Discerning A Religious Vocation

Editor’s Note: This post was part of April Fools Day 2014

By Br. Isaac Augustine Morales, O.P.

A few years ago, I finally began to take seriously the possibility that God might be calling me to the priesthood. I had resisted for years, but then I was given the grace to begin to explore the call. For various reasons, I suspected that I was being called not simply to the priesthood, but to become a member of a religious community, and – still being infected with pride, as we all are – I figured I should seek out the best. I mean, when making a major life decision like this, why settle for second-best?

So I mulled over the various communities Holy Mother Church offers us, and here are some of the criteria I came up with:

  • I wanted to join a society of men that live their lives as men for others.

  • I felt drawn to a community that would give me more – magis, you might call it.

  • As someone who gets to the gym regularly, I also knew that not only my body, but also my spirit would benefit from exercises.

  • If I was to make the right decision, I would have to examen not just my conscience, but even my consciousness.

Lest this begin to sound narcissistic, let me assure you that I wasn’t going into this purely for myself. I had other, more outwardly focused reasons guiding my discernment as well:

  • Religious life is about the care of the whole person, cura personalis, if you will.

  • Moreover, it is crucial to find a community that does all things Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam.

  • And, of course, a community with a proper understanding of and emphasis on justice is a sine qua non, especially with the model our Holy Father Francis has given us.

And so, after much thought and prayer, and in consultation with men of discernment, I took the plunge: in August of 2012, I entered the novitiate for the Province of St. Joseph and continued down the path to becoming one of the “dogs of the Lord” in the Order of Preachers.

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