Whether they know it or not, everyone around us is discerning the will of God in their lives. Some may confuse it with seeking pleasure and accomplishment, but they are really looking for fulfillment – to accomplish what they were created for.
Even if we have already found our primary vocation and state in life, we continue to seek the way we are called to live God’s will on a daily basis. We are constantly asking Christ to show us how he calls us to serve him and others as a gift of self — our mission.
How do we find our mission and live it? Here are 3 simple signs that point to the God-given mission Our Lord has for you.
Step 1 “What is the greatest path of love for you?”
“At last I have found my vocation. In the heart of the Church, I will be Love!” -St Thérèse de Liseux
St. Thérèse de Liseux’s discovery of her vocation and mission proclaims the vocation and mission of all of us. We are all called to be apostles, and finding your mission as an apostle is synonymous with finding the way that Jesus calls you to love.
“For you were called for freedom, brothers. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love.” -Galatians 5:13
Love is not about following your desires or warm and fuzzy feelings. To love is to the will the good of the other. So discovering your mission is not so much seeking answers in what makes you feel good and fulfilled. You find it in asking what way you can best concretely give of yourself for the most good of others? That is your call to love. That is your God-given mission. Bishop Robert Barron explains your mission as the answer to the question, “What is the greatest path of love for you?”
Step 2: What makes the fruits of the Spirit flourish in you?
Maybe step one narrows it down a bit for you, but still leaves you with a list of possibilities. Look at what your skills and gifts are. Then take a look at what you do to love others – your actions that will (and do) the most for their good — that brings out the fruits of the Holy Spirit in you.
“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” -Galatians 5: 22-23
Among these, pay particular attention to the gifts of joy and peace. What gives you a deep joy and an abiding sense of peace? This is different from superficial fun, happiness, accomplishment, or pride. A “deep joy” shares deep joy with others through your mission.
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep joy and the world’s deep hunger meet” – Frederick Buechner
Step 3: Live a perpetual discernment
This set of guidelines applies not only to discerning your vocation and apostolic work but also to seeking and living the will of God day-by-day, minute-by-minute.
What is my greatest path of love this morning? In this meeting? In this task? In this relationship? In this conversation? Learn to live in a constant state of discerning the mission of love before you, and you’ll find you are allowing God to love through you and bring you along on the adventure he has wanted to share with you from the moment he created you.