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Vocational Discernment Rosary: Discovering Gods Purpose for Your Life

Vocational Discernment Rosary

Discovering God’s Purpose and Plan for Your Life

The Holy Rosary is a precious gift in our vocational journey. In meditating upon and contemplating its mysteries, we can grow closer to Mary, our mother, intercessor and model of every vocation. We can delve deeper into the heart of the Trinity, which is the final end of all devotions. In light of the mysteries we penetrate, we can grow in knowledge of ourselves and begin to see where God might be leading us next in our vocations.

It’s not complicated. Meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary as Our Lady pondered all things in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19). For each one, three short reflections are offered to help provoke thought and prayer.

The Holy Spirit will take care of the rest, and God will no doubt bless any openness to His will.

God bless you, and may you find this Vocational Discernment Rosary valuable and fruitful.

The Joyful Mysteries

The Annunciation—Lk 1:26-38


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p<>{color:#000;}. “The angel Gabriel was sent from God.” Our vocation always comes from God, but, as in the case of Mary, it is often made known to us through a messenger. The messenger may be a parent or family member, parish priest, youth minister, teacher, or friend. In any case, it is important to open our hearts and be attentive to what God may be saying to us through others.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “She was greatly troubled at the saying…Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be?’” Often in the course of our discernment we will have many questions. “Am I worthy? How can I be certain? Will I be happy?” Our Lady asked questions too, yet in entrusting herself to the will of God, she found her peace. In our case, a priest, spiritual director, or friend may help us seek answers and find peace with our calling. Let us not be troubled, but seek to imitate Mary in trust!


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p<>{color:#000;}. “May it be done to me according to your word.” The moment will come when we must decide and embrace what God wants of us. Our happiest moments will be those in which, with Mary, we boldly say, “May it be done to me according to your word!”

The Visitation—Lk 1:39-56


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.” Though the time had not yet come for Mary to give birth to Jesus, she was already ministering to the world by carrying Him to others in her womb. Let us follow this example, bringing the presence of Jesus to others in the ways in which we are able right now.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “My soul magnifies the Lord…for He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden.” In discerning our vocations, we must look at who we are, complete with both our gifts and our shortcomings. This is the virtue of humility. Since God is the giver of both of our gifts and our vocations, we need not be afraid that our gifts will go to waste in whatever vocational path He reveals to us. We must simply be generous in offering these gifts for His honor and glory.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Mary remained with her about three months.” Our Lady did not count the hours of service nor measure the sacrifice required to be of real assistance to Elizabeth. No matter what our vocation, we will be called upon to be generous in giving of our time, our efforts, our talents—our very life if necessary. Let us seek to grow in this generosity, that we might be willing to give without counting the cost.

The Nativity—Lk 2:1-20


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p<>{color:#000;}. “And Joseph also went up from Galilee…with Mary his betrothed, who was with child…She laid him in a manger because there was no room in the inn.” Mary and Joseph were called upon to adjust themselves to unforeseen circumstances in their service of God. When we look at the various challenges associated with the different vocations—adjusting to the structure and routine of seminary/community life, caring for a sick child or a crying baby in the middle of the night, etc.—may we be strengthened and comforted by the example of Mary and Joseph at Bethlehem.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” The gift of Jesus, like the gift of our vocations, is far beyond anything the shepherds could have deserved, yet the angels model the appropriate response—to rejoice in the gift and to give the glory back to God.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.” The Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph are models of surrendering to God’s unfolding plan. With them, may we learn to sit in silence and meditate on what God has revealed, an essential part of discernment.

The Presentation—Lk 2:22-38


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p<>{color:#000;}. “They brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as is written in the law of the Lord).” One sees in this mystery of the rosary an example of obedience to a law that really does not bind the Son of God. But, as Saint John wrote, Christ has given us an example that we might follow in His footsteps. Let us do so by seeking to unite our wills ever more closely to the teachings of our Church, that we might come to see more clearly how it is that God is inviting us to follow Him in our vocational paths.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus.” May this remind us of all those who have, in small ways and large, brought us to God, and may we also present ourselves to Him, that He might then use us as He sees fit.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “He [Simeon] took Him into his arms and blessed God.” Like other Simeons, good people we know may unconsciously point out in us what they consider to be signs of our vocation. May we be attentive and discerning, but also receptive to their observations, and may God lead us to those who will act as guideposts in our vocational journey.

The Finding in the Temple—Lk 2:41-52


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.” Even Jesus had saintly role models as He grew up in the Jewish faith. May we also seek out supportive mentors in the Catholic faith, who, by their example, will stir us to live out our vocations with like fidelity.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “They found Him in the temple.” Mary and Joseph’s search for their beloved son was surely frightening and exhausting. May we pray for the grace to persevere in the search for Jesus as they did, trusting in God’s plan for us in the midst of trials and difficulties.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “And the Child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him.” Those who perceive a priestly or religious vocation often say, “I am not good enough to become a priest or religious.” Likewise, many feel daunted by various aspects of marriage and parenthood. Let us trust that there will always be grace enough to fulfill our vocations, and that as we progress, we too will grow in wisdom and favor before God.

The Luminous Mysteries

The Baptism in the Jordan—Mt 3:13-17


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.” Jesus accepts His messianic mission by descending into the waters to take on the sins of all humanity. Each and every vocation is rooted in our baptismal calling—holiness. Let us renew our baptismal commitment to reject sin and live in the freedom of God!


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p<>{color:#000;}. “John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you.’” Often those discerning a vocation are challenged in their response to the call. Well-intentioned people ask, “Have you considered all the options? Do you really want to limit your freedom? Will you truly find fulfillment?” Jesus embraced His vocation at the Jordan. Let us seek to emulate His wholehearted response to the Father’s will.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “This is My Beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased!” When a person fulfills his or her vocation, God is well pleased. The presence and activity of the Holy Spirit is a clear indication that this is the case. Like Jesus, we need not fear risking our hearts and saying “yes” to the many unknowns ahead.

The Wedding at Cana—Jn 2:1-12


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p<>{color:#000;}. “My hour has not yet come.” No one has better timing than the Holy Spirit. If we lack clarity in our discernment, perhaps it is because our time has not yet come. We can be sure, therefore, that in these times, it is more important than ever that we live our vocations today—as students or siblings or friends, or whatever the case may be. Only in the course of this here-and-now fidelity can God bring us to where He wants us to be tomorrow.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Do whatever He tells you.” Here, though Jesus has not yet begun His public ministry, Mary is confident that He can and will do the miraculous. Let us too be confident of the wonders that Jesus can and will work in our lives. Let us also be willing to cooperate with Him by doing whatever He tells us.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “This, the first of His signs, Jesus did at Cana.” Though His miracle at Cana was simply to multiply the joy and camaraderie at an ordinary wedding feast, it was only the beginning of the great things to come. May we too remember the small, ordinary wonders that God has worked in our lives, and realize that they are only a taste of the great things He has in store for us.

The Proclamation of the Kingdom—Mt 4:15, 5:1-15


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Repenting of our sins and running joyfully to the mercy of God in the Sacrament of Confession is another beautiful way to prepare ourselves to uncover our vocation. Just as Jesus fulfilled the Israelites’ hopes for a kingdom, albeit in a completely unexpected way, so too can Jesus fulfill the desires that each of us has on our hearts.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who recognize that they are poor before God. As we present ourselves to God, knowing that only He can reveal to us our vocation and provide the grace for us to live it out, may we take the opportunity to grow in this virtue, knowing that Heaven is our eternal destination.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Whether we enter a seminary/religious community or seek to date and eventually marry someone who will help lead us to Heaven, we will inevitably encounter persecutions. We pray for the grace to weather these persecutions, and to do it joyfully for the sake of the Kingdom!

The Transfiguration—Mt 17:1-8


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p<>{color:#000;}. “He…went up on the mountain to pray.” There were times in Jesus’ life when He took time apart to be especially close to His Father in Heaven. We too ought to reserve time for God, both during our day, by setting aside time for prayer, and also by making a retreat every so often. These are especially good practices in discernment, because they silence the many voices competing with God’s for our attention.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Master, it is well that we are here.” It is good to be on the mountaintop with Jesus! Let us savor the closeness we have with Him, especially in the Eucharist, and recall our mountaintop experiences in times of trouble and desolation.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him!” Listen, listen, and again listen. Only when we stop telling God what our plans are can we discover His. God’s plans usually do a better job of bringing us the love, happiness, and fulfillment that we’re looking for anyway.

The Institution of the Eucharist—Mt 26:26-29


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it.” One of the practices of a person maturing in the spiritual life and seeking to know God’s will more clearly is making regular visits to the Blessed Sacrament. Christ in the Eucharist is our teacher! Our vocations, hopes, and dreams—these receive His personal attention when we discuss them in His Eucharistic Presence.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Take, eat; this is My Body.” We receive the Body of Christ every time we receive the Eucharist at the celebration of Mass. Going to Mass and receiving the Eucharist often is a good way to receive the graces that we need to discern and respond to our vocations.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “This is My Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” May no sin that we’ve committed in the past, nor even any sin that we habitually commit in the present, be an excuse not to follow Jesus in our given vocations. Jesus shed His blood to forgive us of our sins, and heal us of even those wounds that require great time and effort.

Sorrowful Mysteries

The Agony in the Garden—Mt 26:36-46


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane…and He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee.” In Peter, James, and John, Our Lord saw something that would fit them for more intimate contact with Him. While the best vocation for any person is the one to which he or she is called, the religious life does, in and of itself, afford for a greater degree of this intimate contact. Have I given due consideration to the possibility that this is what Jesus is asking of me?


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” In the difficult and scary moments of surrender to our vocation, we may find ourselves praying this very same prayer. Like Jesus, may we put the will of the Father first, and lean on Him for strength when we are called upon to make sacrifices.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Watch and pray.” Jesus wants us to be wakeful and attentive to His needs in the world today. The Church needs both holy priests/religious and strong, loving families, and if we fall asleep to those needs, we leave an unfilled hole. May we “watch and pray,” that we might know what our particular contribution must be.

The Scourging at the Pillar—Mk 14:42-15:15


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Rise; let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” Here, Jesus rises to meet His betrayer, a decision He knows will bring Him great pain. May we prepare to rise and meet difficult moments such as this, by being firm now in matters of temptation, and by taking advantage of every opportunity to surrender ourselves to God’s perfect will.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “But Jesus was silent and made no answer.” As the Son of God, Jesus need not have endured such accusations, but His silence spoke volumes. Did His miracles and teachings not say enough? Likewise, our speech and conduct, rather than our arguments, will sometimes be the only thing that will adequately convince others that the actions we are taking in pursuit of our vocations are truly the will of God.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “So Pilate…released for them Barabbas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.” Jesus is suffering right now, in the poor, the sick, the lost, the children with broken families, and even in those who clamor for His crucifixion. Jesus, where might I comfort You in Your time of need?

The Crowning with Thorns—Mk 15:16-20


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p<>{color:#000;}. “And they clothed Him in a purple cloak.” Everyone desires happiness, but we must expect it to be God-given, and not to come from the things of the world. Jesus, even though stripped and humiliated and mocked in public, could still maintain interior peace and joy, because He was responding to the Father’s will.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “And plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him.” In our vocations, the moments in which we are called to wear the crown of self-denial will be crucial in our journey toward the crown of eternal life. Even right now, though we may not be wearing a wedding ring or have taken religious vows, the gift or our wills to God in small things will ever bring us closer to Heaven. Christ teaches this lesson when He patiently accepts the crown of thorns.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “And they struck His head with a reed, and spat upon Him, and they knelt down in homage to him.” With this picture of the suffering Christ before us, may we not be paralyzed by the fear of suffering or mortification, which are needed in our battle against evil.

The Carrying of the Cross—Lk 23:26-31


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p<>{color:#000;}. “They led Him away.” It is the virtue of meekness that gives a person self-control and the ability to regulate his own passions. Meekness is not weakness; it is a sign of strength. Christ could easily escape from the hands of the soldiers, but in accepting their insults and injuries, He teaches us the power of self-control. His poise and His dignity show that He is stronger than those who hold Him captive.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “They seized one Simon of Cyrene…and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.” It is here, involuntarily placed beneath the weight of the cross, that Simon of Cyrene follows most closely in the footsteps of his savior.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” Even while Our Lord is in the midst of His own agony, Jesus sympathizes with the women of Jerusalem. On our vocational paths, we may find ourselves called upon to selflessly serve others while we ourselves are also suffering. Jesus, in those difficult times, be our model and our strength!

The Crucifixion—Lk 2:41-52


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p<>{color:#000;}. “There they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on His left.” Even in death, Jesus was found among those in sin, poverty, and distress. In our walk with Him, may this remind us to willingly and lovingly encounter all kinds of people, not only those who are convenient or advantageous. They too have something important to teach us.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Loneliness happens at times to everyone—married and single persons, priests and religious. Yet we need not fear that God will truly forsake us, for in those moments when we feel entirely abandoned, He always draws us more surely to Himself.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Father, into thy hands I commit My spirit.” The last words that Christ uttered on the cross are those chosen to be spoken in Night Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, at the end of the day. We too should daily subject our entire being to the loving custody of our Savior, who first taught us how to do it.

The Glorious Mysteries

The Resurrection—Mt 28:1-10


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p<>{color:#000;}. “He is not here; for He has risen, as He said.” Jesus keeps His promises—which is significant, considering that He promised to rise from the very grave. He will be no less faithful to the promise He gives to us, that we will be happy in our given vocations and that His grace will always be enough for us.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Do not be afraid.” The angel tells us that there is no need for fear, for we are a resurrection people. May we see for ourselves that fear is an enemy to our vocations, and take to heart these words that appear countless times within the Bible.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Lk 24:27). In light of the Resurrection, Jesus demonstrates to the disciples that all along, the Scriptures pointed to Him. May we, especially in times of discernment, also turn to the Bible to discover the ways in which He is likewise pointing us to Himself.

The Ascension—Lk 24:36-50


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Peace to you.” When Christ greets the Apostles with the word “peace,” He expresses the wish that they enjoy the tranquility and consolation that only He can give. How hungry the world is for committed married people, priests, and religious to be the bearers of that peace!


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). Consider the scope of this command, given to just twelve men. Christ asks seemingly-impossible things of us. Are we willing to take leaps of faith, in our lives and in our vocations, and allow Him to do what seems impossible?


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p<>{color:#000;}. “While He blessed them, He parted from them and was carried up into Heaven.” Jesus’ parting gesture assures us of His tender love and His continual presence alongside those who do His will. May the hope of following Jesus all the way to Heaven impel us to seek His will patiently and fervently, so that we might share in His love forever.

The Descent of the Holy Spirit—Acts 2


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p<>{color:#000;}. “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” Let us seek daily to uncover the Holy Spirit’s workings in our lives—those moments when He gently prompts us, inflames us, or graces us with His gifts—that we might also come to see the ways in which He is guiding us toward or giving us hints of our respective vocations.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Each one heard them speaking in his own language.” On the day of Pentecost, the people of many nations were miraculously able to understand the universal message of the Apostles. May we too participate in the Apostles’ inspired mission to be bearers of the good news to everyone.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Peter lifted up his voice.” Peter was not perfect; he denied his Lord and often spoke out of turn. Yet he confessed his faith in the “Christ, the son of the living God,” and after Pentecost, was the first to lift up his voice. In Peter can we see the hard-working, sincere Apostle who occasionally falls short of the ideal but who loves Christ and always keeps working for Him.

The Assumption—Ps 16:10, Jdt 15:9, Gen 3:15


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Thou wilt not let Thy Holy One see corruption” (Ps 16:10). Though these words refer to Our Lord, the Blessed Mother also was without corruption of any kind. Virgin and mother and assumed body and soul into Heaven, she is the perfect model of chastity, which is necessary for the authentic fulfillment of any vocation. May we entrust ourselves to her motherly care, and seek her intercession as we prepare for our vocation by growing in chastity.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “You are the exaltation of Jerusalem, you are the great glory of Israel, you are the great pride of your nation!” (Jdt 15:9) Mary is the fulfillment and perfection of these words, spoken to Judith in the Old Testament.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen 3:15). Mary especially shows herself as mother in times when the devil’s work of inspiring lukewarmness and indifference is strongest. The Bible tells us of her power over evil, and so we should have great faith in her intercession as we combat the evils around us in pursuit of our vocations.

The Coronation of Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth—Rev 12:1


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Queen of the Apostles.” In the Old Testament, the queen often was not the king’s wife, but his mother, whose role was to intercede on behalf of the people. When Jesus said to the apostle John, “Behold, your mother” (John 19:26), He gave His mother to the apostles and to each of us as our mother and our queen.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Queen of Heaven.” In the book of Revelation, we hear of “a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:1), a woman who we understand to be Mary. As Queen of Heaven, Mary is closer to her Son than anyone, and we can trust her with our deepest intentions, including our vocations.


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p<>{color:#000;}. “Queen of the Most Holy Rosary.” Mary has revealed to the world that, through the recitation of the rosary and meditation on its mysteries, souls will be led to God. If we use and love this means of prayer, our work and our interior life will be strengthened in a special way.

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For more information or additional resources to help you discern a possible vocation to the consecrated life, please visit the “Vocation Search” page at ReligiousLife.com. Also, look over our listings of upcoming “Come and See” Vocational Discernment Retreats and links to the websites of each particular community.

[Institute on Religious Life
P.O. Box 7500
Libertyville, IL 60048-7500
**][email protected][
847-573-8975]


Vocational Discernment Rosary: Discovering Gods Purpose for Your Life

The Holy Rosary is a precious gift in our vocational journey. In meditating upon and contemplating its mysteries, we can grow closer to Mary, our mother, intercessor and model of every vocation. We can delve deeper into the heart of the Trinity, which is the final end of all devotions. In light of the mysteries we penetrate, we can grow in knowledge of ourselves and begin to see where God might be leading us next in our vocations.

  • Author: TreeFrogClick, Inc.
  • Published: 2015-11-06 00:05:09
  • Words: 4090
Vocational Discernment Rosary: Discovering Gods Purpose for Your Life Vocational Discernment Rosary: Discovering Gods Purpose for Your Life