What does following Jesus mean? For Sister Paula Volchek csfn, it happily feels like a dance - carefully listening to the music and dancing to the call of Jesus.
I needed time. It was a long journey in my life, but today I can say “I am happy!”
We call this process – a discernment – the time when we discover where is my place, where is my happiness. Everybody needs this time to reflect one’s life. It is a journey. This time is very important; we cannot ignore it. On reflection, I believe that this process has 4 basic steps:
1. Openness of heart
4. Desire to follow Jesus.
I call my journey – “a dance with Jesus”. Early in my life, I received a beautiful invitation to follow Jesus! What does “follow” mean? To me it feels like a dance. All I need to do is carefully listen to the music and follow him.
Life is busy and fast so we often forget about this important invitation. However, one day we realize or ask our self, where is my happiness, where is my place? At this moment, we start our first step of discernment – openness of heart. It is a very beautiful yet difficult time and we may need somebody to journey with us.
The second step – attentiveness. We receive a special grace from Jesus – we can hear his gentle voice. However, we need to be attentive. Jesus uses our thoughts, feelings and memories. Sometimes we should find a quiet place and stay alone with Jesus. Listening is not easy, but in at this time it is very necessary.
The third step – faithfulness. This modern generation likes to be perfect. We like to know that we are 100 % right. However, we are called simply to make the decision that we believe will lead us to become the most loving person we can be, to become the person God created us to be.
The last step is a desire to follow Jesus. It is important to pay attention to what happens within us. Do we find our choice weakening, or do we find it strengthened, even in the face of adversity? Sometimes such negative reactions actually can help strengthen our resolve. In this step faith, hope and love is important.
Discernment is directed toward action. It is not enough to see and understand what is happening in our life—we must choose good and reject what is evil. Ask God to bless our decision if it is His will for us to do what we have chosen. If we have chosen wrongly, ask God to “close doors” and make it clear that it is not the path for us.
Our task is to listen to him and to trust him and to follow where he is leading us. What are you seeking?
Sister Paula Volchek csfn is the Vocation Director of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Australia.