Advice on discerning religious/marriage vocation


#21

[quote="Taunted_Octopi, post:19, topic:309700"]
Where I cannot fully empathize with your situation, I can understand the question of which vocation has God called me to? What I have come to see is my vocation at this time is that of single life. While I feel the pull to learn more and more about my love, my God, I also have a strong desire for a husband, a family. I understand that for the time being I am to carry the vocation of single life with grace, taking charity to the world around me,while guarding my chastity jealously.

Single life is a beautiful thing it allows one to find who they are from their own eyes as well as from the eyes of God. I have been single all my life, never once have I had a boyfriend or anything close. In the end if God has called me to the life-long vocation of singleness I am at peace with it, I will with joy serve the people of my community, and my parish, and do so with a love that comes from Christ through me.

May God give us both peace as we make this journey, and may we see the perfection in it's ultimate end.

God bless

[/quote]

Your wholeheartedness to follow God is very admirable. I think I understand what you are saying as I also feel like I am supposed to be single right now..to have that freedom to learn about myself, my faith, and God. Thank you very much for sharing this. :)


#22

[quote="injenn00, post:20, topic:309700"]
I quickly breezed through the posts on this thread and I must admit that a similar situation has happened to me. The process continues to unfold and I'm not quire sure if I am called to the single apostolic life, married life or religious life.

Past November, my fiancee of 11.5 years decided to break off the relationship. As like SimpleMiss described, we grew separate and I don't think our values of faith were going in the same direction (he was lukewarm Catholic).

I know now, more than ever, I would like to marry someone who is an active participant of the Catholic faith; who loves, cherishes and is compassionate with me; who upholds to the morals of a holy family, marriage and commitment; and has God as the focal point of our relationship.

I'm still healing and as each day unfolds, I discover more and more what God wills in my life. Sometimes I'm happy, sometimes I'm sad, sometimes I question God, sometimes I'm mad. I just know that God has this huge plan before me and whether it is my calling to a religious life or single/married life, then I'll embrace it with open arms.

One thing I also found quite difficult was trying to talk to others about this discernment process. When I say "others" I'm referring to family and friends who are caught up in the secular lifestyle. Most of my closer friends and friends at Church have been very supportive through the process, but I've found some to question my deep relationship with the Lord.

I know I'm rambling - I'm sorry. I wish you the best in your discernment and please feel free to chat with me if you'd like to bounce off your thoughts because it can be overwhelming sometimes.

[/quote]

No, you are not rambling! This is all very helpful and appreciative-thank you so much for sharing. And wow, that must have been so tough..But you are so strong to still have a steadfast faith in God and His plan for you.
But yes, I do understand the difficulty you mentioned in talking to others about the discernment process. I only have two friends that truly understand what I am going through, but only because they are both discerning themselves as well. But I am nonetheless blessed that God has given me these two friends to walk alongside me!
Thank you so much for your offer. I surely will. :)


#23

I think I am slightly lost.
Now that I am so close to God, now that I feel so much of His love, now that I love God so much..I want to serve Him with my whole heart and with everything that I have and am. The thought about being the bride of Christ alone is so beautiful. The thought about surrendering everything you have to serve and love Him is also so beautiful..
But for some reason, I just feel like I am meant to be with someone, though. Right now, I feel so out of place without this tangible love from a human being. But maybe it's just because I'm not used to it(since I've been with my ex-boyfriend for the past three years). I don't want to admit that I need love from a person..I feel weak in admitting that I need this. But also, all I should need is God's love, right? And that's how I want it to be. But there's this lingering thought that there's also this void in my heart created to be fulfilled by a person''s love too. Of course, I know that my heart will rest only when it rests in God. This is what I am trying to do..But I also have this feeling that I will be even more happier with that special person.
It's so confusing because a part of me wants to be called to a religious life. But this feeling that I need a person's love is the only thing that is holding me back right now..

Well, thank you very much for listening(or well, reading).


#24

Have you talked to any people that are in the religious life? That could be a great help. Finding a spiritual director will likely help you find out where you’re meant to be. :slight_smile:


#25

After talking to many trusted friends who walk in a similar journey of faith, I have done the following things that have seemed to bring some clarity in the discernment process:

  1. Arrange to meet consistently with my spiritual director
  2. Pray for the detachment of my will - then ask for the Holy Spirit to show me the Lord's will
  3. Attend daily Mass
  4. Detach from worldly things that draw me away from holiness (i.e. television, Internet, friends that cloud my faith, hobbies that draw me away from the Lord)
  5. Surround myself among like-minded persons and happenings (like theology classes, etc.)
  6. Pray a morning and evening prayer
  7. Attend Adoration more frequently
  8. Spend time in solitude and silence
  9. Go on a Retreat
  10. Love more

I know these items are inclusive to myself, but I figured I'd share it because it's been helping me become a better person for the Lord and allowing me to lead a holier life.

I pray for all of you who may be in the same boat and I ask the Holy Spirit to fill your lives every step you take on your journey.

In Christ :)


#26

It's a good list. Thank you for sharing. :)


#27

[quote="lynnanine, post:24, topic:309700"]
Have you talked to any people that are in the religious life? That could be a great help. Finding a spiritual director will likely help you find out where you're meant to be. :)

[/quote]

Yes! I've been meeting with my spiritual director every week for the past month.


#28

[quote="injenn00, post:25, topic:309700"]
After talking to many trusted friends who walk in a similar journey of faith, I have done the following things that have seemed to bring some clarity in the discernment process:

  1. Arrange to meet consistently with my spiritual director
  2. Pray for the detachment of my will - then ask for the Holy Spirit to show me the Lord's will
  3. Attend daily Mass
  4. Detach from worldly things that draw me away from holiness (i.e. television, Internet, friends that cloud my faith, hobbies that draw me away from the Lord)
  5. Surround myself among like-minded persons and happenings (like theology classes, etc.)
  6. Pray a morning and evening prayer
  7. Attend Adoration more frequently
  8. Spend time in solitude and silence
  9. Go on a Retreat
  10. Love more

I know these items are inclusive to myself, but I figured I'd share it because it's been helping me become a better person for the Lord and allowing me to lead a holier life.

I pray for all of you who may be in the same boat and I ask the Holy Spirit to fill your lives every step you take on your journey.

In Christ :)

[/quote]

Thank you very much for sharing this list with us and for your prayers. :)


#29

A week has passed and with my constant prayers, I am still not feeling more for a religious life. I am always asking God though to give me consolations and stir interior movements within me when I am praying about a religious life/my vocation.

I realize that I am not being completely open for God..because my ex-boyfriend and I are still very close. He treats me as if I am still his girlfriend, even though we are not together anymore. I know this because I can still feel his love and care for me as if nothing has really changed between us. And for this reason, I have not fully detached from him..which I know I should if I want to discern the religious life. I am not sure if I should give myself a period of time in which I'd cut all connections from him..and see how it feels like to be..I guess, alone. Because right now, I am praying about whether I can be single and am meant to be single or not.

Also, a couple of days ago, he told me that he realized he hasn't been giving God enough recognition..I'm not sure if it's him that's him slowly accepting God on his own or if it's him just wanting to be with me.

Thank you for taking your time to read this.


#30

[quote="simplemiss, post:23, topic:309700"]
I think I am slightly lost.
Now that I am so close to God, now that I feel so much of His love, now that I love God so much..I want to serve Him with my whole heart and with everything that I have and am. The thought about being the bride of Christ alone is so beautiful. The thought about surrendering everything you have to serve and love Him is also so beautiful..
But for some reason, I just feel like I am meant to be with someone, though. Right now, I feel so out of place without this tangible love from a human being. But maybe it's just because I'm not used to it(since I've been with my ex-boyfriend for the past three years). I don't want to admit that I need love from a person..I feel weak in admitting that I need this. But also, all I should need is God's love, right? And that's how I want it to be. But there's this lingering thought that there's also this void in my heart created to be fulfilled by a person''s love too. Of course, I know that my heart will rest only when it rests in God. This is what I am trying to do..But I also have this feeling that I will be even more happier with that special person.
It's so confusing because a part of me wants to be called to a religious life. But this feeling that I need a person's love is the only thing that is holding me back right now...

Well, thank you very much for listening(or well, reading).

[/quote]

The first year after a long-term relationship is always a introspective time, full of great uncertainty. :o


#31

[quote="Lamentation, post:30, topic:309700"]
The first year after a long-term relationship is always a introspective time, full of great uncertainty. :o

[/quote]

That's a great reflection and I can truly relate. Thank you for sharing that!


#32

Hello everyone,
it's been a while since I've been on here!
A lot has happened to me since I last posted 6 months ago...just thought I'd visit and post on this forum again.

With my ex-boyfriend that I was dating before, after I broke up with him, we got back together..A lot has happened between us but we finally officially broke up just in the beginning of this month..for me to enter the convent. I had never stopped discerning the religious life and have been discerning it while dating him(with him being aware of this, of course). And with my continuing discernment and with the guidance of my spiritual director, I have decided to enter a religious community to see if God is really calling me to become a nun. I will be entering next week. :)

Throughout my discernment up until now, though, the thought of marriage has never left my mind. I am, if anything, even more drawn to the marriage life - the marriage life is something that I desire more than the religious life as of right now. Well, it has been that way for the longest time.
But for some reason, I just know that God is calling me to enter the convent. Yes, I am attracted to the religious life, but I know that I desire the marriage life more.. I'm still very torn apart between a marriage and a religious life but I just feel like God will slowly reveal His will to me once I fully submit my whole self to Him.

So at this point, I am trying really hard to completely free my heart from my own desires - I want to be free from my own self so that I may surrender myself to God and to His will. I want to put my whole heart into the religious life while discerning it at the convent..It is hard though because I can tell that my prayers and thoughts are still prejudiced/biased towards a marriage life. I want to rid of all my assumptions, biased thoughts, my own desires and inclinations.....

This is the area where I want to ask you for your prayers - that God will give me the grace to completely open my heart to Him and His will.

Thank you all so much. And God bless. :)


#33

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