A Christian disciple is open to God’s will and has the capacity to respond. In this sense Christian discipleship is vital for the discernment of our particular vocation and our joyful response to it.
Sometimes we can be attracted to a particular way of life by externals. For example, the wonder of being able to administer the sacraments or the heroism of laying one’s life down for the Lord can be a great attraction to the priesthood. It is true that the Lord can use these things to awaken the stirrings of a vocation in our hearts but they should never take the place of a true discernment. Pope Benedict XVI taught, “It is only when a young man has had a personal experience of Christ that he can truly understand the Lord’s will and consequently his own vocation”. In that sense the three key moments of discovering our vocation are: evangelisation (the personal experience of Christ); discipleship (the foundation of Christian life and freedom); and discernment. Anyone actively discerning their vocation will find it helpful to develop a regular ‘plan of life’ which you can read about more here.