San Juan Capistrano Mission
Love this photo! The historical San Juan Capistrano is a very special place where the peace of St. Francis can be felt within its walls. Look into the water.....
All Glory be to our Lord, Jesus Christ!!
In loving service, Cynide OFS
Come and See
Questions About Discerning a Vocation or How the Process Works?
Is it possible that God is calling you to do something, and yet... you are not sure what it could be? Is it possible that God is calling you to the Religious Life or perhaps to the Secular Franciscan Order? These are questions that can haunt us until we begin to pray for God’s guidance and then respond by investigating the possibility that you may have a God-given vocation.
A vocation must be discerned... what it is that God is calling you to. Could it be the Franciscan way of life? Could it be to the Secular Franciscan Order? If one really wants to know, s/he must respond to the Holy Spirit by making those first steps:
Prayer—this is our primary tool
Listen for the still, small voice of the Spirit or the loud rushing wind of the Spirit
Empty your heart and mind of preconceived ideas and biases
Discern the source of the call
Discernment is cooperation with grace
Your primary objective is to distinguish between God’s voice and the voice of the world
Visit the Order just to say “Hello”.
The question is: Will you respond as the disciples did in John’s Gospel when Jesus said, “Come and see”?
Discernment of a vocation to the Secular Franciscan Order begins with a process known as Formation. Formation initiates growth in our knowledge and understanding about our faith, the Order, and what will be required.
The formation process is not a one week affair but one that lasts several years... a process that is intended to lead one to a permanent commitment known as profession. However, there is no rush. A vocation must be discerned before one is professed into the Order. Profession is a life-long commitment made to God and the Order just as it would be with any Order in the Church.
Franciscan Formation seeks to facilitate growth in the personal relationship one has with Christ with an ongoing awareness of how persons share in the charism of Francis and Clare, so that the life of a Secular Franciscan in today’s world might conform more and more to the example of the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Franciscan Formation introduces and develops an understanding of Saint Francis, Franciscan spirituality, Christology, and theology. It strives to determine one’s understanding of Church doctrine and pertinent ecclesial (church) documents, and it prepares candidates for a perpetual commitment to the Secular Franciscan Order
The formation process nurtures a possible vocation but by nature it must present material to read, study, and comprehend. The ultimate goals of formation are to:
First discern if the seeking individual is called by the Holy Spirit to our particular spirituality. (Does he or she have a true vocation or not.)
Second and much more important is that the formation process must provide and reinforce the tools and insights that can open the doors to true transformation. Our model is the Way of St. Francis of Assisi. His insights and desire to imitate Jesus have been passed to us for the past 800 years.
According to Encarnación del Pozo, OFS (our Minister General in Rome), “The importance of formation has emerged as the essential element to guarantee an authentic and deep sense of belonging, rooted in a clear notion of identity and knowledge of the true nature of the OFS (Secular Franciscan Order) and of its place in the Franciscan Family and in the Church.”
“Come and See”
NATIONAL PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS
SECULAR FRANCISCAN ORDER
Oh, Good and Gracious God,
God of mercy, compassion, generosity, and love,
As we live our lives today in the model of St. Francis,
choosing daily to live the Gospel life,
Help us to help others hear Your call.
Help us to help others to recognize
their vocation as a Secular Franciscan
that You have already planted in their heart.
Help us, so that together we all may work
to bring the Gospel to life.