St. Paul tells us, "This is the will of God, your holiness." The Second Vatican Council reminded us that we are all called to a life of holiness, service and community. The particular life style we embrace may vary -- marriage, religious life, or life as a single lay woman -- but we share a common calling.

As to the particular life style, there is no simple answer to this question, no method or technique that is guaranteed to tell you God's plan for you. It is more a matter of developing a relationship with God through prayer. God's Spirit leads and guides us through the circumstances of our life, our natural talents, our attraction to one life-style or another. A sign that we have made a good choice
is that it draws us closer to God and brings us a sense of peace.

For a more extended answer, you may wish to see one or more of these articles:

  Simply put, discerning is about deciding which of two or more options is a better choice. When the object of the discernment is God's will it involves a attitude of listening in the context of prayer. This is a way to actively cooperate with God in co-creating a future full of meaning and promise. It is a way to take responsibility for the direction of your life by making appropriate choices. In prayer you
make your choices as you journey with God, confident that you will be cared for, that you will have what is needed to live whatever choice you do make.

Discernment involves making decisions after you have spent some time listening to God in prayer. It involves some simple steps. Here is a guide to help you.

  Clearly define the choices that lie before you.
  Make a list of the pros and cons of each choice.
  Take some quiet time and pray with this list.
  Name the motives that are drawing you to choose one choice over another.
  Check to see how these motives fit into your value system.
  Notice is you are experiencing peace with the choice you made.
  Share your experience with a trusted friend and ask for some input if you are not feeling peaceful or if you are unsure of your own assessments.
  Take some additional time to pray asking the Spirit for guidance.
  Remember, when the right decision comes, peace and joy can be signs that this choice is right for you.

For a more extended answer, you may wish to see one or more of these articles:

To help you in your prayer for discernment you may find these prayers useful.

  Each one of us experience the call differently. God knows us and leads us in a way that that suits us best. The attraction may come in many ways: through a Sister you admire, as a grace from a retreat you make, a desire that somehow wells up inside of you. However it
may happen, there are certain signs you might look for. These include:

  an increased awareness of God in your life,
  a developing friendship with Jesus and a growing desire to share in His mission of fulfilling the Father's plan for creation,
  a deepening appreciation of prayer, Eucharist and the Sacraments,
  a growing wonderment at what it would be like to be a Sister and a desire to give yourself completely to the Lord and the works of the Lord
  a caring attitude toward all of God's people, especially the most needy,
  an interest in being of service to others,
  an other-oriented stance toward life that would adapt to community living,
  a heightened awareness of what is most important in your life and a growing sense that God is calling you to something deeper than you have experienced.

For a more extended answer, you may wish to seethe article "Is it for me?".

  There is no special way that is required when you pray for discernment but there is a rich tradition of ways to approach such prayer. The essential element is your own desire to let the Holy Spirit help you to perceive any situation in your life in the light of God’s love for all his people. This openness of mind and heart can be brought to whatever prayer form appeals to you. God does respect our differences and knows what works best for us.

One of the traditions is that of St. Ignatius of Loyola and you will find an explanation of his approach in a prayer knows as an
Examen of Consciousness. It is a means of increasing our everyday awareness of God’s presence in our life and our openness to the Spirit journeying with us.

We’d like to offer you a variety of prayers from which you may find one or more that suits your own personal journey as you seek to grow in holiness and prayerful intimacy with the good Lord.

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