…and watching Christie, Claire, Eseni, Francesca and Stacey work, pray, and talk to the professed sisters in these two communities has given viewers an uplifting and honest look at religious life. To add to the fun, the cast has been live-tweeting the episodes. After following cast member Stacey Jackson (@StackeyJaxx), I messaged her and asked if she’d be willing to chat. She agreed, and I was so inspired to learn even more about her discernment.
Once I told them I was going home for a break, the next question that usually followed was “what is your major?” I always get varying responses when I tell someone I studied Theology, but on these plane rides in college, there was one response that was pretty common.
“What do you want to do with your degree in Theology? Do you want to be a priest? Why can’t you be a priest?”
15. Will I really be able to live without instant communication with friends and family? Goodbye Facebook and iPhone. Goodbye Tumblr and Pinterest. Goodbye email and phone calls and text messaging. Hello again, snail mail!
16. There will definitely be more people at my wedding than I ever imagined there would be.
17. So. Many. Layers. I hope they keep the air conditioning on all year long.
I always tell people who are discerning their vocation to be courageous and remember Jesus said, “I came that you might have life and have it to the full.” His dreams for us are our joy. God both wants the best for us and gives us every grace and strength we need. God is the best lover, friend, guide, help, mentor we could ever wish for!
Learn to love the quiet, gentle (yet strong) way He speaks. He never forces us to listen to Him so we must learn to be quiet and to love His voice.
St. JPII inspired me to draw closer to God. It was from this relationship that I heard the Lord inviting me to follow him in a deeper way by entering the seminary. As I reach the end of my third year in formation, my desire to lay down my life in service to Christ and His Church, and to serve my brothers and sisters out of a genuine love for them because of my love for Christ has continued to grow stronger.
To be honest, I felt lost. Some days I would think that being a priest was my calling, others that having a giant family (thirteen kids to be exact) was. In my life I would see signals everywhere — a bible verse that told me to be a priest and a baby that told me to be a dad. It distressed me; I was frustrated a lot of the time, and it began to wear on me. I was asking God why he didn’t just tell me what was up.
The idea of discerning our vocation can cause a lot of anxiety. Wondering if we are called to be married, enter religious life, who we should date, if we should visit convents or try out seminary can be overshadowed by fear – fear that we'll do the wrong thing or that God will plant us somewhere that will make us miserable.
Figuring out what to do in the future is one of the things that most young people struggle to figure out. Now that you know your identity, you can remind yourself that God, indeed, has a purpose for you. You were created for a reason, and figuring that reason out will be one of the most exciting things you ever do.
I want a lot of things out of life. I want to be happy. I want to feel like I have purpose. I want to be loved. I want to make a difference. I want to live a life I'm proud of. I want to be a saint. I want chocolate and tacos but not at the same time.
But I don't know where to find those vague and lofty desires. Are they only talked about in poems and songs? Because so many people around me aren't happy with their lives, or haven't found their purpose, or are settling for counterfeit love and a bottle of booze.
About three years ago, I went through a big conversion and in the course of a few months my faith grew exponentially and so much in my life changed. I was reading everything about the Church I could get my hands on, I prayed the rosary daily and I practically lived in the adoration chapel. I was in love with my faith and everyone around me knew it.
However, as wonderful as my renewed spiritual life was, I quickly began to freak out . . . being that holy obviously meant I was being called to be a nun, right?