Servants of the Lord & the Virgin of Matará

Vocations

Religious Vocation: A Call from God

“You did not choose me, but I chose you.” 
— Jn 15:16

“It is God who, from within, inspires in souls a desire to embrace…consecrated life.” 
— Directory of Vocations
, 23

“The experience of a vocation is unique and indescribable, and is only perceived as a gentle breeze of the clarifying touch of grace. The vocation is a breathing of the Holy Spirit, who, at the same time as he genuinely shapes our fragile human reality, shines a new light into our hearts. He instills an extraordinary power that merges our existence into the divine enterprise.”
— St. John Paul II, Rome, March 17, 1982

“To ‘put out into the deep’ is to take the demands of the gospel seriously and thoroughly: go, sell what you possess (Mt 19:21). It is the longing of our restless heart, yearning to possess the Infinite. It is the impetus of the saints and martyrs who gave everything for God.
— Directory of Spirituality, 216

Discernment Resources

Sacramental Life

If you are discerning a vocation to religious life, you can come to know the Lord’s will for you more easily by spending time in prayer and seeking out daily mass often. Mass in a quiet chapel allows us to pause from our busy activities and to have the sacramental intimacy with Jesus in the Eucharist which is needed in order to hear what God is trying to say to us, it is one of the most important parts of the the discernment experience.  Servidoras and women religious throughout the Church can attest that it was there that He clarified, strengthened, and confirmed the plans He had for them. Try www.masstimes.org to help you find the schedule of masses close to your school or work.

The Blessed Virgin Mary: A Companion in Discernment

Our Lady gives us the perfect model of docility to the will of God at the Annunciation in her fiat (“let it be done”). She can teach us how to be trusting, open and generous with God. The Holy Rosary, the recitation of the Angelus, and even the Total Consecration according to the method of St. Louis Marie Gringion de Montfort are all ways of inviting her to be our mother, our model, and our intercessor.

Spiritual Reading

The Bible has a unique precedence over any other book because reading the Gospels offers an important encounter with Christ for any Christian, but especially one in discernment. Other books can also help to answer questions, instruct or inspire. These can include reflections about Christ (His Passion, His Incarnation, etc.), classic advice and guidance for the life of prayer, writings of the saints, or even the lives of saints. Make a little time in the day to commit to quiet reading. See a list of recommended spiritual reading compiled by our founder, Fr. Carlos Buela.

There are also many homilies and books (PDF format) in Spanish and English available on-line from our founder which may be of interest. Here are two in English about religious life: “The Spouses of Christ”“A Brief Dialog of the Friend with the Beloved” (in the original Spanish)

Church Documents about Consecrated Life

Read about consecrated life in important Church documents:

Encyclical of Pope Pius XII, Sacra Virginitas (1954)
Decree of the Second Vatican Council, Perfectae Caritatis (1965)
Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II, Redemptionis Donum (1984)
Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II, Vita Consecrata (1996)

Plan a Visit

At a certain point, visiting sisters to see their lives can be a helpful step in discernment. A community’s charism and spirituality is most manifest in the liturgy, apostolate, and fraternal charity between sisters.

Contact the vocations director to plan a visit or attend a Come and See Retreat

Links to More Vocation Websites

USCCB’s recent website “For Your Vocation” helps men and women in discernment, as well as families and youth ministers who wish to pray for and support vocations to the priesthood and religious life (English Espanol)

Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) is a canonically approved organization founded in 1992, to promote religious life in the United States. Its statutes were definitively approved by the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life on October 26, 1995. Composed of major superiors of women religious with communities in the United States, the group is dedicated to Mary, Mother of the Church and Patroness of the Americas. Members of the Council wish to serve the Church and to foster the progress and welfare of religious life in the United States.

Discernment Prayers

"For Openness to God's Call"
(St. John Paul II)

Lord Jesus, once You called the first disciples in order to make them fishers of men. Continue to let resound today Your sweet invitation: “Come and Follow Me.”

 Grant to young men and women the grace of responding promptly to Your voice. Sustain our bishops, priests, and consecrated souls in their apostolic work. Give perseverance to our seminarians and to all those who are fulfilling the ideal of a life of total consecration to Your service.

Enkindle in our communities a missionary zeal. Send, Lord, workers into Your fields and do not let mankind be lost because of a lack of pastors, missionaries, and people dedicated to the cause of the Gospel.

 Mary, Mother of the Church, Model of Vocations, help us say “Yes” to the Lord Who calls us to collaborate in the divine design of salvation. Amen. – Pope John Paul II

Amen.

To Our Lady for Vocations
(St. John Paul II)

Virgin Mary, humble daughter of the Most High, in you the mystery of the divine call was fulfilled in a marvellous way. You are the image of what God accomplishes in those who entrust themselves to Him; in you the freedom of the Creator raised up the freedom of the creature. He who was born in your womb has joined in one single will the salvific freedom of God and the obedient assent of man. Thanks to you, the call of God is definitely joined with the response of the man-God. First-fruits of a new life, you keep for us all the generous “Yes” of joy and love.

Holy Mary, Mother of all who are called, make all believers have the strength to answer the divine call with generous courage, and let them be joyful witnesses of love toward God and toward their neighbour. Young daughter of Sion, Star of the morning, who guide the steps of humanity through the Great Jubilee toward the future, direct the young people of the new millennium toward Him who is “the true light which enlightens all men” (Jn 1:9).

Amen.

To Mary, Mother of the Church
(St. John Paul II)

Mary, Mother of the Church, to you we turn. With your “Yes” you have opened the door to the presence of Christ in the world, in history and in souls, receiving in humble silence and total submission the appeal of the Most High.

Grant that many men and women may know and hear, even today, the inviting voice of your Son: “Follow Me.” Stretch out your motherly hand over all missionaries scattered throughout the world, over religious men and women who assist the elderly, the sick, the deficient, the orphans; over those who are engaged in teaching, over the members of secular institutes, the silent leaven of good works; over those who in the cloister live on faith and love and beg for the salvation of the world.

Amen.