Discerning One's Vocation By De-Fault Jul 19, 2019 14:19:48 GMT -5
Post by RitaMarita on Jul 19, 2019 14:19:48 GMT -5
Back when the Church was flourishing almost every person had access to a priest who could be their confessor and help them to discern their vocation in life. These days such is often not possible. So, I would like to share what I have learned from the writings of the saints about how priests used to discern vocations for those under their guidance.
WHAT THE SAINTS AND HOLY WRITERS SAY
The saints say that “You shall be saved by doing the will of God” and that “This is the will of God: your salvation”.
The holy writers also say furthermore that “Every man has a primary fault which he is greatly inclined towards” and that “The overcoming of one’s predominate fault should be his primary concern in life”.
By putting all of these precepts together we can conclude that a man’s calling in life is: The will of God is to embrace whichever vocation will best help him overcome his predominant fault and thus to gain eternal life. It now remains to explain how diverse faults can indicate that a person should embrace the different states of life.
THE RELIGIOUS LIFE
Most nuns, monks, and priests make a vow of poverty, chastity and obedience. To take such a vow, one should be at least somewhat certain and determined to fulfill these promises. For, a person who frequently breaks profound vows to God will continuously build up sin upon his head for which he will have to make atonement either in this life or the next.
A person whose primary faults are pride, stubbornness, disrespectfulness and disobedience may have a hard time keeping a vow of obedience.
A person whose primary faults are gluttony, greed, and avarice may have a hard time making a vow of poverty.
A person whose primary faults are against the sin of purity may have a hard time keeping a vow of chastity.
On the other hand, he who is naturally inclined to be quiet, submissive, and whose primary fault is the need for constant guidance and discipline to keep them on track to accomplish anything will find the religious life an unlimited source for growth in virtue and advancement in the spiritual life.
Also, it should be added that there is no harm, and perhaps much good, in visiting a convent or monastery for a while to discern a vocation and one’s ability to make and keep such vows even if one will not join a religious order in the end.
THE MARRIED STATE
The married state requires a great deal of humility, charity, meekness and often forces these virtues upon those who might not already have them.
A person whose primary fault is pride will find that this vocation will help them become more modest because of all the humiliating circumstances that come with it. Some examples of this are: Not being able to keep a spotless house; being covered in excrement from leaky diapers, vomit from babies or other children throwing up; being blamed for any fault your child or spouse commits in public.
A person whose primary fault is selfishness and stubbornness will find that being faithful to the duties of the married life almost forces them to be less willful and be more charitable by the fact that their lives and bodies no longer belong just to themselves and God and they must often put the needs of their spouse and children before themselves and their own wants.
A person whose primary fault is wrath may find that the matrimonial vocation helps give them many opportunities to fight against their anger. Children can annoy and test the limit of even the most patient and gentle people by their bickering and screams. Due to constant pestering from children and spouses one can also find the means to practice great meekness.
On the other hand, a person whose primary faults are laziness and timidity may find it hard to discipline their children and through marriage might run the risk of losing their souls by not fulfilling their duties properly.
THE SINGLE STATE
Originally the single state was taken up only by those who were had neither a religious vocation nor were able to marry. Single people used to consist primarily of those who were infirm, disabled, or who had specific duties to their parents or families which obliged them not to pursue another vocation. Such people usually made a vow of virginity and committed themselves to a vocation in the world and of performing acts of mercy towards those around them.
This vocation requires a strong mind and will yet also a great deal of humility as one’s primary purpose is to serve those around them.
A person whose primary fault is laziness should not generally embrace this life as they might lose the incentive to do anything with their life at all.
A person whose primary fault is pride should generally not embrace this life as they will tend to think that the works they accomplish alone, without any help from a religious order, are very great and may easily become even more proud and puffed up.
A person whose primary fault is anger should not embrace this life as it will make it harder for them to serve those around them in kindness and charity as this vocation requires.
On the other hand, this vocation could be seen as useful for those whose primary faults are those of the flesh since keeping busy in works of mercy they will be more likely too preoccupied to overeat or overindulge.
There are always exceptions to the norm and it is not my intention to tell any particular person what their vocation is. It is also important to note that a person who overcomes his predominant fault before embracing a particular state in life may find it easy to embrace almost any state of life. Thus, much prayer, penance and patience is required to discern truly to which vocation one has been called to by God. Parents should instill in their children from an early age the idea that they should pray daily to know the will of God for them in their lives. Finally, until one knows their vocation, he should concentrate his time and efforts on conquering and overcoming his predominant fault so as to better accomplish the duties of his vocation once it is made known to him.