January 08, 2007

Discernment (Again?)

Three years ago or so as I began the process to be a Sister of St. Joseph I was so glad that the peace and joy I had found in that decision was lasting. The daily ups and downs of discernment can wear a person out. Throughout this process people have been very clear that it is still discernment time for me and for the community. However, who wants to deal with all those ups and downs when lasting peace and joy seems a much simpler option? So, I have been more than content to just know that being a Sister of St. Joseph is where I am called. What do I do, though, when I come to a point of discontent? In three years I may have said that, yes, I'm discerning. Yes, I know that God may or may not be calling me to religious life. But, I have never seriously let myself entertain the thought that this life isn't it. If I do not give myself another option, though, is it a choice to stay? In many ways I feel like I am taking two steps back from where I was. But, I know that I need to step back a bit to be able to move forward at all. So, I'm again living with the ups and downs, but with my wonderfully, supportive community and a nap here and there, I feel good about the direction my heart is taking and know that God is present always.



  1. Sarah -
    I seems like discernment is a lifelong process for me. Live and love the questions along the way. There is a prayer from Merton and a quote from Rilke that I have found comforting. Hope you do to. Links are below . . .
    You are in our prayers always.
    Uncle Dave



  2. I agree with Uncle Dave, Sarah. Life is a process, never ending; always discerning something, in some way!!! I consider it a blessing to be one of the persons who is walking this leg of your journey with you. Love, The Director of (the!) Novice: Pat

  3. You can count on my prayers of support! St. Ignatius says "Stay in the struggle". In the chaos of your struggle, creation is happening.


  4. VERY INTERESTING!!!!!! Can't wait to see you!

    -Alisha M.

  5. Hey Sarah,
    Great comments on discernment! I recall one very serious question time when I was in the novitiate - not about religious life, but about the congregation. I talked to my spiritual director, Marian Cowan, who pushed me into greater freedom. Then, I thought I wrote a veiled letter to one of my aunts who was a Good Shepherd sister. She quickly replied that my hand was on the plow, and that the time for looking at her community was past. What a great, generous, comment. It was just what I needed.
    Mary McGlone