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Kolbe Cafe

A Space for Young Adults

1. Know Yourself 

It’s important to know what you like to do and what it is that you love, your strengths and weaknesses, who matters to you, for whom you live. One, so that you can take it into consideration when are discerning a vocation or career, and two, so that you can begin to pursue different paths if these will not contribute to your final happiness. 

2. You ultimately receive two calls.  

These two calls are essential to happiness. We must accept and pursue them, in order to find peace in the moment and eternal happiness. Dare I say that they will bring Christian joy, independent of material success/wealth.  

One is the universal call to friendship with Jesus. It is grace that we recognize him as God and go before him with respect and awe. However, due to his unfathomable mercy, he is also our friend. Jesus told St. Faustina, “Your lack of trust hurts me more than your sin”! He desires that we turn to him also as we would our best friend. Tell him how things are going, ask questions, and seek help.  

The second call is to serve others. Nearly everything we do can be for other people. While we must take time “for ourselves,” even that time is to refresh and re-energize ourselves for service to God and others. Our happiness. It is the ultimate generosity in imitation of Christ, who also took time to pray and eat and hang out with his friends! It is nothing to fear, but to cherish and give a deeper meaning to all we do. 

3. You need clear goals.  

It’s quite literally impossible to fulfill your goals in life if you are constantly distracted or aren’t sure where you are going. Imagine going on a car trip and constantly pulling over to get food, drinks, and take pictures. You are never going to reach your destination. Likewise, if I have no idea where I’m going, I’m not going to reach the right place (most likely). But let’s say that our goal is to drive from Los Angeles to Washington DC. There are many stops we take along the way, planned and routed, that do not take me away from the ultimate goal of getting to Washington DC. We already know what DC represents, heaven and holiness, but what about the stops along the way? Everyone’s journey is different, depending on how they travel, what they are interested in, how many stops they take, etc. These stops along the way are our secondary goals. They need to be clear, tangible, and meet the criteria of taking us toward happiness and holiness. If these secondary goals change along the way, that’s ok, but you’ve got to have some direction to travel.  

4. Prayer is essential. 

The Sacraments are important to maintaining a life of grace. In the sacraments we receive sanctifying and sacramental grace. Sanctifying grace is an habitual gift, a stable and supernatural disposition that perfects the soul itself to enable it to live with God, to act by his love. Sacramental graces are proper to each sacrament (such as forgiveness in Confession).  

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is unique and should be done when possible. The Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy are favorite devotionals that Our Lord and Our Lady of requested and the Church confirmed. Brief invocations, “Jesus, I trust,” can being consolation in the moment and strengthen on our way. And there are many other ways of praying vocally with predetermined words. This is not to undermine any of this, in fact, their importance should not be undermined.  

However, if anyone wishes to discern well, to understand God’s plan for them, they must listen. Solitude is essential to proper discernment. Now, solitude is not isolation. Isolation is an end in itself and pulls us into a place alone to “hide” from something or avoid something. Solitude, instead, is a means to a deeper relationship with Jesus and discernment of his plan upon you.  

5. Form your conscience. 

Forming your conscience is not complicated, and it will help you discern. Right from wrong. Good from evil. Best from “not bad.” Obviously, we want (don’t we?) right, good, and best. If you don’t really care, start by praying for increased charity and work on forming your conscience! Sometimes things sound safe and reasonable, but aren’t right, good, or best. Again, a formed conscience helps! In this worksheet you have already made some goals and/or commitments that will help form your conscience.  

6. Surround yourself with trustworthy people. 

You will become who/what you hang around. Obviously, this isn’t literal, but true nonetheless. Picture friendships like a big circle. On the outer edge are all the people you can’t control being in your life. And this is great... opportunities to meet new people and evangelize. But sometimes they do not encourage a life of virtue, and/or you just don’t enjoy their company. On the inside is one step deeper. These are people you might socialize with, again – excellent! Just remember that socialization is powerful, you don’t want to hang around people doing things you shouldn’t do – boring anyway. Then there is the inner circle. These are people you probably socialize with, but they have become true friends. They may come from various social circles or family. There may be only a handful of people or more, and that’s ok. Everyone is different. The important thing is that these people are trustworthy and encouraging a life of virtue. You will be with each other one day in eternal life – choose the happy place.  

7. Growth is constant. Life is demanding. 

This little workbook is something you could fill out annually, or sometimes even more, because life is always changing. But those final goals, unchanged, the time in solitude, the flexibility of changing lesser goals, etc. will help you navigate toward where you want to be when all is said and done. Growth is constant, and you will have setbacks. One week or DAY might be GREAT and the next one to forget. It’s ok. Keep growing and keep going. Life is demanding. But that’s great! It allows us to grow closer to Christ, to seek his help and trust in him. It allows us to smooth out our growing edges, and time to develop lasting friendships. God is good, and so are you – His beloved child!  

Don’t forget the priesthood or consecrated life in your discernment. There is much sacrifice in every life calling, and these are part of the growing process. The priesthood and consecrated life, like matrimony and single life lived as a vocation, embraced and lived in the will of God – will bring you supernatural joy.  

FINALLY

If you would like the worksheets that accompany these tips, please email Jillian @ FKMs@kolbemissionusa.org

God Bless,

Jillian

 


 

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Pope Francis' gives an annual message to guide and inspire our Lenten journey. This year's title is “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem” (Mt 20:18)
Lent: a Time for Renewing Faith, Hope and Love. 
In this wonderful, succinct message the the Holy Father calls us to renewal through fasting, prayer, and almsgiving which in turn enable and express our faith, hope, and love. Read below to learn a little more. If you'd like to read the whole message, the link is at the bottom of the article. 

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