The first line of a prayer written by Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O. is one that I say to myself on many occasions: “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.” I often say this line as I am traveling along the back roads in Glenmary’s mission areas. Other times I say it as I am driving the highway to an event to promote vocations or to meet with someone who is discerning their call.
The prayer may not have been written for lost travelers but that is when it usually pops into my head. And of course, I do pray the entire prayer written by Thomas Merton when I have come to that point that I ask for God’s help in making a decision. As Fr. Larry Goulding, a Glenmary priest, used to say to me, “We’ve tried everything else, might as well pray.”
As I meet with young men oftentimes hear them say similar words to the ones in Thomas Merton prayer. These are young men who are discerning or thinking about a vocation to priesthood or religious life. Often times they say something like; “I am looking for something more fulfilling.” Or “I don’t know where I am being called.” Or “I feel like I want to make a difference with my life but I do not know where.”
If you can relate to that same feeling of not knowing where God is calling you to serve the best way to search for the answers is to pray and after that to “Come and See.” In John’s Gospel we read: “Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, 'What are you looking for?' They said to him, 'Rabbi, where are you staying?' He said to them, 'Come, and you will see.'” The disciples were looking for something more meaningful in their life. Jesus invited them to reflect on what they are seeking by inviting them to come and see. Is Jesus inviting you as well?
Are you seeking the answers to finding something more meaningful in your life? Do you feel restless, have doubts or uncertainties? Are you being called to serve with us in Mission Land, USA? Come and See. Come & See weekends are a essential step in the discernment process for people who are discerning with Glenmary. The disciples followed Jesus despite the uncertainty as to where it might lead. You too might be called to follow Jesus as a Glenmary missioner but the first step is to come and see – Come, visit the missions, meet the missioners and see if this is where God is calling you.
Doubts, fears, uncertainties are almost always present but coming to see is a way to resolve those concerns. Visiting Glenmary and experiencing the missions can help discerners hear the answers to their vocation prayers.