Confused about vocations


I just read a quiote from st. alphonsis shich seems to imply that choosing the wrong vocation could mean risking our eternal salvation?

“Look upon choosing a state of life, in accordance with the will of God, as your greatest concern, since your eternal salvation depends on the choice that you make. Let the grace of knowing your vocation and of faithfully corresponding to it be an intention in your exercises of piety—prayers, Communions, etc.”

well I have a problem, I don’t feel called to marriage or the religious life. I’m not eligible to be a consecrated virgin

but I don’t know if my motivation is selfish, I just don’t have that great affinity for kids that a lot of people have. I don’t dislike them; but I usually prefer and work a lot better with seniors. and I simply really have no desire to date a guy and all that sort of thing

I also have nothing against religious life but I feel more called to stay in the world to e a witness. but maybe I’m just selfish and don’t want to give things up? or I still want to be close to friends and family? also, I’m not really a big fan of community living, to be honest. plus, I don’t know if orders will even accept people with disabilities ordinarily.

are there any other options? is a secular institute considered a vocation? do those require community living too? I don’t think just remaining single is technically considered a vocation? I think you can also make private vows of some kind also but not really sure how that works

I do plan to speak to a priest about it, just wondering if you guys had any thoughts


Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom in your discernment.


Sure, if one with full knowledge (or reasonable suspicion) denies what God has presented to them.

Is it a distaste for human relationship, or is it an aversion to spending an entire life with another? Could you perhaps expound on that?

I would suggest that the answer to those questions might be helpful for someone working through this with you.

As Christians, we are all called to community living. Marriage is living in community with your family. Religious Life is a community in and of itself. Otherwise, though we may live alone, we should seek not to distance ourselves from all others. There is, of course, the vocation of a hermit, but even they live in community - community with God.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to stay in the world, so long as we are not of the world. Again though, perhaps you could expound on what is keeping you rooted here.

If I remember correctly, you have stated at some point that you are blind. Personally, I don’t think that this too much of a mitigating factor, so long as you are able to be self-sufficient otherwise.

In order to answer that question, I think it’s better to backtrack and perhaps you could explain your understanding of Vocation. I think from that a better answer can be given.

Well, seminarians count for something, right?


That stood out rather strongly to me, Angell. I believe God works through our desires, giving us a strong inclination to follow Him in a particular choice of life. Have you considered “hospice” training for the elderly? Or perhaps assisting at the Senior Centers in your area? There are many ministries in these ceners that might fit the bill for you.

Keep in mind, that if God calls you to a secular vocation affiliated with an Order, you would have a deep inclination to follow their charism and the works of their saints. Absent such a desire, may mean that it is yet to be fulfilled, and you need to continue prayer for direction as to which order to join, God willing.

You would need to have the ability to follow the Rule of the Secular Order. Most of them require the recitation of the Divine Office for morning and evening prayer, to enter into the full liturgy of the Church. Some also require attendance at daily Mass as far as possible, plus devotion to minimal periods of personal prayer during the day.

is a secular institute considered a vocation? do those require community living too? I don’t think just remaining single is technically considered a vocation? I think you can also make private vows of some kind also but not really sure how that works

In short, becoming a secular religious IS a vocation, and you will be guided increasingly with desires to enter, if God wills this for you,. There is about a 6-month period as an “aspirant” to test your calling, so nothing is permanent at that point. No, you do not need to enter community, but you would need to participate monthly in community *meetings *to strengthen your vocation and learn more about the Rule and the writings of the saint which the order is founded upon.

God is very faithful and knows your heart. He will lead you to a niche where you belong, even if it is just to remain single and perform works of charity for those whom God places in your path.

God bless you as you pray to discern your vocation. Don’t worry about losing your eternal salvation – fear is not good. As Pope John Paul II said upon being named to the papacy, “Do NOT be afraid!”


I felt called to the Carmelite Order when I was quite young (fifteen), but life intervened, and the turn it took showed me I wasn’t ready for that strict order of nuns.

I’m now a Benedictine Oblate, a member of a secular order, and it’s wonderful. However, I feel a strong calling to the religious life again, so I am confused as well.

I like seniors, too, and I’m wondering if perhaps you have been called to help those transition to the life beyond this one, i.e. hospice care. It takes a little training, but not much, and the rewards are great.

I just pray daily to Christ to do with me what he wills, and I try to discern what that is. I will include you in my prayers as well.

God bless.


does that mean you’re a seminarian? lol


I will hav eot find more information, I think. I’m relatively new to the idea. but does it require you to be single, always wondered bout that. can you get married while in the order or it it more like a consecration?


Yes, you can have a “secular” vocation while you are married. I was married when I received the call to become a Carmelite. It is not a consecration, per se, but we do make first promises after one year, and final promises after three years. Would you like to read my Constitutions? It might give you an idea of what is involved, but keep in mind, that not all orders have the same Rule of Life. Some are more freely structured.

Skip down to the OCDS Constitutions. The Rule of St. Albert is for monks.


wow, thanks. I do like what I’m reading

seriously, why is this not talked about more? I mean, all the other vocations are important but this is a vast portion of the church’s life that I’m betting a lot of people don’t even know about

another question, how does the promise of the evangelical counsel of poverty lived out practically? does your earnings have to be below a certain amount or something like that? or are you not allowed to own property?


It is the “spirit” of poverty, whereby we are not “attached” to our goods, or strive to acquire more and more out of greed for gain. Certainly, as a married person, we must have goods to raise a family and provide for ourselves and our future, such as retirement.

Same thing with chastity. We do not abstain from marital intimacy, but we use chastity within marriage by following the Church’s teachings on the proper use of the marital gift, and dress modestly, etc.

I believe our priests “ought” to follow poverty to a certain extent, by not living lavishly and seeking the gourmet touch with regard to meals, etc. Moderation is the key to all virtue, per St. Paul. St. Therese was so used to accepting what was offered at mealtime, that nobody could figure out what her favorite foods were. That’s good detachment, in my book. :wink:


Yes :thumbsup:


This is one of life’s many challenges , which way to go,this way or that ?
Go the wrong path and loose your way , or be burdened which was avoidable ,
Most of us go the wrong parth , the alternative is to stand at an intersection of life and not move at all , would that be a positive move ?
When I have been faced with a similar situation as yourself Im reminded of
Matthew 25:18. , the servant that dug a hole to hide his gold,he did nothing,
In other words, have a quick observation of your prospect , then make a discission
And go with it, if you had burdened yourself ,then your like me,and that’s not to bad,
As my faith has strengthened ten times ten fold


Most of the people in the third order I belong to, the Benedictines, are married couples who have raised families. Many of them belonged to the order as young parents as well. We have people in our group who have been an oblate for fifty years. We do not live together, of course. It is a secular order, we all live in our own homes and meet once each month. We follow the Rule of St. Benedict.

There are several religious orders that include secular, or third, orders.


I would go to Mass daily, pray the Holy Rosary each day, and follow the liturgy closely for some time. See if this prayer life and devotion deepens your calling.


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