In the Benedictine Volunteers experience, service and discernment are explored hand-in-hand. Volunteers not only serve the Church and world. They also utilize and apply their service experience as a way to pray and ask, “God, to which life path are you calling me?” In the prologue of St. Benedict of Nursia’s The Rule, Benedict says, “Listen and attend with the ear of your heart.” It is this quality and process of listening to and attending to the heart that we hope to impart to our volunteers through the discernment program. The purpose of the program is to help each volunteer further her sense of God’s call in her life. We walk with each woman uniquely to navigate both the mysteries and joys of spiritual call and response. Volunteers can anticipate that the discernment program will empower them with valuable life tools to enable each woman to listen, attend, and respond to God’s unique call in her life even after her time of service with us ends.
Learn Benedictine Life Skills
- Know Yourself More Thoroughly: Develop a clearer knowledge of yourself, your gifts, your aptitudes, attractions, personality, strengths, areas of weakness, and spiritual connections. Develop a habit and structure for disciplined meditation that fosters listening to and responding to God in your life.
- Listen For Calls More Attentively: Spend time learning to understand your life in relation to who God created you to be. Grow in a sense of yourself as purposefully created by a God who loves and designs each person with skillful wisdom and intentional creativity.
- Act More Effectively: Learn and use a set of tools and techniques for setting, prioritizing, evaluating, and accomplishing goals. At the end of your time of service, go forth into the world better prepared to actively live out your purpose in the world.
Integrate Benedictine Life Values
- Balance: Share in prayer, reflection, mission, and leisure.
- Spirituality: Participate in faith-sharing groups, Scripture reading, and spiritual direction.
- Community: Journey with others of shared purpose.
- Service: Use your God-given gifts and talents by giving them away in service to others.
Discernment Program At-A-Glance:
The program of discernment is interwoven into the Benedictine Volunteers service experience. Volunteers spend time in service, in prayer, in the balanced rhythm of monastic life, and in a community of others of similar values. Volunteers learn different forms of prayer such as lectio divina, centering prayer, and guided meditation. They also participate in a variety of spiritual enrichment activities that explore the relationships among spirituality, nature, culture, and art. In addition to these, volunteers are offered a monthly spiritual direction opportunity free of cost. The discernment program in summary:
- Daily service work related to each woman’s personal and professional growth
- Daily Liturgy of the Hours with the Sisters
- Daily celebration of the Eucharist
- Daily meals and community recreation time with the Sisters
- Spiritual direction
- Time for personal prayer & reflection
- Discernment weekends & faith-sharing groups
- Spirituality workshops and classes