You have provided me with the perfect tool at the perfect time for one of the young adults that I know who is in the midst of discerning his life’s vocation. Thanks!!! This will be so useful to share with this young man.
Such a JOY to watch, Clearly you get a KICK out of doing this and YES! the WORLD needs YOU and more of these videos. Bravo, Fr. Paul and thank you for letting your light shine before all of us. As an educator and mentor to many, I find this a VALUABLE TOOL FOR HELPING OTHERS. GOD BLESS YOU!
I could not help noticing that your questions for discernment are very similar to those recommended by Sherry Weddell in the Siena Institute’s Catholic Spiritual Gift Inventory, pg. 21, a program which I would commend to anyone who wishes to experience your process in a very practical application of discernment of the ministry to which one is called:
There are three basic “signs” of a charism that should all be consistently present over time:
1. EFFECTIVENESS: a charism will do what it’s supposed to do. If you have a charism of teaching, people will learn. If you have a charism of healing, people will get well. If you have a charism of leadership, people will follow you and “buy in” to your vision, and so on.
2. YOUR EXPERIENCE: God does not give us charisms as a form of penance! If you are exercising a spiritual gift, you will generally feel energized, satisfied, and joyful, as though this is where you belong. You will not necessarily feel that way every time you try to use this gift, but that will be the overall experience. (Tip: Some people can have very negative “first time” experiences. The key is observing your feelings over an extended period of time.)
3. RESPONSE OR AFFIRMATION FROM OTHERS: This can come in direct or indirect forms. It’s wonderful when people give you direct feedback (“I learned so much from your class” or “I feel so much better about my situation after talking it over with you”). Lots of positive feedback over time is a real affirmation.
But affirmation can also come indirectly, as we observe what people ask of us. Do people you don’t know well seem to just “open up” to you and share their feelings and concerns with you? (You might have a charism of encouragement.) Does your home always seem to be full of people whojust “drop in”? (Do you have a gift of hospitality?)
Paul,I really enjoyed your comments on discernment! Interestingly, I found the comments right after I read an article on the importance of sharing our charisms with our world. It was the Bible story of the talents and the background explanation. For us, the talent is our gifts, our charisms, which are to be shared. So that when we are asked how we use our talents for the Kingdom-we are not worried that we have kept them buried..
A Wonderful guide for discerning and mulling over a next step. Discernment always stops me in my tracks. What am I supposed to do? How do I do it? This breaks the process into understandable steps. Even though I often feel as if I have nothing to offer and nothing which brings me joy-at least bring joy and be needed-I am finding that my time working with the Sisters in Archives,is helping me to see that I do posses joyful skills that are also needed. Thank-you!