The Thomas Merton prayer is a great discernment prayer (posted by Stefanie in a comment to “Creating Space for God” on Sept. 4). It reminds us that today is the day to care about. Today is the day we are worthy of Christ’s love. Today is the day we must trust the Lord to lead our way. The prayer also reminds us that we can have doubts along the way.
Candidates joining our community and inquirers in the initial stages of discernment occasionally have doubts. Am I worthy of Christ’s love? Will I know the path to follow? How will I know? Am I worthy of this religious life vocation?
The fact is, worthiness is not about perfection. It is about having the desire to follow God. It is about the intention of the heart. We all experience bumpy times in life, times of doubt, ‘bad prayer days’ and days when life overwhelms us. As Merton’s prayer emphasizes, worthiness is about believing, hoping and trusting in God. That is what God expects of us as God is well aware of our shortcomings.
Discernment is about pursuing worthiness. There is not ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ person for religious life. Don’t let your past, your shortcomings or your disabilities stop you from discerning your vocation. Bring who you are today and what you want for tomorrow to God, and God will Lead Your Way.