Remember to check Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on this link at the Vatican site. We’ve got four paragraphs on “Discerning your vocation.” Let’s do two today:
283. A particular form of discernment involves the effort to discover our own vocation. Since this is a very personal decision that others cannot make for us, it requires a certain degree of solitude and silence. “The Lord speaks to us in a variety of ways, at work, through others and at every moment. Yet we simply cannot do without the silence of prolonged prayer, which enables us better to perceive God’s language, to interpret the real meaning of the inspirations we believe we have received, to calm our anxieties and to see the whole of our existence afresh in his own light”.[Gaudete et Exsultate 171]
People unaccustomed to prayer need a little guidance about that time in silence. Those who do keep quiet and listen go to churches, into nature, or stay in their rooms. They might be accompanied by prayers, the Bible, or just themselves.
284. Yet this silence does not make us close in on ourselves. “We must remember that prayerful discernment has to be born of an openness to listening – to the Lord and to others, and to reality itself, which always challenges us in new ways. Only if we are prepared to listen, do we have the freedom to set aside our own partial or insufficient ideas… In this way, we become truly open to accepting a call that can shatter our security, but lead us to a better life. It is not enough that everything be calm and peaceful. God may be offering us something more, but in our comfortable inadvertence, we do not recognize it”.[Gaudete et Exsultate 172]
Listening to others is important. Especially if we are able to filter out personal agendas and seek out people who are concerned for us and can in turn watch and listen to us.
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