Random Nun Clips

How can I hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to me?

Podcast Recorded: September 5, 2013
Young woman looks out at the sunset, thinking.

A listener asks the Big Question: How can a person discern the movement of the Holy Spirit? The Nuns discuss!

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Show Notes

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Transcript (Click for More)+

Sister Rejane  
This Random Nun Clip is brought to you by A Nun's Life Ministry.

Sister Maxine  
We're on a Motherhouse Road Trip talking with Sister Hannah Corbin and Sister Arianne Whittaker.

Sister Julie  
Right before our break, we had a question come in from one of our guests in the chat room. And the guest said, "I'm Catholic, and this is my first time joining your podcast. I am seeking God's direction regarding vocation. Do you have any suggestions on how best to discern the movement of the Holy Spirit?" And I know we already mentioned running -- running fast. [laugher] So we won't include that one in our advice.

Sister Hannah  
Skip that one. Yeah.

Sister Maxine  
So anything in particular that, as you were discerning, you found helpful.

Sister Hannah  
I found being in conversation and dialogue with people who were sisters, so they're in religious life, they kind of knew what it was about. Getting to know them, and them getting to know me, and then having that conversation, was very helpful. Getting to know the Sisters of St. Benedict that I got to know, they were so welcoming to me. Just kind of spending time with them in prayer and parties and getting to know them and how they live their life. For me, that's when I started to have this feeling like, wow, this kind of feels right. This might work. Kind of putting myself in that position. So like our community has Come and Sees, and a lot of communities have that where you can come and see the community, get to know who they are, what kind of ministries they do, and spend time talking with other people who are also thinking about joining this crazy wild life.

Sister Maxine  
And those Come and Sees are just exactly that: it's to come and see. There's no commitment, because some people might be like, well, you know, if I go there, then maybe I'm gonna have to take the next step. It really, truly is come and see.

Sister Arianne  
A lot of communities, I know our community has experiences that people can have an extended period of time where you have -- like both Sister Hannah and I were volunteers with the community. And so I think, as you go along in the journey, and if you're still finding the answer is yes, I need to check this out -- maybe you found a community that really interests you. Maybe begin to think about if you can do that for like a month, or you could go for a week even just to have an extended period of time where you're in conversation with sisters, and you're getting to see kind of firsthand. Because we can sit at a Come and See and tell you what it's like. But it's really kind of hard. And when you're sitting at the breakfast table and you see everybody around doing what they're doing, and you see people going to their ministries, you get a better idea of what that is. And I would say the other thing for me was just lots of prayer, personal prayer. I'm also a very relational person. So relationships were important to me, I had two or three people that were in my life that I really could go to for my spiritual journey and talk to them about some of these deep things, deep feelings that I was having. And they were able to be objective and say, Okay, well, I hear this is what you're saying, maybe this is something you should investigate.

Sister Julie  
I remember early on in my discernment, I went on a week retreat. And in the back of the retreat facility, they had this beautiful pool. And every time I was there, there was never anyone out there. And I'm like, you know, I should just go down to the pool. You know, I wasn't really a big swimmer. I don't really think I could swim at that point in my life. It's only something I learned recently. And I remember sitting there and they had a diving board. And I kept looking at that. You know, I'm on this great Ignatian spirituality retreat, and I'm learning about consolation and desolation, all this stuff. And I kept looking at the diving board, and I'm like, that must be so much fun to just jump off of that thing. It's great that people can do that. And it finally occurred to me that I could actually do that. And so part of my discernment -- I mean, this sounds crazy, -- but it was allowing myself to try things I'd never tried before and allowing myself to suspend what I believed would happen and how it would feel and just give myself to that. Now, I don't recommend jumping off a diving board if you don't know how to swim. That had its own issues. That's a different kind of leap of faith! But there was something about like practicing the habit of being open to something new, something that was totally different. And it's like little tiny steps like that about jumping off a diving board -- I found it really helped me when I was facing other things where I thought I just can't I can't do that. That's not me. I'm sure other people enjoy it. But it really helped me practice that in a different way.

Sister Maxine  
And when you mention that, it's like, for me, I tried to tap into a guiding metaphor. And for me it was fishing, and what it means to cast into the deep and to trust that and all that that goes into that -- not seeing what's on the other side of that. So I too found it very helpful to have that new metaphor to tap into when I had questions.

Sister Rejane  
To hear full episodes of A Nun's Life podcasts, visit the podcast page at anunslife.org/podcasts.

This transcript has been lightly edited for readability.

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