Also, we must examine those “deepest yearnings” to really discern what they mean. That is, does this yearning exist because we are called towards this particular vocation or rather does this seem to fulfill us simply because it is simply bringing us closer to God. This can be seen by many priests who enter the seminary because they believe that this is how they are to get closer to God without properly realizing that marriage, when properly formed, is also getting closer to God with and through another person. Some realize that they are truly called to the married vocation and leave the priesthood, with permission to marry.
Equally, our experience helps us to discern. Our soul’s desire to return to God is expressed through what we know through our human capacity. Someone who knows nothing of Christ and His Church- or even knows nothing of God himself- will still yearn for God but will have no idea of the priestly vocation. In a context more known to me, the marriage vocation is a further unknown to me as my own family life is a little off-key in that regard. For me to better discern my calling, I had to open myself to the real possibility of having kids and being a father- something I hadn’t truly done until this summer. Likewise, reading what I have read of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body helped me open my eyes to the marriage vocation as one of unification of the two images of God- in the male and in the female- as a unification of God himself, thus a way to become more like God and fulfilling our heart’s desire to return to Him.
Most of us must know something of the secular world in order for us to discern our place on earth that will best help us towards our heavenly home.
We mustn’t get caught up in this world during our discernment, a common trap. That is one of the nays for UT- it can become easy to forget the higher good with the fast-paced college culture surrounding us on a day-to-day basis. The experience of the culture can help us, and it should help us, but only if we keep the experience in context to our higher purpose.
In short, following our deepest yearnings seem simple enough but it’s a process that takes our constant self-examination and self-awareness.
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