'How does one know if the Lord is calling? In varied ways, but as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta responded when asked how someone knows if she is called: 'She knows. She knows.' This is the language of the heart, and often it is difficult to put words to the language of the heart. The good news is, no one discerns a vocation in the Church alone - with the help of a vocation director, you will be able to discern whether the Lord is calling you to one community or another, or to marriage or the single life. All disciples of Christ are called to love without limits...' (from Sisters of Life website)
'She knows. She knows...'
When I first heard these words spoken by Mother Teresa, I thought my heart would burst into flame. Watching a videotape with my husband, I too felt an inexplicable, unwordable sense of being called. Not able to understand how that fit in with my life as a wife and mother, still I knew. I just knew.
I have a fuller idea now, thirty years later, of that sense of 'call.' I still can't describe it, really, and obviously I was not being called to Religious life. I was, however, being called to a total gift of self to God, and to living for Him with no ifs, ands or buts, and to be His disciple.
As a layperson with such a call, I am not alone. 'ALL disciples of Christ are called to love without limits.'
Every absolute one of us is called.
If I sit with Jesus and let Him draw me closer, I become more aware of the truth of His call. I may not be able to describe it, really, but I know. I know.
I just know.
'It was not you who chose Me, it was I Who chose you to go forth and bear fruit.' (John 15:16)
'Go courageously to God along the way He has traced out for you, steadfastly embracing the means He offers you.' (St. Margaret Mary Alacoque)
- Do I have an awareness of God calling me? What 'next step' can I take to answer His call?
- What path(s) has God traced out for me? Am I following these steadfastly, or do I need to pray for courage to embrace these means more fully?
- Was there ever a time when I felt 'my heart would burst into flame?' Can I identify at all with these words?
'Intimacy with God is not for the saints only, it is for all of us. God dwells in each soul which is in the state of grace and calls each of us to be united to Him in intimate friendship....We are all called therefore to this life of intimacy, to this communing with the Most High.' (from 'Listening to the Indwelling Presence,' compiled by a Religious, Pellegrini)
Painting: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, The Calling of St Matthew