Hello! This is my first post. I am very afraid . My whole life I have wanted nothing more than to get married and have children. I still do. I come from a very religious family. I have been close to God for most of my life. About 6 years ago when I was 19 I met a man who verbally and emotionally abused for about 5 years. I still stayed with despite all this and continued to pray for him in knowing that God would change him. The same way St.Monica prayed for her son. He spoke with a priest who forever changed him. It has been almost one year and he is no longer abusive and an incredibly wonderful man who I want to marry. He brings me closer to God and continues to build his relationship with God. About 6 months ago we went to confession together. In the confession room the priest told that he thought I should think about becoming a nun. I do not want to become a nun. I want to get married and have children. I have always wanted nothing more. After that day my relationship with God has become so bad bc i am afraid he will not let me be happy unless I become a nun. I used to go to adoration frequently but do not find myself going anymore. I don’t want to be close to God or to trust his judgement bc I so badly do not want to become a nun. Not being close to God has left me very depressed and unhappy. I take this unhappiness out on my boyfriend who doesn’t deserve it. I do not want to become a nun at all and this is hurting me a lot. Some one help please.
Sweetheart- please be careful about asking for advice on the internet. Not everyone is qualified to deal with such deep matters!
Seek some spiritual counsel from a trusted priest. God Himself places a call in our hearts if He wants us to discern a particular path, and there would be a sense of peace even if there is sacrifice involved. Seriously though- maybe not that particular priest who brought up religious life to you- but please speak to a wise priest, or even a lay person who is trained in spiritual direction.
Dear Therese Grace,
Thank you for being so courageous in posting this. With courage like that, you’ll be able to overcome any fear. Fear, after all, is the worst reason to make a decision about your vocation. Ok, if a train is coming down the tracks, then fear is helpful. In discernment, not helpful because both marriage and consecration are good things.
First thing you need to know: God doesn’t MAKE us do anything unless He made us TO DO IT. He wants your happiness. He made you for happiness. His “job” is to lead you to ultimate happiness.
If you’re making a decision based on fear, then maybe it’s a good idea to take a second look at both marriage and consecration. The truth is: we’re all “naturally” called to marriage by the fact of our maleness/femaleness. As Christopher West would say, “Marriage is stamped into our bodies.” The real question is, “Beyond the natural desire to marriage, is there also a supernatural call to consecration?” That is the reason for looking at the 6 signs I mentioned in the post where you first wrote in. I’ll copy and paste it for you here below, so you can take a look for yourself:
6 signs you might be called to religious life:
*]Heroic Spirit: desire to do great things for God, to live for a higher purpose
*]Dissatisfaction with (the thought of) married life/dating: Yes, it’s nice in the moment, but afterwards there is this sense of something being “wrong.” It has also been described as your heart being chained, imprisoned, or too big to fit
*]Deep prayer: satisfying your heart and emotions so that you could say, “God/Jesus alone is enough for me.”
*]Spiritual Sensitivity: deep joy or love connected to physical manifestations of the faith: Mass, confession, chant, incense, candles, churches, art, music, philosophy, theology, Scripture, Church Fathers, pope, etc.
*]Love for Apostolate: material, spiritual, or mixed, but especially spiritual apostolate because many laypeople also desire to practice material charity
*]Concrete Attraction to a specific form of religious life
Now while these may be helpful, none of them are conclusive that you have a religious vocation. The ONLY sign that you have a vocation is:
*]lasting peace of heart in a religious community no matter what happens
The nice thing about the first 6 is you can check on those before you visit. The last one requires some experience.
I hope this helps. You will be in my prayers.
Fr. Scott Kallal, AVI
Apostles of the Interior Life
P.S. If you are afraid, that means “get ready.” For what? I have no idea, but taking a step back and to think and pray may make it clear what God has in store for you faster than you think…
Do you know why he said that? That seems like an important piece of information in your story. If the priest was just expressing his personal opinion, then I don’t see why you should attach any importance to it. Did he give his reasons?
God doesn’t force people to become nuns. Your priest made a suggestion. That is all. It would sound to me (from your post) that God (more than likely) has called you to marriage. Be at peace.
Pray to God, as he qualifies the called. Besides God does not intimidate or bully, so just pray, listen and do whatever God tells you…