Concluding Helpful Scripture Passages for Discernment of Vocations to Religious Life

  1. Matt.14:22-33
photo of person walking on deserted island

 By Tom Swinnen on

Reference: Jesus walks on water

Comment: The person called by Christ must extend full and even ‘blind’ faith that He will never fail, no matter how impossible or seemingly ‘unreasonable’ are the conditions the call imposes.


  1. Matt. 16:24-27, Luke 9:23-26

Reference: The ‘way of the crosses is an essential component of discipleship.

Comment: Jesus promises His disciples hardship and suffering in this world.  Lovers of self, seekers of applause, pursuers of mere temporal goals and substituters of ‘human reason or judgement’ for faith cannot remain faithful to Him.


  1. Matt. 19:16-22 and 28-30

Reference: The story of the rich young man, the reward for faithful disciples

Comment: Those who wish to preserve temporal benefit or goods in the midst of special discipleship are doomed to failure.  When God invites, we must submit ourselves to Him without conditions or qualifications.  The ultimate reward is beyond description.


  1. Matt. 20:26-28

Reference: The disciple of Christ is a servant to others.

Comment: Personal goals and ambition are incompatible with true discipleship in special vocations.


  1. Matt. 21:23-27

Reference: The Authority of Jesus over us is that of divine truth, not of human power or clearness.

Comment: Discernment does not involve submission of God’s mind, will, ways and call to human understanding.  God’s word must be accepted in faith.  We simply ask “What does God say or want?” and follow His direction rather than “argue” about it.


Msgr. Hendrickson was the chaplain at our Provincial House convent for many years.

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