DO YOU HEAR THE CALL?
Preaching the Word of God is the primary mission of the Dominican Order. Dominicans continue to draw deeply from the Order’s roots and are supported by the “pillars.” Recognizing the need to read the “signs of the times,” the Church enters the third millennium with Dominicans in the vanguard. Friars of the Order are guardians of hope and truth, proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
STEPS TO DISCERN
The Latin root of the word vocation is vocare--to call. The call does not originate in us, or any other earthly thing, but from God, who is the source of all goodness and Truth. Thus, our vocations come from an intimate relationship with God fostered by our listening and speaking with God. We cannot discern if we do not have a daily conversation with God.
There are many ways in which we can have this conversation with God:
Attend Mass Regularly
The Mass is one of the primary ways in which we enter into this conversation. Make a point to attend Mass as often as you can.
Pray with the Scriptures
When you spend a time each day reading the Scriptures and reflecting upon what they say, you are immersing yourself into the mind and heart of God. By spending ten, fifteen, or thirty minutes praying with the Scriptures, you are allowing God to direct your heart. One traditional monastic way of praying with the Scriptures is called Lectio Divinia.
Spend time in Eucharistic Adoration
Seek out an adoration chapel or an open Church that you can escape to for prayer. Learn how to sit before the Lord and quiet yourself so that you just be present with God.
Go to Confession
Very often we cannot hear God’s voice because we are attached to sinful or worldly things. The Sacrament of Reconciliation cuts off these ties and allows us to renew our friendship with God. Go to confession at least once a month.
2. SPIRITUAL DIRECTION
Discerning your vocation does not happen alone. You will need the help of a wise priest or religious brother with whom you can share your hopes and struggles in discernment. Spiritual direction falls into the same category as confession, so anything you share with your spiritual director cannot be shared with others. When you meet with your spiritual director you will discuss your prayer life and how to improve it. You should be honest with him regarding any issues you may have with chastity. If you have any questions about the faith, or practices of the Church, you should bring these up as well. In the end, the Spiritual Director is there to help you follow Jesus more closely in your life.
3. VISIT THE FRIARS
The only way to know is to come and see! The Dominicans are blessed in that there are many books, articles, histories, and even movies made about us. Yet, these things will only give you a hypothetical picture of a Dominican. Ultimately, there is no substitute for having an actual physical encounter with a Dominican community.
Our houses vary in size, from 4-5 to 30+, but they all contain the same elements that make us an order. By meeting a friar and hearing how he lives, you will gain a greater insight into what our charism is all about. Every one of our houses is open to receiving guests for prayer, meals, and Mass. Even if there aren’t Dominicans in your immediate area, you can schedule a visit to one of our many houses.
Meet the Vocations Director!