The Religious and/or Priestly Way of Life in La Salette...My Vocation?
We accept candidates for the ordained ministry and the ministry of religious brother. We work for the Kingdom of God and the Church in a number of areas: for example, pastoral ministry, missions, retreat work, shrines, and publishing. We proclaim the Good News that God calls all people to reconciliation.
What is a vocation to the priesthood, religious or missionary life? What are the signs? How can you recognize that you are called? Here are some points to consideration:
There may be a strong attraction to the priesthood or religious life - or to related areas, such as liturgy, theology or missions. Sometimes it can also be a fascination with the religious lifestyle. This attraction may not yet provide a clear motivation, but it does suggest the possibility of a vocation.
A second sign is the desire to render glory to God by serving the Church and working for the salvation of souls. This reason refines the attraction mentioned above. This desire should encourage you to become familiar with the life of a priest, religious or missionary, learning of the difficulties associated with that vocation and still recognizing the desire to sacrifice yourself for others by serving Jesus in this way.
A third sign is the willingness to look seriously at one's spiritual life and its development. It is important to pursue growth in spirituality by the frequent use of the sacraments, and by engaging in a regular life of prayer ("Prayer is the first duty and the true path of sanctification of priests" - Benedict XVI, General Audience catechesis, 1.07.2009)
Another sign is emotional stability. The life of a religious, priest or missionary requires him to deal not only with his personal problems, but also to help others who are experiencing difficulties. This is not possible without emotional stability and a necessary self-control . You have to be able to handle your own personal problems and maintain an emotional balance so as to be able to help others with their difficulties.
A fifth sign would be the possession of at least average intellectual ability. This would allow for success in theological studies as well as in the future transmission of faith required in ministry. There would be other things to be learned for ministry that a good intellectual ability would assure.
People who have known you a long time - family members and close friends - will be very helpful in your discernment. They know you well and can give you feedback on how you interact with others and how well you are able to spend time in solitude - both of which are important in the life of a religious.
A final consideration is the requirement of good health, which would allow one to meet the challenges of ministry, which prove taxing at times, especially in the missions. Certain conditions, such as a mental illness, would be a countersign to pursuing a vocation.
More information on the subject of vocations can be found on our website: http://lasalette.org/