What is discernment?
Discernment is about intentionally becoming aware of where and how God is actively present in our life. It is about listening and responding to that awareness and making decisions accordingly. The goal of a discernment is to perceive our personal, communal and social life in the light of God, who always is calling us to new horizons.
Discernment is to believe that God is alive and active and desires a relationship with the human being as a dear friend. A journey of discernment is guided by the desire to live that relationship fully and to unfold your life to its fullest capacities within the dynamic vision God holds for this world.
Discernment is an everyday and ongoing process as well as a possibly time-limited process with a specific objective. Specific moments in our lives lend themselves to stop and take time for a discernment. These are often moments of profound decisions in which we feel the desire to discern a particular call or direction in life.
Discernment within the Verbum Dei?
To understand discernment and the process within the Verbum Dei, it is important to understand who we are as Verbum Dei:
The Verbum Dei is made up of the internal community (vowed celibate men and women and associated married couples) and the wider Verbum Dei family, which includes lay consecrated men and women and other committed members.
This structure has its roots in the conviction of our founder Jaime Bonet, who under the inspiration of Vatican II, was convinced that all baptized are equal in their call to consecration. Consequently, the understanding of discernment in the Verbum Dei encompasses all states of life and is focused on the unfolding of the baptismal call in each one.
Activities of Verbum Dei regarding discernment can help each individual, no matte their age find their place within the community, Church and world at large.
For those aged 18-35, 35-55 and 55-post/retirement who are interested in learning how to grow in a discerning life we have ongoing programs available.
Specific discernment to vowed consecrated life?
You may be experiencing a particular interest, desire or just want to know more about discerning a specific call.
What is the process?
Contact the vocation director where a conversation can begin about what would be most helpful for you in your particular desire. It may be that you just would like a conversation to understand more about vowed consecrated life or about the community itself. However, a specific discernment program could also be set up which would depend on your circumstances.
The discernment program would include:
The most important aspect of any discernment process is growing in an intimate prayer life. If you are living close to one of the Verbum Dei Centers you will be encouraged to attend the prayer groups there. If you are living far from one of the centers, the Verbum Dei community can help in supporting your prayer through available resources.
If you live far away it would be important that you attend a retreat given by the Verbum Dei community before a more intentional discernment process may begin.
We also offer silent retreats throughout the year, which would be necessary to attend.
Depending on your circumstances you would be encouraged to engage and be part of the different ministries of the Verbum Dei. If you are living far from one of the centers, different possibilities can also be discussed.
In any discernment process it is very important that you have someone that you are able to speak and share your experiences in trust and confidence. It may be that through the vocational director and your own personal circumstances you may find it helpful to engage in spiritual accompaniment with the Verbum Dei community.
Depending on the number of applicants and availability, an intentional live in discernment program is possible. This is a one year commitment which includes growing in prayer life, community life, knowledge of self, ministry experience, learning more about consecrated life and interaction with the wider Verbum Dei community. For more information please contact the vocation director.
The time of discernment varies for each individual but if it is seen by both the individual and the community. An application to the formation course (Novitiate) is considered after having engaged regularly with Verbum Dei retreats/prayer and mission for at least a year and after having lived at least 3 months with the Verbum Dei missionaries finding with them that there is a call to vowed consecrated life within the Verbum Dei.
“The place where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the worlds deep hunger meet.” Frederick Buechner