Are you a single woman or man who sometimes asks this question? Do you ever wonder why you are here and what significance your life has? If so, read on….
The call to religious life or priesthood comes in many guises. Sometimes it is a felt experience of God beckoning, maybe at a time of retreat or reflection. Sometimes the call is offered in a conversation with another person who asks if maybe that is what you are called to.
Other times it is much more vague than that. It is a general unrest or dissatisfaction with where your life is heading, or not heading. Some people realise while serving others that this is what their life call is. Other people have a niggling feeling or idea that maybe they are being invited to something bigger in life.
At times like these it is very important to become involved with some discernment around what is happening. Discernment is the art and the skill of discovering what kind of life choice God is inviting you into which will match the dreams, talents and gifts which you have been given. It is helpful to have someone walking with you in such a journey, someone you can trust to hear what you are saying and what God might be saying to you.
Discernment can be done one to one or in a group with others who are also exploring their call. If in a group there is usually an article or life story to read, reflect on and respond to. There will be discussion, questions and prayer.
Time spent in this way, even if you decide that God is not calling you to become a sister, brother or priest, is never wasted. It is always an opportunity to make some purposeful move in your life which will enable you to have life to the full which Jesus promised in John 10:10: ‘I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.’
A monthly discernment group for women is to start shortly in Wellington. If you are interested or, if you would prefer just to have a conversation about where your life is heading, please contact Sister Stephanie 04-473-2351, Sister Clare 04-478-8575 or Sister Margaret 04-232-5151. We look forward to hearing from you!
Novitiate a journeying time
My name is Anna Burrowes and my journey into religious life began three years ago when I entered into the enquiry stage with the Sisters of Mercy in Christchurch. Three years later, on August 31, 2007, I was formally received into the congregation of Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa.
This year, in Wellington, I have begun my canonical year which means taking time away from full-time ministry to focus on the call to religious life.
Now I am learning about the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as well as having an opportunity for growth in different aspects of Catholic faith.
It is also a time to be attentive and responsive to the action of God in my life, an opportunity to grow more deeply in my relationship with God through prayer and study. During the months ahead I will discern what ministry God may be calling me to do and I will have the chance to learn about and understand more fully our Mercy charism.
Novitiate is a time to fashion, carve, sculpt, mould, stamp, cast, forge, make and create. It is a time to be transformed into who God is calling me to be!