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A calling assumes that there is a caller, who we identify as God. But what makes hearing this call so difficult is that 

God’s voice is not the only voice calling out to us. 

There are all different kinds of voices competing for your attention, your loyalty, and your devotion. There are so many narratives we can choose to live by other than a Christian one. How are we supposed to determine God’s voice amidst all these voices?

Fredrick Buechner’s advice is to simply pay attention to 2 things: the thing that brings you gladness and identifying 

the world’s deepest hunger. 

He says “the place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and world’s deepest hunger meet.” So, what does this mean?


It’s means we need to take a look inward and we need to take a look outward. 

Let’s start with the idea of looking inward. Teresa of Avila invites us to think about our souls as if it were a castle. She 

called it the interior castle. And if you had to describe a castle, how would you describe it? It takes time to walk through an entire castle. And it’s only when we enter into this castle and look around, exploring each room, that we discover 

our hidden hunger. It’s there we can talk with God. It’s there where we can discover what truly gives us joy or 

gladness. 

Buechner says, listen to your life because it’s trying to tell you something. It’s whispering something to you everyday. 

It’s nudging you in a certain direction. What your life is asking of you is to be honest with yourself in learning what you 

truly love. 

Cardinal Joseph Tobin echoes this finding, stating: “Quiet reflection and prayer are essential elements for vocational 

discernment. It is in the interior depths of our heart where we hear the voice of Christ, where he speaks to us, and 

where he reveals his will for our lives.” 

That’s the 1st step, looking inward. 

The 2nd step is to look outward. Looking outward simply means taking an honest look at the world in all its 

brokenness. Looking outward means acknowledging the pain of others around you. Looking outward means getting 

proximate, up close, and personal to people’s suffering. 

And here’s where vocation comes in. Our vocation is when our gladness intersects with world’s deepest hunger. 

Vocation happens when we realize our gladness can bring about positive change into the lives of others who are 

in pain. 

Our calling begins to unfold for us when our inward discoveries begin interacting with our outward discoveries. 

It’s when our work brings healing to the brokenness that surrounds us. 

Hopefully, these 2 steps can get you started as you continue exploring your own individual vocation. 

Thank you!

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