Discerning the Elements of Your Personal Vocation

ByLuke Burgis
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Fr. Peter Ryan, S.J., explains the key elements in the discernment of personal vocation. Discerning personal vocation is a challenge for all of us, so it helps to have a wise spiritual director as well as practical tools that will guide us on our journey.

Personal vocation is God’s call to each person to live the unique life of good deeds that God has prepared for him or her. Personal vocation cannot be reduced to vocation as
one’s state in life, but rather includes it and is relevant for every free choice one makes.

Fr. Ryan gives a beautiful Ignatian approach to discerning one’s vocation, which does take on the character of a skill as discernment is not simply a gift but something that we can learn how to do better and better throughout our lives.

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  • Points to bear in mind when preparing to discern
  • Sincere discernment infallibly succeeds
  • Motivation is crucial
  • Discernment requires detachment
  • Discern only what we try
  • Nothing is wasted
  • Discernment is ongoing
  • Consider gifts and needs
  • Let emotion play its part
  • Beware of deception

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