(To Be Prayed During a Holy Hour Before the Blessed Sacrament As An Aid to Discernment of One’s Vocation in Life)
My Jesus of Love and Mercy, thank You for this time You have given me, which I set aside to be with You. Thank You for opening Your Heart to me so vulnerably, in the Eucharist. My Gentle Shepherd, You know my heart, and You are well aware of all my fears and insecurities, and all of my hopes and desires. You see clear into the depths of my being, and with Your ever-merciful gaze, You behold all that lies hidden within me including the potential You have placed there: the hidden “seeds” that I’m not even aware of, but which You would delight to see one day bloom.
My Mother of Mercy and Grace, you who care for me so tenderly, knowing what I cost your Son: I am yours! You know how weak and fearful I am, and how much I need your help. I know that you will not turn away this poor, little heart of mine, which requests your assistance. Please, dear Mother, help me to not be afraid of your Jesus and what He is asking of me . . . but to trust that He only wants what is best for me. Please help me to set aside all distractions for this next hour, and to see as clearly as possible at this point in my journey what our Lord, in His love, is asking of me.
Lord Jesus, I am aware that You will certainly respect, and will even bless, whichever path I choose because You know that I love You, and that I desire to make my life a pleasing offering to You. Knowing that you will respect my free will, I also believe that there is a vocational path for my life which would be most pleasing to You . . . one which is the fullness of Your will for my life. This is the path I’m now seeking to discover: the one which will be the best setting for all the gifts You’ve given me to flourish, and bear great fruit for Your glory.
Dear Mother Mary, you also had to embrace the will of God for your life. You were docile to Him, even when You didn’t fully understand. My Mother, I cannot see clearly the path the Lord has prepared for me. In many ways, I don’t even want to see. I’m afraid of what the Lord might be asking of me . . . afraid I might fail . . . afraid of suffering. You also, dear Mother, knew suffering, as you sought to do the will of God. Please help me to not be afraid. Hold me close to your Heart; calm and console me. Help me to be willing to recognize, and to embrace with love, the fullness of God’s will for my life, whatever that may be.
Knowing that one day here on earth will be my last, I imagine now that I am lying on my death bed. From this vantage point, when I am about to meet the Lord face to face for my personal judgment, I picture myself reviewing the whole of my life. As I look back over my life, I imagine in this first scenario that I chose to be “in the world”, either married or single. I have just lived my life as a dedicated lay person, and am now about to die. I take note of the sentiments in my heart. Do I have any regrets? Do I feel I may have missed out on something? Do I wish I had taken another path? Am I at peace?
Now in this second scenario still on my death bed, I imagine myself again looking back over my life. Only this time, I have chosen the path of religious life. I am now dying after having lived, to the best of my ability, the life of a religious. Again, I note the movements of my heart. Are there any regrets that I chose this path, and not the other one? Do I feel at this moment of my death, on the edge of Eternity that I have in some way denied the Lord something that He was asking of me? Or is there peace in the depths of my heart?
Mother Mary, I entrust this meditation to your Heart, that it My bear fruit as you desire. Help me to act in accord with the lights and graces our Gracious Lord has given to me during this blessed prayer time. With you, my Mother, I say: “All glory, honor and praise are Yours, O Lord, now and forever!” Amen.