A call within a call

Hello Everyone. The more and more I discern my priestly vocation, I feel that God is calling me to retire from the world, to a life of complete solitude and prayer, as a monk. I will list the signs, and will you tell me if they would be considered accurate signs of a monastic vocation? Thanks. God be with you all.

-I feel comfortable in silence and prayer, left alone for hours on end.
-I love praying through Lectio Divinia
-Yes, there are secular jobs that I would consider, but I think of those jobs and feel like something would be missing. I want a life where retirement is not an option, I want to work all of my life, in prayer, until the day I die.

I know that I want to be a Priest, but I could be a Priest and a Monk. I would even be willing to stay a consecrated brother.

Thanks.

I am a woman and mistakenly went to an apostolic convent, and was not comfortable there. I wanted to remain “within the walls” and be a cloistered nun. As it turned out, I was released to visit my mother, who was very critically ill, met a widower who wanted to be Catholic and married. Now I am a widow, live alone, no family, and live as a cloistered lay Catholic, except for necessary trips to Mass, grocery, etc… I was not eligible for the Cloister by the time I met my husband, as they had an age limit and I was about 20 years over their limits on age. The signs you listed are the ones I had for the most part (except for becoming a Priest). I am not a vocations director, by any means, but it would seem to me that you are being called to a cloistered life. Visit a cloistered monastery, speak to the Vocations Director there and pray about this calling.

Those who choose the cloistered life support the Church in a very special way. If you do enter, please pray for me as well! God be with you and may the Holy Spirit lead you to the life the Lord wants you to follow. God bless you!:signofcross:

God Bless you for your discernment! :thumbsup:

Those are some signs, but signs like that alone are probably not enough.

You’ll be needing to find one spiritual director you can speak to about this. It’s really important when discerning a vocation.

Yes, those are good signs, but they aren’t enough.

A couple of the main things that are expected of a monk, is complete obedience, and a willingness to serve the needs of the community. These things, as well as the willingness to die to oneself, should come before a person’s wants. Also, you won’t be completely alone, just so u know (many people forget this, I think), as you’ll have to interact with all the other monks and learn to live with them. And there’s a good chance there will be at least 1 sanctifier there within the community! :smiley:

I think a visit to a community for a week or 2 may prove to be useful for u.

But as it’s been said, it would be very good for u to speak with a spiritual director about this. You definitely don’t want to go in alone at this.

God bless! :slight_smile:

Monasticism and claustration (that is, the cloistered state) aren’t necessarily one and the same thing. To put it another way, not all monks are cloistered but most (possibly all) of those who are cloistered are monks. To be a monk means to live in a monastic community following a particular rule of life (such as the rule of St Benedict) which revolves around but is not necessarily limited to) prayer (including liturgy of the hours, meditation and lectio divina). Often, monastic communities will have some particular form of work which they engage in (hence ora et labora - work and prayer, the motto of the Benedictine Order) such as running a school, or a parish or a school. the strictness of their life in any particular monastery can vary depending on what order the members of the community are part of (for example, Cistercians lead quite a strict lifestyle) and sometimes on the monastery itself. So in some cases the members of the community are not allowed to leave the monastery grounds without permission and are thus, effectively cloistered.

What you need to decide is basically if this sort of life generally is something which you feel called to and then find an order and / or a monastery which appeals to you. you should be aware that after final profession a monk is usually expected to remain with the same monastery effectively for life so choose wisely!

I would say yes you need to look into it. Make arrangements to spend a week at a monastery. If you like work and prayer Benedictine is right up your alley. Try St Meinrad:

youtube.com/watch?v=-FaTafdRnPY

Regarding becoming a priest, that is really up to your religious superior if you are called to be a priest. However, many religious orders are made up chiefly, if not entirely, of those who are either a priest or are in training to become one. I think the Jesuits are among these, but don’t quote me on it.

February seems to have a lot of vocational retreats around where I live. Jesuits, Dominicans, and Diocesan have full weekends (I think the Dominicans did anyway). You may want to check out your archdiocese’s website and see if they have anything like that.
Not sure if the contemplatives would maintain that same publicity though.

I do wonder though, which of these callings is stronger: To be a Priest or to be a contemplative?

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