A Discerning Woman

Yesterday was the Feast of the Assumption and a great day to celebrate Mary.  Today, as a Saturday at St. Mary’s, we are honoring Mary.  It struck me throughout Eucharist and in evening prayer that Mary is the model for discernment.

Mary is the most prayerful person I can imagine.  The Bible verse where “she pondered these things in her heart” could be a motto for discernment.  Isn’t that what it is all about? We must hold close our experiences in prayer, and ponder them in our hearts.  This is how we will know the message in the experience.

Mary has long been an example of obedience to God’s Will.  From the moment she discovered she was to carry the Son of God, Jesus, she opened her whole life to doing whatever was needed.  Her beautiful Magnifcat (which we use daily in our common prayer) is, as far as I am concerned, the most beautiful of all prayers.  It is simply a woman giving herself over to God and praising God.

In discernment we must listen, ponder our experiences, pray, praise God and then, in the heart, we will know God’s will.  It is a challenge to open our heart in this way – for the ultimate message is unknown.

Whether we are seeking answers about our life direction, or finding strength to meet life’s challenges – a discerning heart is essential.  A pondering heart is essential.  A prayerful heart is essential. Finally, a trusting heart is essential.  Mary teaches the way to discern and know God in our life choices.

Those of you on this journey of discerning where God is leading you to live, take heart in Mary’s Way.  Perhaps it would be valuable to pray with the Magnificat or with Mary in one of the Gospels.  I find it very helpful to sit with Mary in my prayer and let her presence fill me. Let her be your powerful model in your discernment.

A New Calling

God’s Calling is a fabulous experience.  I am learning that God doesn’t just ring once!  When we accept a foundational call to Baptism, many options become alive in our life.  Many choices must be made as we live out our Baptism.   Then a second call comes alive when we choose the path we will pursue God along: married life, religious life, priesthood, single life, etc.  That is huge, of course, and requires many a prayer and reflection.

Actually, there may be many calls from God.  These may consist of call to raise a family, take a particular job, get more involved in Church, face a difficult challenge and others.  Our foundation is in Baptism and our vocation is how we live out our fundamental call of Baptism.

I have been writing this blog for nearly 2 years and today we were able to kick it up to its own page.  It is very exciting and i am looking forward to this new side of my ministry as vocation director.  My purpose is to be with women who are discerning their call to religious life.  Many, many questions arise in such a journey and I welcome them.  Many, many prayers are needed during discernment and I will say mine for you.  Many, many thoughts surface in such a serious time and I welcome you to share them.  August 2, 1982, was my Final Monastic Profession and so I have many rich years of experiences I am thrilled to share with you.  Just ask, just write and just know God is leading the Way. �