degree, at each turn of your vocation.

But you will also feel peace.

Andrew and I have faced challenges we would never have dreamed of, back when we were discerning our vocation. And honestly, had I known some of what we would have had to face, I would have wanted to run in the opposite direction. But once you give God your "yes" - even that first, tiny "yes" on the path to your vocation - He absolutely floods you with grace. Yes, you still feel scared sometimes, but that peace outweighs even the worst fear. That peace gives you the grace to get going and keep moving.

And let's be don't want to live your life with regrets. You don't want to wonder what your life would have looked like, if only you had taken a chance and given God your "yes." You won't, ultimately, regret putting yourself in an awkward or nerve-wracking situation. You will regret never knowing the saint you could have been.

And at the end of the day, the complete joy that comes in the midst of your vocation - it is worth every bit of difficulty leading up to it!

Trust in God. He will provide!

Please continue to pray for vocations with us!

O God, Father of all Mercies,
Provider of a bountiful Harvest,
send Your Graces upon those
You have called to gather the fruits of Your labor;
preserve and strengthen them in their lifelong service of you.

Open the hearts of Your children
that they may discern Your Holy Will;
inspire in them a love and desire to surrender themselves
to serving others in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ.

Teach all Your faithful to follow their respective paths in life
guided by Your Divine Word and Truth.
Through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary,
all the Angels, and Saints, humbly hear our prayers
and grant Your Church's needs, through Christ, our Lord. Amen. (source)


  1. This is a beautiful post- discerning vocations can be difficult- luckily we are called to the same final work- to get to heaven. How we get there is the challenge....


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