Human Formation Resources

To give yourself, you must first possess yourself.

Human formation involves growing in self-knowledge, which leads to self-possession and self-gift.

No matter which state in life God calls you to, He is calling you to make a gift of yourself to Him and to His people. Self-giving is not a one-time event. It is something which is meant to deepen over time. Human formation lays the foundation for self-giving.

To give yourself, you must first possess yourself: accepting and caring for your whole person (body, mind, and heart) as a gift from God. To receive yourself as an inheritance, you must understand who you are, and accept yourself as Jesus accepts you.  

The resources on this page provide practical tools to help you know and care for yourself (physically, mentally, and emotionally), so that you will be more and more free to give yourself away. 

Click on the different tabs below to see the resources!

Physical Health

BOOK: Fit for Eternal Life, by Kevin Vost 

VIDEO: “What’s Your Bedtime”, Fr. Mike Schmitz

VIDEO: Does God care about “self-care”?, Chris Stefanick  

VIDEO: “Self-care: What Is It & How Do We Do It?”, Dr. Matthew Breuninger 

Discovering your personality and gifts

QUIZ: The Temperament Quiz

BOOK: The Temperament God Gave You, by Art and Laraine Bennet

QUIZ: The MCODE (Motivation Code) Assessment

Note: This assessment is very powerful for understanding what motivates you and how to tap into that motivation. The assessment costs $49.00, but the link given above includes a code for a $10.00 discount. There is also a free worksheet on the page which is a useful resource even if you cannot afford to take the assessment at this time.

VIDEO: “Personal Vocation,” Dr. Joshua Miller

Note: This video was recorded at a Catholic women’s conference. The speaker is talking to an audience of women, but what he is saying is relevant for men and women of all ages.

BOOK: Unrepeatable: Cultivating the Unique Calling of Every Person, by Luke Burgis & Joshua Miller, PhD

Healthy Emotions

BOOK: The Emotions God Gave You, by Art and Laraine Bennett

BOOK: Emotional Virtue, by Sarah Swafford

Note: While this book discusses romantic relationships a lot, it is applicable to other relationships. It is also helpful for cultivating the virtue of chastity, which is an essential virtue for living the priesthood or religious life with freedom.

Healthy Relationships

VIDEO: “True Friends vs. Toxic Friends,” Taylor Tripodi

BOOK: True Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness, by John Cuddeback, Ph.D. 

PODCAST: “St. John Paul II: A Model of Friendship,” Fr. Peter Armenio

God, our loving Father, wants you to discover and live your vocation in freedom and joy. Each one of us has a vocation to give ourselves in love to God and to others. Your personal vocation is the unique way in which God calls you to give the gift of yourself. Love must be free, so freedom of heart is essential for vocational discernment. The heart of freedom is being free to love, which also means being free from anything that keeps us from loving God, other people, and ourselves.  

The following resources are designed to help you to grow in your understanding of what freedom and to draw you into an encounter with Jesus, who is the only one who can heal us and set us free to receive His love and give it to others.  

BOOK: Finding Freedom in Christ: Healing Life’s Hurts, by Dr. Matthew Breuninger

BOOK: Loved as I Am: An Invitation to Conversion, Healing, and Freedom through Jesus, by Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT

BOOK: Breakthrough: A Journey from Desperation to Hope, by Fr. Rob Galea

WEBSITE: The Chastity Project, with Jason and Crystalina Evert

Note: This may seem like a strange resource for people discerning religious life or priesthood, but struggling with chastity issues does not disqualify you from discerning a consecrated vocation. If you have experienced a struggle in this area, God still loves you just as much and He wants you to find freedom of heart. This website has many resources and answers to difficult questions about struggles with chastity and the Church’s wise and loving teaching on these topics.