Well discerned life is worth living


Well discerned life is worth living

And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” Luke 1:45

The discernment of God’s call in our lives may sometimes be difficult, unclear and even confusing. When Fr. Tony and I left our ministry in Labrador, and answered Bishop Crosby’s invitation to form the Oblate Community in his diocese of Hamilton, we learned that fact about discernment first hand. Bishop Crosby encouraged us to pray about it, research and visit different ministries in order to find the place where God was calling us to be. And so, we did! We visited a number of parishes, had many conversations with people involved and certainly prayed about it. But nothing seemed to feel right, until Monsignor House suggested that the Oblates belong to St. Patrick parish in the inner-city. After lots of convincing on his part, we let Fr. House show us the church that he was so certain about.

I remember it like it was yesterday… We drove to the church and stopped at the street lights at the corner of Main St. and Victoria Ave. He pointed at the church building and proudly said, “This is St. Patrick!” It looked like a dark, unwelcoming and fenced off old building, with little life within it. Why would anybody want to take on this responsibility? So, we clearly stated to Fr. House, “Ain’t gonna happen!” and went around the block to return to the bishop’s residence. But God had a different plan… After further discernment and lots of conversations, it became clear that’s exactly where God wants us to minister. We answered the call and moved to the parish in June of 2012. It has been a blessing ever since! A well discerned life is worth living!

Today’s feast of the Assumption of Mary reminds us that she was a woman of ultimate discernment. Always listening for and answering God’s call! We can witness this in her conversation with the Archangel Gabriel during the annunciation, in her request to Jesus at the wedding in Cana, in her worries about Jesus’ ministry and people’s mixed reactions to it, and ultimately, under the cross listening to her dying son’s will, “Woman, here is your son.” (John 19:26). Mary’s whole life was a discernment of God’s call. And this confirms that a well discerned life is worth living! That’s why on November 1, 1950 Pope Pius XII could so confidently declare, “the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” (Munificentissimus Deus, 44)

It’s not always easy to discover or clearly name what direction God wants us to take; but it is certainly a journey taken in faith. God has a wonderful plan for each one of us. It might be through single life or married commitment; it might be as a religious brother, sister or priest; it might be so clearly obvious or totally surprising. Wherever it is “blessed is she [or he] who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her [or him] by the Lord.” (Luke 1:45) because a well discerned life is worth living!

By Jarek Pachocki, OMI
OMI Lacombe Canada – Vocation Director