Discernment... an eleven letter word that changes a life. I have come to think of discernment as a seed that is now germinating. You know, when the seed starts to grow and put out shoots after a time of dormancy. I am not sure when the seed was planted of this idea of Priesthood. Maybe it is planted at the moment of conception or later on but regardless of when it was, it is growing and has taken root in my life.
The idea of when the discernment really starts is hard to say because just as the seed starts to grow it happens under the soil and can not be seen. The same with discernment, it starts to grow in your heart/soul and it is not noticed until it breaks ground and is seen in the light. The light again came for me was when one day I looked up at mass at the Priest as he raised up the Eucharist and I felt a desire to be up there on the alter. Now, as you may know this was not the first time this came to my mind. I thought about this before but allowed life and my own ideas and plans to take control and as that idea of Priesthood broke ground, I cut it down. But you see, what I did not do pull it out. I could not do that.
What I mean buy I did not pull it out is like when you cut down a tree or a bush and you take it down to the ground but do not yank it out with the roots, then it will grow again. Only God can uproot this if it is not His will for me to be a Priest. There has always been this pull but I just kept cutting it down again again and again. This time is the first time that I have really started to explore discernment. Really opening myself up to it and seeing where it takes me.
Prayer has been the center of this discernment process. You would think that idea would be known but at first I tried to figure it out myself. I did not take it to prayer but took it to my head. I let my head think for me and take it all apart and try to make some reasoning out of it. Others may say listen to your heart. Your heart will guide you. But I see that also as a problem. My heart of course wants a life with God and Christ but my heart is not going to guide me in the right direction to get that life or how that life is to be but just the desire of a life with God and Christ. So, this is where prayer comes in. Prayer takes both my heart and mind and has them work together. My mind can put together the words that my heart is feeling. My heart can make me feel what my mind is trying to say. In that union is my prayer and that prayer is my discernment.
Tomorrow, I will talk about some of the ups and downs and what I have found to be some of the best ways to get through all of this and understand where God is leading me. Below there are some more prayers and the readings for the day.
Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may we pray for all those who are discerning.
Lord Jesus Christ,
You are the Savior of the world.
Please manifest in Your Church
the Spirit whom You also abundantly
bestowed on Your apostles.
Call very many to Your priesthood
and Your religious life.
May zeal for Your glory
and for the salvation of the world
inflame those You have chosen.
May they be saints in Your likeness.
May Your Holy Spirit strengthen them.
May they be priests and religious according to Your own heart!
O Lord, help me know your will
Let your light shine in the depths
of my heart
that I may know what you want
me to do with my life.
Help me believe that you have
a special plan for me.
Lord, I know I pass through this
life only once;
help me decide how you want
me to make a difference.
Like our Blessed Mother, give me
the wisdom to hear your voice
and the courage to answer
Above all give me peace
of mind and heart.
I offer this prayer in the name of
Jesus Christ our Lord.
God our Father,
you will all men and women to be saved
and come to the knowledge of your Truth.
Send workers into your great harvest
that the Gospel may be preached
to every creature
and your people, gathered together
by the word of life
and strengthened by
the power of the sacraments,
may advance in the way
of salvation and love.
I ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
we ask you
to send more servants to your people.
Choose from our parishes,
from our homes,
from our schools and colleges,
an abundant harvest
of apostles for your Kingdom: priests,
sisters, brothers, deacons and lay ministers.
We pray that those you call
may never lose awareness of the
dignity and need of their vocation.
O Virgin Mary,
Mother of the Church,
teach to all those the Master calls
to say a joyful "yes"
as you did at the Annunciation
Gracious God, thank you for calling us
at Baptism to be your people.
In response to your call we again say, "Yes."
Keep us faithful to your mission
and our vocation.
Bless with a renewed spirit of zeal and enthusiasm
all who dedicate their lives
in service to your people.
Inspire more women and men of faith and compassion
to serve as lay ministers and deacons
sisters, brothers and priests.
Fill them with your Spirit of Wisdom
to proclain the Good News and
to witness your presence among us.
O, God, You have asked us to pray for vocations;
that there might be young men and women
willing to give their lives for the sake of souls.
Hear our prayer and the prayers of your Church and send us good and holy priests and religious. We offer you this day, all we shall think, do or say for this intention, through Christ, Our Lord, Amen.
O God, You call all in Your Church to live a holy life. Like a wise harvest master, clearly call laborers to reap the harvest of souls. May some become holy priests, formed by the Gospel; may some find their way to religious communities filled with love for You. Inspire them by Your Holy Spirit to leave their way of life and share the work of Your Son Who lives forever and ever.
Creator of the Universe, God of the Nations,
Your people are longing to hear your word.
Send laborers into your harvest -
women and men on fire with your love:
Dedicated single people -
who incarnate your presence
in their daily lives,
whose availability enables them
to respond to a diversity of needs.
Married couples -
whose relationships serve as a sign
of your fidelity to your people,
whose love overflows
to their children and neighbors.
Ordained Ministers -
who gather the prayers and longing
of your people
who serve as a channel of your presence
through the sacraments.
Religious sisters, brothers, and priests -
whose life in community foreshadows
our eternal unity in Christ,
whose service brings your life to the world.
May each of us respond with courage and generosity
to our particular vocations, and may the Church recognize
the Spirit's call to men and women of good will,
trusting in your abundance to answer all our needs.
God, the source of
creation and love,
You invite each of
us to serve you through the life
which is your gift.
May your grace
encourage men and women to heights
of holiness through service to the church
as priests, sisters, brothers, and lay ministers.
Make me an
instrument to encourage others
to give of themselves and
challenge me to do the same.
Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Brothers and sisters:
We are the circumcision,
we who worship through the Spirit of God,
who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh,
although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.
If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I.
Circumcised on the eighth day,
of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage,
in observance of the law a Pharisee,
in zeal I persecuted the Church,
in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.
But whatever gains I had,
these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ.
More than that, I even consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
PS 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
R. (3b) Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So Jesus addressed this parable to them.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.
“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”