7 Stages of Discernment - The Fifth Stage
These 7 Stages of Discernment are taken and modified for discerning religious life from the book To Save a Thousand Souls by Fr. Brett A. Brannen.
Stage 5: Monastery Discernment
A woman in this stage has been accepted into the formation program of a particular religious community. Stage 5 can be associated with the time of aspirancy (sometimes called pre-postulancy) and postulancy, the first two to four years of monastic formation. She is going to Mass every day, praying before the Blessed Sacrament, and seriously studying the faith. She has regular contacts and visits with her religious community, and in postulancy she is actually living with them, surrounded and supported by other women who desire to belong totally to the Lord.
In the first years of her monastery formation, this woman is falling in love with Jesus and the Catholic faith; she is praying, going to spiritual direction, studying, and serving. She is excited about her faith, peaceful about her discernment, and has a growing belief that she will end up a nun, though she is still not sure that she will make vows. She asks God for more certainty in her vocation, and she asks Mary daily for help and perseverance. Friends, family, and acquaintances know that she is in formation, and she is addressing their questions.