Confused about my vocation


#1

So I've been confused about my vocation for some time now, if you could give me some advice, it would be much appreciated!

Right now I'm a junior in college. I really love my major and currently have a pretty good internship that I really enjoy. God has blessed me so much.

The thing that is confusing me is that lately, I've felt a calling to join the convent. My whole life, I've really wanted to be a mother and have so many children that I have to drive around a bus to get anywhere. But I think God has been asking me, especially in these past couple of days, whether I would give that all up for Him. And the answer is yes. I've always had these unrealistic expectations of what a man should be, and obviously, Jesus is definition of the perfect spouse, and I can't see myself being any happier than being married to Jesus.

And then...there's a boy. He's in my ministry and he's one of my best friends. We text and chat on facebook almost every day. Also this semester, somehow we ended up taking 2 classes together without planning it, so we see each other every day. The thing is that he is discerning the priesthood. I haven't ever thought of him romantically until recently, like within the past couple of months. What made me realize that I liked him was when he left for a priest discernment retreat, I cried all the way back home. I was really sad because I thought he would come back with a vocation to join the seminary and I would end up alone. He didn't and I felt really guilty for being sad because I know that the Church is in dire need for good priests. I want to tell him how I feel, but I don't know if he feels the same way and I don't want to mess up what we have. Also, he's the man so I feel like he should be the one to make the first move. Also also, I don't want to be a distraction from both of our discernments.

I feel really confused and pulled in so many directions right now. I feel that my vocation could be to be a nun, but I also feel that I could be a mother working in the secular workplace. I've been praying for my vocation for so long, but I feel more confused than ever. I just don't know. I need some advice here (a dude's advice would be much appreciated).


#2

[quote="psalm27, post:1, topic:315237"]
So I've been confused about my vocation for some time now, if you could give me some advice, it would be much appreciated!

Right now I'm a junior in college. I really love my major and currently have a pretty good internship that I really enjoy. God has blessed me so much.

The thing that is confusing me is that lately, I've felt a calling to join the convent. My whole life, I've really wanted to be a mother and have so many children that I have to drive around a bus to get anywhere. But I think God has been asking me, especially in these past couple of days, whether I would give that all up for Him. And the answer is yes. I've always had these unrealistic expectations of what a man should be, and obviously, Jesus is definition of the perfect spouse, and I can't see myself being any happier than being married to Jesus.

And then...there's a boy. He's in my ministry and he's one of my best friends. We text and chat on facebook almost every day. Also this semester, somehow we ended up taking 2 classes together without planning it, so we see each other every day. The thing is that he is discerning the priesthood. I haven't ever thought of him romantically until recently, like within the past couple of months. What made me realize that I liked him was when he left for a priest discernment retreat, I cried all the way back home. I was really sad because I thought he would come back with a vocation to join the seminary and I would end up alone. He didn't and I felt really guilty for being sad because I know that the Church is in dire need for good priests. I want to tell him how I feel, but I don't know if he feels the same way and I don't want to mess up what we have. Also, he's the man so I feel like he should be the one to make the first move. Also also, I don't want to be a distraction from both of our discernments.

I feel really confused and pulled in so many directions right now. I feel that my vocation could be to be a nun, but I also feel that I could be a mother working in the secular workplace. I've been praying for my vocation for so long, but I feel more confused than ever. I just don't know. I need some advice here (a dude's advice would be much appreciated).

[/quote]

Hi Psalm27,
First, it is your friends job to work his way through his discernment of whether he is called to be a priest. One of the questions he faces is the same as yours - "Will I regret missing out on the love of a wife and children?" Do you know, it is sometimes better to face that question in the face of a concrete reality than only in theory. Right now it is theory for you (well, maybe more than a theory, because you think you may be interested in him), and perhaps theory for him also. When James and John were called to follow Jesus, they left their father in the boat. That was concrete.

Work is work, whether in a "secular workplace" or a convent; it is simply that one is set aside for use by God to be his hand working in the world and the other is not. Both have tasks, duties, skills, and people to interact with. In a convent, your whole life is "on duty", in the secular workplace you are on duty 8 to 10 hours a day for your employer, and 8 to 10 hours a day for your family (all day on weekends). And even on vacation, you are "on duty" for your family the whole time. We live a life of service, 100% of the time either way, whether in a religious vocation or secular vocation with family.

You will always have unrealistic expectations of a man, until you meet the one you want to know for himself rather than as a generic man. (we men have unrealistic expectations of women until we meet the one we want to know for herself).

There must be some vocation director of some type you are in contact with. Discuss the whole scene with that person. You realize, while you may want a vocation, and are trying to discerne a call, it is the Church that does the "vocation", the calling (Just as Jesus called James and John - they did not show up and say "you have to accept us, we decided we have a vocation to be with you"). So talk truthfully to the Church, the vocations director or whomever. Then let them decide whether they want to call you, believing that they are indeed guided by the Holy Spirit.

John Martin


#3

I would recommend reading the book "To Save a Thousand Souls" by Brett Brannen. I bought it for my 17 year-old son and it helped him a lot.


#4

I was like that too. It takes a lot of prayer. If you feel pulled to the convent, that’s got to be a big part of it. Remember, you will be a spiritual mother to many souls in Religious Life.


#5

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but don't convents have retreats for those who may be discerning the life of a sister/nun? That would be a good place to start


#6

[quote="HoosMommie, post:5, topic:315237"]
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but don't convents have retreats for those who may be discerning the life of a sister/nun? That would be a good place to start

[/quote]

That's true. Try looking at a few communites to see if any of them appeal to you.


#7

[quote="psalm27, post:1, topic:315237"]
So I've been confused about my vocation for some time now, if you could give me some advice, it would be much appreciated!

Right now I'm a junior in college. I really love my major and currently have a pretty good internship that I really enjoy. God has blessed me so much.

The thing that is confusing me is that lately, I've felt a calling to join the convent. My whole life, I've really wanted to be a mother and have so many children that I have to drive around a bus to get anywhere. But I think God has been asking me, especially in these past couple of days, whether I would give that all up for Him. And the answer is yes. I've always had these unrealistic expectations of what a man should be, and obviously, Jesus is definition of the perfect spouse, and I can't see myself being any happier than being married to Jesus.

And then...there's a boy. He's in my ministry and he's one of my best friends. We text and chat on facebook almost every day. Also this semester, somehow we ended up taking 2 classes together without planning it, so we see each other every day. The thing is that he is discerning the priesthood. I haven't ever thought of him romantically until recently, like within the past couple of months. What made me realize that I liked him was when he left for a priest discernment retreat, I cried all the way back home. I was really sad because I thought he would come back with a vocation to join the seminary and I would end up alone. He didn't and I felt really guilty for being sad because I know that the Church is in dire need for good priests. I want to tell him how I feel, but I don't know if he feels the same way and I don't want to mess up what we have. Also, he's the man so I feel like he should be the one to make the first move. Also also, I don't want to be a distraction from both of our discernments.

I feel really confused and pulled in so many directions right now. I feel that my vocation could be to be a nun, but I also feel that I could be a mother working in the secular workplace. I've been praying for my vocation for so long, but I feel more confused than ever. I just don't know. I need some advice here (a dude's advice would be much appreciated).

[/quote]

Pray about this. As for telling him how you feel, don't tell him. I personaly feel that the guy should be the one to make the first move. This, however, differs with different people but wait for him to do it first. Being a girl, I feel that if a guy approaches you first when you are old and married for 50 years you will always feel that HE chose you. If you speak first it would not be certain. Pray that God's Will may be done. It is not easy praying and waiting but offer up the sacrifice to Our Lord and just do it faithfully each day. Also pray for your friend. He may even have a vocation in a whole other direction. Let God take over. But note that I don't know everything but your situation so go and talk to a very good priest about what you are going through sincerely. I'll pray for you.


#8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.