7 Stages of Discernment - The First Stage
Many, many moons ago, we began to share with you the 7 Stages of Discernment that Fr. Brett A. Brannen talks about in his book To Save A Thousand Souls: A Guide to Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood. We thought it was high time to revive this important post series, so over the next few months, we will be posting each stage, with some modifications from the original to fit the discernment of a religious vocation. Read on for Stage 1.
Stage 1: The Initial Call
A woman feels attracted to religious life for the first time. This stage often takes place in childhood, perhaps in a Catholic school setting, while reading the lives of saints who were religious or meeting a religious sister. Often she will dress up like a Sister or have a little nun doll.
However, for some this initial call can happen as an adult. It may happen after someone mentions that they think she would make a wonderful nun. Perhaps she sees a movie with nuns in it, reads a book about nuns, or even endures a tragedy. The attraction may begin after a good retreat, homily, or prayer time. It may come simply as a result of seeing nuns at Mass or in passing. It is a mysterious attraction, made all the more mysterious as she has almost no information about religious life, discernment, convents, or monasteries. The primary emotions are excitement and wonder. “Could God be calling me to be a Sister?