Catholic Vocation Discernment Resources
But if you wish to know how these things come about, ask grace not instruction, desire not understanding, the groaning of prayer not diligent reading, the Spouse not the teacher, God not man, darkness not clarity, not light but the fire that totally inflames and carries us into God… -St. Bonaventure
St. Francis’s call from God was a journey. Your discovery of God’s will includes this same attentiveness to the Holy Spirit. It is a gradual transformation of love.
The author of The Legend of the Three Companions writes of St. Francis of Assisi’ discernment yearnings in this prayer before the Crucifix of San Damiano Church. Saying a simple prayer each day can be a real comfort. This prayer may speak to you.
A Prayer Before the Crucifix
Most high, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, sense and knowledge, Lord, that I may carry out Your holy and true command. Amen. -St. Francis of Assisi
OUR SAN DAMIANO CRUCIFIX
Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sr. Mariella Erdman explains her own depiction of the cross that was important to both St. Francis and St. Clare in their calls from God. Does this move your heart?
Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor disturbance. Where there is poverty with joy, there is neither greed nor avarice…where there is a heart full of mercy and discernment, there is neither excess nor hardness of heart. -St. Francis of Assisi, Admonitions
CURRENT PAPAL DOCUMENT
St. Francis and St. Clare listened heartfully to the Church authority in their day. Today Pope Francis encourages us all to grow in our common call to holiness. Consider this recent document.
ECCELESIAL COMMUNION: SURRENDERING TO GOD’S ACTION by Sister Marie Kolbe Zamora, O.S.F., S.T.D.
Sister Marie Kolbe offers a Theological Reflection on discernment from the perspective of Ecclesial Communion, so important to the heart of St. Francis. Stretch your prayer to include the world’s needs and be transformed. Click below:
FRANCISCAN DISCERNMENT STUDY GUIDES
Conventual Franciscans offer study guides that assist in learning more about St. Francis’ life, spirit and mission. If you enjoy history and grow in understanding best with learning facts, start here.
The Commission on the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition (CFIT) was established in 2001 by the English-Speaking Conference of the Order of Friars Minor (OFM) to promote a contemporary retrieval of the distinctive theological and spiritual vision that animates the Franciscan movement. Sign up for a free account, if you desire credible reading.
CONSIDER READING THESE BOOKS
Francis and Jesus
Journey and the Dream
Murray Bodo OFM writes very readable texts on the life of St. Francis of Assisi and his relationship with Jesus. Be encouraged to reflect on your own spiritual journey.
Catching Fire Becoming Flame, A Guide for Spiritual Transformation
Albert Haase, OFM, presents a handy resource for expanding your knowledge and practice of spiritual practices. Each chapter concludes with a ‘Go Deeper’ section.
Always Discerning An Ignatian Spirituality for the New Millennium
Joseph A. Tetlow, S.J. delves thoughtfully into discernment questions that Pope Francis has repeatedly stated are essential for anyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ. He offers a way to pray today while teaching us how to recognize God’s will in all areas of your life.
Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs is a non-profit ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Assumption BVM Province. It has guided 20,000+ pilgrims from forty-five countries on pilgrimage, facilitating the sharing of spirituality of place and the Franciscan vision of life. If you feel the call to immerse yourself in the Franciscan spirit as you discern your next step on the journey, consider the Assisi experience.
Diocese of Green Bay: (good brochure download, too)
Spiritual Directors International, offers podcast etc. on Finding a Spiritual Director. You can find a spiritual director anywhere in the world.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you… Thomas Merton