Friday, September 30, 2011

Discernment: Remembering Who You Are Part 2

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Marie Kolbe Zamora continues on the topic of ‘Discernment: Remembering Who You Are’. If you haven’t read part 1 click here.

Discernment does not require me to project my life out into the future so as to figure out what I am “supposed to do”, though my future is definitely at stake.  NOR does it suffice for me to plot out my future following the model of life that someone else has lived, however beautiful that model might seem, or however highly the Church might esteem that model.  Even St. Francis understood this, for near the end of his life he declared to his brothers that he had done what was his to do, and that they were now to do what was theirs to do.

Rather, the task of discerning one’s vocation is that of remembering who we are . . . of being able to “read” that “word” which God spoke when he created us  and re-created us in baptism.  When we grow in discernment, we grow in our capacity to “read” within our lives the meaning that God intended when he “spoke” us in the first place.

It seems obvious to say, but if we are to “read” within our lives the meaning that God intended when he “spoke” us, we must remember that we are not our own words; rather, we are words of the Father.  From this conviction, we can be sure of two truths. Read more.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Vocation Retreat Notes: Clare, Shining Light Reflecting Jesus' Light

Hoping to discover more clearly your life's vocation? Look to Saint Clare, who wanted “only Jesus Christ, and to live by the gospel”. This was an important focus for the February 25-27, 2011 weekend of reflection.

‘Bright in name, more brilliant in life, most brilliant in character”, Saint Clare’s personal letters to Agnes of Prague and Scripture were important to personal prayer time e.g.
1 Corinthians 15:35-50 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
Hebrews 11:4-31 Therefore there was born even of one man and him as good as dead at that, as many descendents as the stars of heaven in number, and innumberable as the sand which is by the seashore.
Revelation 12:1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
Matthew 2:1-19 Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.
2 Peter 1:19-21 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.
Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation, significant to Clare’s spirituality, were important to the journey of  growing  in union with Christ while discerning God’s call to be happy and of service to others. St Peter Church, part of  Holy Family Catholic Community, Fond du Lac, WI was an important destination for Saturday’s music ministry.
His kindness fills one to the brim; his sweetness is in overflowing measure. The recollection of him shines with a soft light.  -St. Clare

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vocation: Remember Who You Are

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Marie Kolbe Zamora continues a conversation on the meaning of discernment. If you haven’t read ‘Vocation: Be A Loving Voice of God’, the first in a series of posts, we invite you to begin here.

I used to work with a woman by the name of Edna, a devout Texas German Lutheran who, on Friday evenings as we parted for the weekend, would often say to “Remember who you are!” It was her playful way to encourage virtuous conduct in my socializing on the weekend. These words have become a part of the fabric of my person; for, if it is true that each person is their vocation by virtue of having been “spoken” into life, then the process of discernment is not primarily a process of figuring out one’s future, but of “remembering who we are”.

Each one of us began life as an “infant” word of love from God the Father to our parents…and hopefully also a word of love of our parents. As we grow into childhood, we grow continually as “sonly” or “daughterly” words of love to our parents, and hopefully we have the opportunity to become a “brotherly” or “sisterly” word of love within our family. As we grow beyond our families, we become “friendly” words of love to our neighbors and classmates, discovering the joy of generous and loyal companions. As we get old enough to begin wondering about our future, and as we grow in our appreciation of our baptism, we look around to discern what kind of loving word to the Church and the world God the Father intended us to be.
  • Did our heavenly Father “speak’ us to be a spousal word of love to a future husband or wife for the building up of the Kingdom by becoming “motherly” and “fatherly” words of love to children?
  • Did he “speak” us to be “priestly” or “deaconly” word of love within the Church, preaching the Gospel, speaking words of Eucharistic consecration and sacramental forgiveness of sins?
  • Did he “speak” us to be a “consecrated” word of love in the Church and in the world, becoming a visible icon of what it means to live one’s baptism?
These weighty questions, which introduce us to the process of discernment, can be intimidating. Some individuals treat life as though it were a multiple choice exam of only one question with the possibility of failing looming overheard. This approach to one’s life vocation, full of nervous tension and anxiety, does not ring true to the way Jesus taught us to speak to God when he taught his disciples to pray “Our Father…”; it does not ring true to Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit to be with us always.

Wherever we are, in every place, at every hour, at every time of the day, every day and continually, let all of us truly and humbly believe, hold in our heart and love, honor, adore, serve, praise and bless, glorify and exalt, magnify and give thanks to the Most High and Supreme Eternal God, Trinity and Unity.... -St. Francis

What resonates with you?