S. Janet Gildea write of Completing Discernment in the latest issue of E-Voc, the electronic newsletter from the Vocation Team of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati for single women wondering what new thing God is calling forth in their lives.
On June 27 two women publicly professed vows for the first time as Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. It was the culmination of years of dedicated discernment into which they had entered with open hearts and willing spirits. As with all discernment, the outcome was veiled in wonder and mystery. The path was only revealed one step at a time. At times the way forward seemed straight uphill, covered with stickery brambles and loose gravel. More than once there was a crossroad that required a discernment within the discernment. Choice by choice, the Spirit of God led them along to a moment of clarity. “Yes!” said Andrea. “Yes!” said Tracy. “Yes!” said the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. Discernment was complete. [Read more from Andrea at http://futureofcharity.blogspot.com/2015/07/yes.html]
During the Congregational Chapter in March 2015, we experienced more examples of bringing discerned decisions, personal and communal, to completion. The Sisters prayerfully considered the needs of the times and the call of the Spirit. We set a direction for the next 10 years. Then we named Sisters whom we felt had the gifts required to lead the Congregation forward and asked that they discern a call to Leadership. Over the course of several months the Sisters stayed in the process until the moment during a Taizé prayer service when they indicated either that they had completed their discernment, meaning that they asked that their names be withdrawn from consideration, or that they were still actively discerning God’s call.
Completing discernment can bring a sense of deep peace and joy, even when the discerned call requires great sacrifice. And sometimes that contentment is short-lived. The fact is that the Spirit continues to be at work in our hearts, shuffling us forward, not letting us rest for long as we become the people God has created