“And Jesus said, ‘Come, follow me’.”
— Mark 10:21
What is a vocation to consecrated life?
There are many ways to follow Christ in the consecrated life. Each order has a unique spirituality and charism, or “flavor.” The charism animates a religious community and gives it a particular character to build the kingdom.
Learn more about religious order charisms:
“In every age there have been men and women who, obedient to the Father’s call and the prompting of the Spirit, have chosen this special way of following Christ. … Like the Apostles, they too have left everything behind in order to be with Christ and to put themselves, as he did, at the service of God and their brothers and sisters.”
— Vita Consecrata, 1
Questions to ask yourself
Do you experience a deepening awareness of God and a growing hunger to draw closer to God, to the church, and to others?
Do you have an increasing sense that something is lacking in your life? Are you looking for more meaning and purpose?
Do you have a regular prayer life? Are you growing in your relationship with God?
Are you an active Catholic who attends Mass? Are you involved in some form of parish activity?
Do you have healthy friendships with men and women alike?
Are you someone who reaches out to others through volunteer work or simple acts of kindness?
Listen to the deepest desires of your heart
Get to know Jesus through developing a daily personal prayer time. Discernment flows from relationship with God. Prayer invites us to enter into the depths of silence and teaches us to listen.
Step up your prayer: Get to know Jesus through developing a daily personal prayer time. Discernment flows from relationship with God. Prayer invites us to enter into the depths of silence and teaches us to listen.
Seek accompaniment: A spiritual guide will help you listen to yourself and hear God speaking to you. They can act as a mirror, reflecting a clear image of who you are back to you. Discovering your vocation is the most important decision you will make in your life. Don’t go it alone.
Test the endurance of your deepest desire
A true call from the Lord withstands the test of time. What may have begun as a simple attraction will gradually mature in firmness and depth. While time confirms a call, fear can lead you to procrastinate. A vocation is like a treasure hidden in a field; you need to take the time and effort to discover it.
- Learn about consecrated life and discernment.
- Come to Explore Your Call, an event for young adults (ages 18 to 35) who want to learn more about religious and consecrated life from consecrated men and women in the area.
- Identify a few communities that you are attracted to. Here are communities in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, as well as a broader list of popular orders that are not necessarily in this archdiocese.
- Contact the vocations directors for those communities.
The Reality Principle
The third aspect of discernment is external reality. You need to know what you’re getting into by learning about different communities and encountering them.
- Visit communities you’re attracted to.
- Know that discernment goes two ways: You are discerning, but so are the communities you visit. They want to be sure it’s a good fit for you and for them. It can seem unnerving, but it can also give you deep peace to know others see your call, too!
The story of modern-day consecrated women
Here’s a window into the life and experiences of women who have heard Jesus inviting them to “come and see.” They discerned their call to follow Him in consecrated life.
Not sure where to start, or feel like you just need someone to talk with? Please reach out. We’d love to hear more about what God is doing in your life.