Discerning a Vocation

God desires our highest good and so He gives each of us a vocation to bring us closer to Him.

God makes use of common things to communicate to us about our vocations. We pray for discernment and then look around at the evidence of God’s will for us that already exists. Why do we do this? Because most of the time the information about our own particular, unique vocation is already available to us but we aren’t looking properly and miss it.


I have discerned my vocation, prayed, evaluated my life, and practiced detachment to let go of activities and possessions which did not support that personal vocation.

I am a married woman with children and this puts a strong shape on my vocation. No other elements can exist which negate any part of the responsibilities inherent in being married with children.

I am called to serve God with my writing.  This means in addition to keeping house and raising children and supporting my husband, I need to find time to write for this blog and continue to work on my book.  This means I do not have time for activities available in our parish.  I do not have time to join clubs and go to meetings.  Those things are good but right now they are not part of God’s call on my life and so not part of my vocation.


Some people become so attached to a good that they are unwilling to let it go.  I have always loved horses but I gave up owning or riding horses in order to attend graduate school, to write and to parent another child.   I loved showing dogs and training them.  I loved the seminars, dog shows, and judging matches on my way to become an AKC show judge.  God’s call on my life does not include continuing the path to becoming an AKC judge.  It was a good path, interesting, challenging and fun but it is not MY path, not the will of God for my life, so I choose NOT to continue down that path, good as it was.

It was detachment that permitted me to let go of those goods for the sake of my vocation.

A different person with my same interests might be called to further their training with horses or as a judge because it is part of that person’s personal unique vocation.


Look at yourself.  Are you a woman or a man?  If a woman then it is possible that your vocation will include motherhood at some point but it will never include a Catholic priesthood. Are you single or married?  A Single person might very well eventually be a married person, but as a single person the vocation will be based on the fact of your singleness.

Married people have the knowledge that their MARRIAGES and thus their families are central to their vocations.  Their careers should support the vocation, the vocation does not support the career– so the practice of detachment helps keep perspective on the relationship of career to marriage, family and home.

A single might discern a call to the religious life as a nun or a monk, to marriage, or perhaps a call simply to remain single.  Each person has a particular call to discern for themselves.


All too often we make the mistake of thinking a vocation means a big change.  God is not likely to send a nurse with a family at home back to school to become an astronaut.

God creates each person with certain attributes and so we can look at these attributes and ask ourselves what they tell us about our vocation.  What talents, strengths, weaknesses do you possess? What do you love doing, what do you hate doing? What are you already trained to do?  What decisions have you already made?

A person with a natural aptitude for teaching might consider all the ways this ability is used.  A person without any aptitude for teaching is less likely to be called to teaching as a part of a personal vocation, but a person with a natural aptitude might be very happy and useful with teaching as part of a vocation.

A person with an already established career in a legitimate field may discern about that career.  How best to serve God in that career, how best to develop that career with God in mind, what about that career makes is a means of sanctification in the life of the person living with that career as part of a personal vocation.

A younger person just beginning college, should look at the work available for each possible degree.  Their aptitudes for the work they will be doing and their capacity for professional development should be considered while discerning choices for a degree plan.

Each decision should be seen as pertaining to a vocation which will help you become holy and which will be the little bit of the world to sanctify by your daily work.

Comments are closed.