Discernment

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I am yours, I was born for you. What is your will with me? 0 Life! 0 Sunlight! Shining in stainless purity! Since I am yours, yours only, what is your will with me?
St. Teresa of Avila

 A 'still, small voice' makes itself heard in the depths of the heart, gently insisting, gently attracting . ..This perhaps, is one facet of the way a call to the religious life manifests itself, although it remains mysterious and inexpressible.

Countless men and women throughout the ages have heard that voice and judged it worth the risk of forsaking all to follow where they could not know it would lead . . .

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Are there times when you find yourself pondering over these questions?:

  • What has life in store for me?  Where shall I be twenty years from now?
  • No one can ask questions like these or seek answers before they have first, like St.Teresa of Avila, inquired of God, their loving Creator: "What is your will for me? Where are you calling me?"
  • Do I desire to belong to Christ alone and live my whole life seeking intimacy with him?
  • Do I want to be an instrument of peace and healing in our wounded world?
  • Do I believe that a life of prayer and holiness by itself is a true apostolate? That it can make a difference in our world of the Third Millennium?
  • Am I looking for fulfillment beyond what society has to offer?
  • Am I a committed Catholic and yet have a deep intuition that God is calling me to something more?
  • Am I wondering what religious life is really like?
  • Am I drawn to the contemplative life but wonder if it is possible for me to change my life style in such a radical way?
  • Am I finding it hard to believe that Jesus is choosing me to leave everything and follow him more closely?

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 To discern a vocation means to:

  •  Listen to your own heart.
  •  Listen to Christ speaking in the Gospels.
  •  Listen to the words of a priest, friend or counselor in whom you have placed your confidence.
  • Pray without anxiety, peacefully and perseveringly.
  • Wait for the Lord and trust him for he will not fail to make you know his will for you. 
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If you feel called to Carmel, you might experience within yourself:

  • A strong desire to seek God and to enter into an intimate relationship with Him.
  • A growing appreciation of being in solitude so as to be with God alone.
  • A love for the Church and the willingness to make personal sacrifices so as to bring men and women to Christ.
  • A desire for the simplicity and frugality of the monastic life style.
  • An appreciation for the inner freedom which comes from the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
  • A willingness to share generously and joyously in the life and endeavors of a small sisterly community, united in their love for Christ and one another.