To Scale the Heights of Love…

The purpose of religious consecration “is to scale the heights of love: a complete love, dedicated to Christ under the impulse of the Holy Spirit and, through Christ, offered to the Father: hence the value of the oblation and consecration of religious profession, which in Eastern and Western Christian tradition is considered as a baptismus flaminis (Baptism of Desire), ‘inasmuch as a person’s heart is moved by the Holy Spirit to believe in and love God, and to repent of his sins.’ (ST,III,q.66,a.11)”     –  John Paul II, Audience in Rome, 1994

How many times have you thought to yourself, “I wish God would just tell me my vocation so I could do it!!” For those who are honestly seeking God’s will for their lives, this time of discernment can bring with it moments of frustration and impatience, especially when the manifestation of His will for their lives seems to be taking a lot longer than planned!

Once all of the usual “discernment tips” that you’ve culled from various websites have been put into practice: [Daily Mass; at least twenty minutes of daily quiet prayer- usually with Sacred Scripture; a Spiritual Director; regular confession at least monthly (bi-weekly is even better!); devotion and consecration to our Blessed Mother Mary; being in contact with religious communities that interest you; going on visits to their communities; retreats] What else can a person do, if her vocation is still unclear?

Let’s take a look at Jesus’ encounter with Nathaniel (John 1:45-51). Philip has seen the Lord and runs to tell Nathaniel. What was his response? “What good can come from Nazareth?” Philip is not fazed by Nathaniel’s skepticism, for he knows that Jesus is the Messiah, so he doesn’t argue with him, but simply responds, “Come and see.”

What are the “Nazareths” in our discernment process that are preventing us from following God’s will for our lives? For example, one Sister was convinced that God couldn’t possibly be calling her to live in New York City.  “Moving to New York City?! Living without my dog?”

“What good can come from ________?” In the silence of our hearts, each of us can fill in the blank with those things and places that we haven’t totally surrendered to the Lord’s loving plan for our lives.

When we bring these places of our hearts to the Lord in prayer and then to our Spiritual Director, they slowly lose their grip on us and we begin to experience a new freedom and peace. Be not afraid! The Lord sees you, He loves you and He awaits your love in return. As you journey toward His Love, His Sacred Heart, repeat this once or 1,000 times…

“My Jesus, I trust You!”

 Again and again, “My Jesus, I trust You” Praying these words will transform and conform our will to His Divine Will, which may be ‘to scale the heights of love: a complete love, dedicated to Christ’ as His Bride.