Confusion


#1

I’ve been discerning my vocation ever since I was 12. I started thinking about nunhood first but I met a guy very soon after that. For the past 3 years, I’ve gone back and forth between religious life and this guy being my vocation. I haven’t thought about him in that way much since summer when I decided that I’d take the religious path. But lately, I’ve realized that I really like this guy, much more than I had before. And maybe the reason why I was so sure about becoming a nun when I grow up is because I didn’t think about him. It’s when I throw him into the mix that things get complicated. I love Jesus, of course, but I’ve never dated anyone and everyone that I’ve talked to has yet to be convinced of my vocation until I at least try dating. It doesn’t help that I haven’t been able to get to confession or Mass in weeks on end and am in desperate need of the sacraments. The reason why it’s confusing me so much is because I’ve liked the same guy for 3 years and not because he’s “hot” or anything surface like that. Any suggestions?
:confused:


#2

Try religious life first. It has a novitiate, and you'll kick yourself for not making room for discernment. If the guy truly loves you, he will back off. It might hurt him for a while, but he needs to know that this is going on within you.

Blessings,
Cloisters


#3

Follow your heart.


#4

[quote="MonjaFutura, post:1, topic:273535"]
I've been discerning my vocation ever since I was 12. I started thinking about nunhood first but I met a guy very soon after that. For the past 3 years, I've gone back and forth between religious life and this guy being my vocation. I haven't thought about him in that way much since summer when I decided that I'd take the religious path. But lately, I've realized that I really like this guy, much more than I had before. And maybe the reason why I was so sure about becoming a nun when I grow up is because I didn't think about him. It's when I throw him into the mix that things get complicated. I love Jesus, of course, but I've never dated anyone and everyone that I've talked to has yet to be convinced of my vocation until I at least try dating. It doesn't help that I haven't been able to get to confession or Mass in weeks on end and am in desperate need of the sacraments. The reason why it's confusing me so much is because I've liked the same guy for 3 years and not because he's "hot" or anything surface like that. Any suggestions?
:confused:

[/quote]

By the math, are you 15? You need to be at least 18, and preferably older. If you are 15, I would suggest, if possible, that you do date (if your parents do not object to dating at 15 -- some form of group dating). I think the only way you can discern is to date when you are able before deciding that becoming a nun is for you. If such relationship proves to be not your calling, you still have time to join a noviate and you will "know."

I believe that the path to discernment is that you do not deny these feelings but pursue them within the confines of your parents limits on your dating. If you are 15, you have 3 years at least before you can even join a noviate.

In fact it's is recommended that potential nuns experience life first -- including chaste dating and going to college or working so you can know if being called to be a nun is a true calling.


#5

everyone that I’ve talked to has yet to be convinced of my vocation until I at least try dating.

This seems blatantly incorrect to me. “Dating” without the goal of marriage - that is, dating which is not courtship - is immoral, and should not be practiced. Dating is much like the novitiate spoken of above - a discernment of the vocation of marriage. Not something one does with multiple people for “fun”, as “dating” is normally done in American culture as I have seen (in fact, that’s actually rare in the modern day - most American “dating” that I have seen or heard of involves fornication, and, in any case, the typical secular American “dating game” is a near occasion to sin).

I echo the first reply about the novitiate. It’s a maximum of a one-year commitment, and you can likely leave at any time. Marriage is not - it is permanent - as is the losing of innocence or virginity.


#6

Dating is not a calling – it’s a path to discerning whether you have a calling to marriage or not. Dating should never be thought of automatically ending in a marriage. One must be open to possibilities – the possibility that the religious life is for you or the possibility that you are being called to marriage and family.

Afterall, those who are not called to a vocation would never be advised to assume that a date should lead to marriage – even a number of dates. It’s a process. I’m talking about chaste dating.

Being a nun is not to deny yourself of the secular life – and as I said, most novitiates, though they would take someone at 18, would prefer that the person attended college, worked and experienced the secular life in order to decide that it was not for them to remain – but are truly called to the religious life and not missing out or having given up something they never had an opportunity to experience and discern whether or not it was for them. In fact, I think college is a great idea before discerning whether or not one has a calling.

I’m still not sure of the age of the OP.


#7

Yup, I'm 15.


#8

Good luck and God Bless.

I’m not trying to change your mind, but you will be a better nun, if that is your calling, if you experience some of the secular life. That’s why they prefer work experience and college experience and even some dating (chastely) so that you know that you are called to the religious life. You cannot know unless you try living in the secular world for awhile.

I realize that at 15, your parents have a say in dating first and foremost. But if they do allow you to go out with a group, it would not be wrong to include this young man. Otherwise, wait and be friends and friendly to him and everyone. When you are able to date at a later time, do so.

And go to college, if possible. Most nuns teach, do nursing etc. Most have lives in the world that requires a college degree and beyond, so you will need that depending on what novitiate you join. That’s how you will know what God is calling you to do.

When you are about age 17, you should contact some of the religious communities that you are drawn to and find out the requirements, such as college requirements so that if they do want college, you are taking the right course of study.

Dominican nuns teach as do the Sisters of St. Joseph, so you would want to be taking education courses – just as an example. Discerning becoming a nun means discerning that the married life is not for you and what profession, as a nun, you would like to pursue, depending on whether you choose to live, as a nun, in the secular life or join a cloistered and prayerful order.


#9

Personally my feelings on dating while discerning life is that it is cruel to the other person. Dating is a discernment in itself and if you are discerning religious life then you cannot truly invest yourself in that discernment. Not only that but you are leading the person on and that is just cruel and unfair to them.

Discernment is not an easy process and one needs to try as much as they can to be removed from any distractions that could confuse them and lead them away from God's will for them. When one is discerning religious life, dating is a distraction that should be avoided. One cannot truly invest themselves in the discernment process when dating.


#10

So, this will sound really flighty of me but I have decided that nunhood is my true calling. My one friend was in a life threatening situation and I love her like a sister. So I told God that if she were safe I would stop beating around the bush and never date. She is safe. Several things came out of this: 1) I realized that I want to be a mother of all souls, which nuns are and 2) through this short dark night in my discernment I have realized that I love Jesus, not just the idea of His existence and who He is (this was one of the reasons I doubted my vocation). He has told me in my heart that He wants me to be His Bride that I am already His Spouse, which makes me feel so guilty for doubting. The only reason I wanted to date anyone was selfishness.


#11

It’s not flighty at all. Sometimes there are moments that God uses to reveal His will to us. Don’t feel guilty, it’s perfectly natural. Discernment is not easy and there are times of doubt and difficulty. We all experience dark nights, the important part is coming back to God.

I am so glad your friend is safe and that you have come positively out of the experience.


#12

[quote="MonjaFutura, post:1, topic:273535"]
I've been discerning my vocation ever since I was 12. I started thinking about nunhood first but I met a guy very soon after that. For the past 3 years, I've gone back and forth between religious life and this guy being my vocation. I haven't thought about him in that way much since summer when I decided that I'd take the religious path. But lately, I've realized that I really like this guy, much more than I had before. And maybe the reason why I was so sure about becoming a nun when I grow up is because I didn't think about him. It's when I throw him into the mix that things get complicated. I love Jesus, of course, but I've never dated anyone and everyone that I've talked to has yet to be convinced of my vocation until I at least try dating. It doesn't help that I haven't been able to get to confession or Mass in weeks on end and am in desperate need of the sacraments. The reason why it's confusing me so much is because I've liked the same guy for 3 years and not because he's "hot" or anything surface like that. Any suggestions?
:confused:

[/quote]

I've never dated, I'm 34, I don't think you need to try dating to know what God wants you to do.....but, trying religious life is something you can and should do! Part of being a candidate, postulant, novice is all to discern God's will for your life. God does not create confusion, the devil does.

You can't try out marriage, but you can try religious life. Maybe he is mr. right and maybe he's not, but I think you should try religious life first. Let God guide you, He will let you know when you're in the right place. And speaking from experience, I waited for years for the "here's where you belong" feeling, so it may not come right away, but you'll know it when it does come.


#13

[quote="MonjaFutura, post:10, topic:273535"]
So, this will sound really flighty of me but I have decided that nunhood is my true calling. My one friend was in a life threatening situation and I love her like a sister. So I told God that if she were safe I would stop beating around the bush and never date. She is safe. Several things came out of this: 1) I realized that I want to be a mother of all souls, which nuns are and 2) through this short dark night in my discernment I have realized that I love Jesus, not just the idea of His existence and who He is (this was one of the reasons I doubted my vocation). He has told me in my heart that He wants me to be His Bride that I am already His Spouse, which makes me feel so guilty for doubting. The only reason I wanted to date anyone was selfishness.

[/quote]

Gloria Dei!


#14

It would be a wonderful thing if you do have a vocation to be a nun. You are still very young so continue praying on it. I must say however that we cannot make bargains with God as in “If you do this God, I will do this.” So you should not make a decision to be a nun on that so called bargain you made with God.

God bless and guide you.


#15

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