Guest Columnists

To Know Your Purpose, Simply Ask Your Maker

By Joseph Siano

Growing up in today’s society, it is not uncommon to hear clichés being taught to children, such as, “Do what makes you happy,” or, “Follow your heart.”

While it is true that we ought to do what makes us happy and do what we believe to be right, those phrases leave out an important fact: without God, you cannot be happy.

Society dictates that happiness is to be gained in this world, and in order to obtain happiness, you must only do what makes you feel good. But Our Lord has a better route to happiness. God made us to be happy with Him in eternity, not for a short time on earth.

Therefore, to attain everlasting joy in heaven and to be content on earth, He has created each and every man with a vocation. “Come to Me, all you that labour and are burdened: and I will refresh you.” (Matt. 12:28)

Promise of Peace

Our Lord Himself had promised peace to those who follow Him. St. Catherine of Siena wrote, “If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire!”

God has a purpose for every person He has made. As His creatures, we have an obligation to do what He wants of us. Who knows what we ought to be better than He Who made us!

In my case, I believe that I have been given the vocation to follow Our Lord in the priesthood. I have come to this conclusion after several years of praying, studying, meeting with a spiritual director and growing more serious in the faith.

Discerning the Possibility

I first felt called to be a priest during sophomore year in high school. I had become more dedicated to attaining heaven and knowing Our Lord better. It was during this period that I came to see the priesthood as an actual possibility for me.

I started praying about what God wants of me. There is no better way to know what someone wants of you than to simply ask. Likewise, there is no better way to know what you were made to do than to simply ask your Maker.

For the remainder of my high school years, I prayed the Rosary every day, I attended Holy Hours, and met with a spiritual director to determine what God is asking me to do.

Not the End, A Continuation

By the beginning of senior year, it was clear that Our Lord would like me to be one of His priests. However, entry into the seminary isn’t the end of discernment, but rather the continuation of it.

A nun once told me, “God changes His mind a lot.”

That, of course, is just a figure of speech. What she meant is that sometimes we think we know exactly what Our Lord wants from us – until we realize that we were mistaken and in fact, He is asking us for something entirely different. In that case, it may seem that we have wasted time following a false calling.

But that isn’t so; God may lead us through different paths until we come to the right one.

My advice to anyone discerning his/her vocation is this: Ask Our Lord everyday for the grace to know His purpose for you, and equally important, come to know and love His Mother.

If you follow through with this advice, God’s vocation for you will be made known in one way or another.

Siano, a parishioner of St. Helen, Howard Beach, is beginning his freshman year this fall at Cathedral Seminary House of Formation in Douglaston.