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Prayers & Resources

Signs of a Religious Vocation

1. A desire to have a religious vocation, together with the impression that God is calling one to His service. This desire is most strongly felt when the soul is calm.

2. A growing attraction for prayer and holy things in general, together with a longing for a hidden life and a desire to be more closely united with God.

3. A conviction of the emptiness of the world and of its insufficiency to satisfy the soul. This feeling is often strongest felt in the midst of worldly amusements.

4. A longing to sacrifice oneself and abandon all for the love Jesus Christ.

5. A longing for God's glory, a realization of the value of immortal souls, and a desire to cooperate in their salvation.

6. The happiness which the thought of religious life brings, its helps, its peace, its merits, and its reward.

7. A desire to atone for sin, to make reparation.

8. A desire to devote one's whole life to obtain the conversion of sinners.

9. It is sometimes the sign of a vocation when a person fears that God may be calling her; when she prays not to have it and cannot banish the thought from her mind. If the vocation is sound, it will eventually give place to attraction.

Discernment Prayers

Prayer to know one's vocation

Lord, my God and my loving Father, you have made me to know you, to love you, to serve you, and thereby to find and to fulfill myself.  I know that you are in all things, and that every path can lead me to you.  But of them all, there is one especially by which you want me to come to you.  Since I will do what you want of me, I pray you, send your Holy Spirit to me: into my mind, to show me what you want of me; into my heart, to give me the determination to do it, and to do it with all my love, with all my mind, and with all my strength unto the end of my life.  Amen.

Prayer of Thomas Merton

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me
Nor do I really know myself,
And the fact that I think I am following your will
Does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
Does in fact please you.
And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road
Though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though,
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
And you will never leave me to face my struggles alone. Amen.

Prayer for discernment

God our Father,
You have a plan for each one of us,
You hold out to us a future full of hope.
Give us the wisdom of your Spirit
so that we can see the shape of your plan
in the gifts you have given us,
and in the circumstances of our daily lives.
Give us the freedom of your Spirit,
to seek you with all our hearts,
and to choose your will above all else.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.



CMSWR (cmswr.org) - Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious; a canonically approved organization founded in 1992 to promote religious life in the United States.  The organization is comprised of major superiors of women's religious in the United States.

IRL (religious life.com)  -  Institute on Religious Life; promotes and supports the growth, development, and renewal of the consecrated life.  Includes age restrictions for aspirants if applicable of member communities.

Vocation.com (www.vocation.com) - Offers a wealth of resources to young people considering vocations and all Catholics interested in promoting and fostering vocations.

Archdiocese of St. Louis (archstl.org)  - Official website of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, MO

Vatican (www.vatican.va) - Official web site of the Vatican


On religious life:

“…And You Are Christ’s”   - Fr. Thomas Dubay

Discerning Religious Life  - Sr. Clare Matthiass, C.F.R.

The Foundations of Religious Life: Revisiting the Vision
  - Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR)

Peter on the Shore in Scripture and in Real Life  - Fr. Anthony Bannon

On Carmelite Saints and Spirituality:

Fire Within  - Fr. Thomas Dubay   An excellent synthesis on prayer and contemplation according to the Carmelite tradition.

Journey to Carith – Fr. Peter Thomas Rohrbach   Provides a great history of the Carmelite Order.

Story of a Soul  - Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux

Teresa of Avila – Marcelle Auclair

The Way of Perfection – St. Teresa of Avila

The Poems of St. John of the Cross – translated by Ken Krabbenhoft

God is Love – Saint Teresa Margaret: Her Life – by Margaret Rowe about St. Teresa Margaret Redi

He is My Heaven: The Life of Elizabeth of the Trinity – Jennifer Moorcroft

Two Sisters in the Spirit – Hans Urs Von Balthasar

God:  The Joy of My Life – Michael Griffin, OCD about St. Teresa of the Andes


A Vocation Story – A 14-minute produced by the Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus but for generic use in vocation promotion.  To attain a copy for a $10 donation e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For Love Alone -   An 18-minute film on religious life produced by Grassroots Films for the CMSWR.  Available on Amazon.com