A few months ago, a friend from high school reached out to me wanting to hear about my discernment process from when I entered religious life. I was happy to discuss but surprised that she was asking, as she’s not a Christian. Discernment–particularly vocational discernment–is something that we usually talk about only with other Catholics. But I’m generally happy to discuss anything about Jesus, so I was game. It turns out that Eve is working on a piece for The Huffington Post investigating the way young Millennials discern. She’s a brilliant writer and a beautiful soul and I think her contribution to this conversation (especially when it’s published on a site like The Huffington Post) will be a gift to the Church. Here’s what Eve has to say:
I’m a Jewish-American writer based in Johannesburg, South Africa, who’s profoundly interested in the spiritual experience throughout history and how it occurs in an age many people think of as thoroughly secular, science-minded, data-driven, and beyond the reach of the mystical or necessitating the presence of faith. For a long essay I’m writing for The Huffington Post, I’m looking to talk with American women under the age of 25 in the process of discernment to enter the religious life. I’m interested in how you experienced your call, the tangible ways that changed how you interacted with the world (for instance, did you come to use Facebook differently? The push to have a good “career” differently? Did it change how you related to the uncertainty of the contemporary economy and the loneliness often present in contemporary friendships?). I’m deeply interested in the kinds of experiences of the modern world, and of God, that led a young woman to pursue a vocation. If you’d be willing to chat with me by phone, FaceTime, or Skype about your journey, please get in touch with me on Facebook. I’d ideally love to speak with women from a range of backgrounds, including families that were not religious or professed a different religion, and different parts of the country or economic backgrounds. We can speak casually first and then discuss if you’d like to be quoted by name in the story. While my interest is primarily in young women, I’d also REALLY love to talk to some young men discerning about the priesthood, too.
If you’re interested in speaking to Eve, leave a comment here (anonymous or not) or send me a message and I’ll put you two in touch. Please DON’T tag a friend or share it to her Facebook wall–her discernment might not be something she’s ready to be public about. Send it in a private message and she can contact me herself. I know that Eve is particularly interested in speaking with a diverse group of young people discerning with traditional communities, especially people from non-religious families, people of color, immigrants, and the very poor and very wealthy. She’s come to the right Church, hasn’t she? You’ve never met a body more diverse than the Catholic Church, and I’d love to help her write a piece that shows how the love of Christ breaks down all the divisions we erect between ourselves to call hearts to deep holiness and deep joy. Plus she’s offered to let me look it over before publication to make sure the theology’s on point, so you don’t have to worry about the Church being misrepresented. What a great opportunity to witness to the Love of Christ that invites us to be completely his! Who’s in?