By Fr. Alexander Ezechukwu, OCD
If you are a single Christian, have you earnestly sought to hear God’s voice concerning your God-given calling in life?
It comes from listening to Jesus.
Here’s an inspiring quote from the Vatican that explains how a vocation to consecrated life comes from a deep friendship with Jesus Christ.
“Every vocation to consecrated life is born in contemplation, from moments of intense communion and from a deep relationship of friendship with Christ, from the beauty and light which was seen shining on his face.”
- Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Starting Afresh from Christ: A Renewed Commitment to Consecrated Life in the Third Millennium, no. 9
Are you thinking, “My prayer life isn’t that good. How can I have that intense communion?”
If so, you are not alone. We have so many distractions today – electronic and otherwise. Our culture touts the active, busy and even frenetic life. And yet many wise people down through the years have encouraged a life that has some room for silence in the day, for contemplation that is open to hearing God’s Holy Spirit.
It is silence and contemplation that opens the door to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Now, you may be thinking, “I’m saying prayers every day. God doesn’t seem to be speaking to me about my vocation…He doesn’t seem concerned.”
And yet He does.
St. Teresa of Avila approached the challenge of contemplation in her book, The Way of Perfection. She wrote the book for her fellow sisters in the convents that she founded. Yes, these women had entered contemplative convents as religious, but in many ways they were just like you and me.
I’d like to zero in on one observation she made in the The Way of Perfection that will no doubt give you consolation:
“I myself spent over 14 years without ever being able to meditate except while reading. There must be many people like this, and others who cannot meditate even after reading. They can only recite vocal prayers and they take a certain pleasure in being able to do this. Some find their thoughts wandering so much that they cannot concentrate upon the same thing. They are always restless.”
So, prayer and meditation is always a process. It is a relationship with Jesus that develops over time.
You may find help from any of the many books on St. Teresa of Avila in our Discalced Carmelite bookstore.
Become a Carmelite Friar!
Are you drawn in by the contemplative charism of the Discalced Carmelite friars – a gift of God that can be nurtured by a life of prayer, community, and service? Maybe God is calling you to become a Carmelite friar. Why not consider a visit to our Priory in Oxford, UK? Contact me at the number below.
If you’re a single Catholic man age 18 to 35, have you thought about becoming a religious friar? Maybe God is calling you to a Carmelite vocation in our Anglo-Irish Province in the UK!
Contact me, Fr. Alex, Carmelite Encounter Director, at +44 (0)7477 673932, firstname.lastname@example.org
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