Could this indicate a vocation?


#1

Hello,

Okay so I am not sure where to ask this question. But if a person does not feel any desire to be in a relationship (like having a boyfriend or girlfriend), or to marry, - but only wants to be with God, - could that indicate that they have a vocation to the religious life? I should clarify, - let’s say they do have a natural desire for marriage, but that is only experienced when they are more distant from God.

thank you :slight_smile:


#2

Honestly, I have no idea whether or not you are being called to religious life, but that kind of feeling certainly warrants checking into religious life. Your diocese probably has a vocations director and that person will be a great resource for you. Just look into it and see what happens! I hope that whatever your vocation will be you will find it and be very happy in it!


#3

Yes. It is a positive attribute. :slight_smile:

Vocations Explained.


#4

[quote="Monica4316, post:1, topic:234916"]
Hello,

Okay so I am not sure where to ask this question. But if a person does not feel any desire to be in a relationship (like having a boyfriend or girlfriend), or to marry, - but only wants to be with God, - could that indicate that they have a vocation to the religious life? I should clarify, - let's say they do have a natural desire for marriage, but that is only experienced when they are more distant from God.

thank you :)

[/quote]

When I was considering going into seminary one of the directors/priests I interviewed with told me that almost every seminarian he encountered expressed a natural desire for marriage, and that it isn't our natural desires that should influence our choice of vocation but our "supernatural" desires. He also went on to say that while some men come to the seminary because they don't feel the natural desire for married life, those men are no more likely to stick with the program than those that have a desire for marriage because over time they came to realize that regardless of their desire for marriage that a religious vocation would involve challenges and sacrifices.

So I would say that it isn't truly wise to rely on ones natural desires to guide them to any of the vocations. We must speak with God as well as seek guidance from other members of our Church community. Now if a person is confused about their desires and doesn't have good spiritual direction available that isn't a matter of concern because all preparation programs involve a long period of vocational discernment in which candidates regularly meet with spiritual directors who help them try to find the path God is calling them down.

My best advice to someone who is confused about their vocation is to talk to someone at their local parish who can provide spiritual direction. If that isn't possible then set up an appoint with the nearest seminary/convent/monastery to speak to their vocational director.


#5

You sound a lot like me and I, too, am discerning a religious vocation. I used to think about getting married and having a big family before I even knew what a vocation was and when I started discerning, fear crept in and I started having doubts. But now that I have been discerning off and on for over 3 years, there is a great desire within me to belong only to Jesus Christ and have Him as my Spouse. I still don’t know if I am called to religious life, though, and I’ve thought of other ways that I could fulfill this desire such as consecrated virginity and/or third orders. I’ve even considered the idea of joining the third order Dominican community in Kentucky.

db.religiouslife.com/reg_life/irl.nsf/org/139

After meditating and prayer, I realized that I would only be truly happy if I tried out religious life. That way, I will not spend the rest of my life wondering “what if…”

I think you really should get in touch with either a priest or religious and discuss your experiences. I had a visit with my priest last month when I finally decided to start discerning again and he was the one who encouraged me to embrace the idea of a religious vocation again. This has definitely been a huge motivation for me. Best of luck and prayers! :thumbsup:


#6

Yes. God Bless You.


#7

I would suggest you to read this book:
Religious Vocation, An Unnecessary Mystery - Fr. Richard Butler

pathsoflove.com/religious-vocation-details.html

This book is marvellous. Attraction to the religious life/seminary can be a big sign of a Religious Vocation.
Of course, the age can tell as well. I know a friend who's been attracted to the Religious Life for a long time, not thinking of marriage, and now she just decided to get married and have plenty of children. It depends, I'd say. :)


#8

thanks for the replies :)

I just wanted to clarify, - I would say that I do have a natural desire for marriage and family, but there seems to be something else too, that is stronger.. I'm not sure how to describe. I think DaughterofMary6 described it well :)

God bless!


#9

[quote="Monica4316, post:8, topic:234916"]
thanks for the replies :)

I just wanted to clarify, - I would say that I do have a natural desire for marriage and family, but there seems to be something else too, that is stronger.. I'm not sure how to describe. I think DaughterofMary6 described it well :)

God bless!

[/quote]

Thank you. I've heard that Mother Angelica said that if you do not have a natural desire for marriage and a family, you will not do well in religious life because both vocations are encompassed in religious life--mystical marriage with Christ and spiritual motherhood. It's totally natural to desire both. If someone has a very strong aversion to marriage, it would definitely present a problem in the application to religious life and a lot of vocation directors ask the question to make sure there are no underlying problems such as abuse or hatred for the opposite sex. It's definitely important to be level-headed. :)


#10

[quote="PatrickSebast, post:4, topic:234916"]
When I was considering going into seminary one of the directors/priests I interviewed with told me that almost every seminarian he encountered expressed a natural desire for marriage, and that it isn't our natural desires that should influence our choice of vocation but our "supernatural" desires. He also went on to say that while some men come to the seminary because they don't feel the natural desire for married life, those men are no more likely to stick with the program than those that have a desire for marriage because over time they came to realize that regardless of their desire for marriage that a religious vocation would involve challenges and sacrifices.

So I would say that it isn't truly wise to rely on ones natural desires to guide them to any of the vocations. We must speak with God as well as seek guidance from other members of our Church community. Now if a person is confused about their desires and doesn't have good spiritual direction available that isn't a matter of concern because all preparation programs involve a long period of vocational discernment in which candidates regularly meet with spiritual directors who help them try to find the path God is calling them down.

My best advice to someone who is confused about their vocation is to talk to someone at their local parish who can provide spiritual direction. If that isn't possible then set up an appoint with the nearest seminary/convent/monastery to speak to their vocational director.

[/quote]

Some thoughts:

There may be desires to become a priest that are not necessarily "supernatural". Perhaps a person enjoys the various aspects of Catholicism and feels attracted to a vocation in which one would be surrounded by them daily.

Also, marriage is a sacrament (mystery), so might some of the desires for this vocation be supernatural?

If a young man has an inner drawing to both marriage and to the priesthood, would it be right to imply that the one to the priesthood is supernatural while the one to marriage is merely natural? :hmmm:

I'm not contradicting your words, only raising these questions.


#11

[quote="Madaglan, post:10, topic:234916"]
Some thoughts:

There may be desires to become a priest that are not necessarily "supernatural". Perhaps a person enjoys the various aspects of Catholicism and feels attracted to a vocation in which one would be surrounded by them daily.

Also, marriage is a sacrament (mystery), so might some of the desires for this vocation be supernatural?

If a young man has an inner drawing to both marriage and to the priesthood, would it be right to imply that the one to the priesthood is supernatural while the one to marriage is merely natural? :hmmm:

I'm not contradicting your words, only raising these questions.

[/quote]

A call to marriage can be supernatural as well, I would hesitate to call any urge to the priesthood natural though because the reason that marriage is called a "Natural Desire" is because our biology urges it. It is natural because it is built in. A desire for the priesthood however can only be learned from ones environment or granted by God. The fact that a person can have a non-supernatural desire is why spiritual direction is so important, sometimes we just need someone on the outside to tell us what we are to blind to see.


#12

That isn't the only sign of a vocation, but it certainly could be seen as a call to grow closer to God. That, plus other factors may be God's way of showing you that you have a vocation.


#13

[quote="PatrickSebast, post:11, topic:234916"]
A call to marriage can be supernatural as well, I would hesitate to call any urge to the priesthood natural though because the reason that marriage is called a "Natural Desire" is because our biology urges it. It is natural because it is built in. A desire for the priesthood however can only be learned from ones environment or granted by God. The fact that a person can have a non-supernatural desire is why spiritual direction is so important, sometimes we just need someone on the outside to tell us what we are to blind to see.

[/quote]

Might I reply:

Our biology urges sex, but I think marriage, especially monogamous Christian marriage, is more than an urge of our biology. The person is called to be a father or a mother, the heads of their mini-church.

I also would suggest that men are, by nature, eucharistic. We were made by nature to offer up creation to God. Some men, however, are chosen to offer the perfect Sacrifice of Christ.


#14

[quote="Monica4316, post:1, topic:234916"]
Hello,

Okay so I am not sure where to ask this question. But if a person does not feel any desire to be in a relationship (like having a boyfriend or girlfriend), or to marry, - but only wants to be with God, - could that indicate that they have a vocation to the religious life? I should clarify, - let's say they do have a natural desire for marriage, but that is only experienced when they are more distant from God.

thank you :)

[/quote]

Sounds like it could. Have you spoken with the vocations director from your archdiocese? On the other hand, have you spoken with a faithful nun within your archdiocese?


#15

[quote="Monica4316, post:1, topic:234916"]
Hello,

Okay so I am not sure where to ask this question. But if a person does not feel any desire to be in a relationship (like having a boyfriend or girlfriend), or to marry, - but only wants to be with God, - could that indicate that they have a vocation to the religious life? I should clarify, - let's say they do have a natural desire for marriage, but that is only experienced when they are more distant from God.

thank you :)

[/quote]

I mean, I'm discerning religious life and I am attracted to guys but I do not have any desire to be in a relationship, and any time I do the big JC seems to say "Dude, she's mine." It just depends. If you have a religious vocation, you know. God makes it clearer and clearer every day and leads you away from other things.

-Jeanne


#16

[quote="Monica4316, post:1, topic:234916"]
Hello,

Okay so I am not sure where to ask this question. But if a person does not feel any desire to be in a relationship (like having a boyfriend or girlfriend), or to marry, - but only wants to be with God, - could that indicate that they have a vocation to the religious life? I should clarify, - let's say they do have a natural desire for marriage, but that is only experienced when they are more distant from God.

thank you :)

[/quote]

Maybe not.
Maybe just you do not have in childhood close relationship with your parents.
And, therefore you do not have develop emotions.
So that can know psychologist.


#17

I’ve struggled with this as well. Right now I know at the very least God wants me to look into a religious vocation. How far He wants me to go, I have no idea. Maybe all the way to the priesthood, but I’ll find that out later. I’m only a junior in high school, so you can imagine how freaky this might seem to a 17 year old guy. Like I said before, I’ve struggled with the same thoughts as well. I see my friends with their boy and girlfriends and while I do want to be in a relationship with a girl, the pull (I guess that word fits) of a relationship isn’t as strong as the pull towards a religious life. While I would be totally fine with being a priest or other religious person, I still cannot deny that I want to be in a relationship with a girl. Honestly, it kind of frightens me. But I have heard enough stories from others and some of my friends that have at one point or another discerned a vocation to the priesthood. So, let me recount a few here.

Let’s start off with my dad, because he’s got a kinda funny story.
Both of my parents went to the Franciscan University at Steubenville in Ohio. I want to go there as well, but I digress. My dad was in the middle of discerning a vocation to the priesthood at the time he saw my mom. It was right after Communion at one mass and my dad saw my mom go up to receive and then return to her seat. He thought, “Wow, she looks amazing.” What happened after that is history. They have been very happily married for 20 years and have four kids, me being one of them. I often joke that God told him, “Stop looking at the altar Patrick, look over here.”

Second, another of my friends once experienced a very strong call to the priesthood years ago, but now he is happily married and has a 11 month old baby boy as well.

Last, this one truly amazes me, and explains the point I’m trying to make.
One of my dad’s clients (He’s a veterinarian and I think he was a client, maybe a friend, I honestly can’t remember) had a son who was either in the priesthood or seriously dating one girl. I was really young when it happened and I can’t remember any of it, so Guy #1 was seriously dating a girl. I mean really serious. They were coming to the point in their relationship where marriage was starting to become a very real possibility. #1 had a friend, Guy #2 who was in the seminary and seriously discerning a priestly vocation. Well, something happened and #1 started to feel the call to the priesthood and he started to look into it. Eventually he decided that the priesthood was for him and he entered the seminary, which meant that he had to end the relationship with his girlfriend. Naturally, she was hurt by this. Not so much by him personally, but it still hurt as they really loved each other. So #2, who was in the seminary, started to spend time with her and comfort her so she wouldn’t feel so alone. He then left the seminary and they started to spend more and more time together. It wasn’t long before they started dating and started to get serious as well. Eventually, #1 and #2 switched. Guy #2 and the girl got married, and Guy #1 became a priest. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

What I’m trying to say here is that none of us know God’s ultimate plan for us. We can’t tell. We can find the direction He wants us to go in at the time, but not much else. He has His own way of doing things and His own way of making us happy. While I am interested in the religious life, God could still have marriage in my future. And just like you feel called to a religious life, you still might get married some day. God works like that. For me, God might just use the seminary as a place for me to deepen my faith and to draw closer to Him, and to prepare me for meeting the girl that I get to marry or it might be a place where I find out that God wants me to be a priest. I honestly don’t know. I will have to wait and see what God has planned for me. But know that He has a funny way of doing things sometimes. Don’t be scared to look into a religious order. You might meet your husband along the way. Keep praying, find a vocation director, some sisters to talk to, and find friends who can help you on your journey. Like JPII said, “Be not afraid.” God will take care of you. :slight_smile:


#18

[quote="marica_mandic, post:16, topic:234916"]
Maybe not.
Maybe just you do not have in childhood close relationship with your parents.
And, therefore you do not have develop emotions.
So that can know psychologist.

[/quote]

My relationship with my parents is very close, and I'm a pretty emotional person.


#19

[quote="DaughterOfMary6, post:5, topic:234916"]
You sound a lot like me and I, too, am discerning a religious vocation. I used to think about getting married and having a big family before I even knew what a vocation was and when I started discerning, fear crept in and I started having doubts. But now that I have been discerning off and on for over 3 years, there is a great desire within me to belong only to Jesus Christ and have Him as my Spouse. I still don't know if I am called to religious life, though, and I've thought of other ways that I could fulfill this desire such as consecrated virginity and/or third orders. I've even considered the idea of joining the third order Dominican community in Kentucky.

db.religiouslife.com/reg_life/irl.nsf/org/139

After meditating and prayer, I realized that I would only be truly happy if I tried out religious life. That way, I will not spend the rest of my life wondering "what if..."

I think you really should get in touch with either a priest or religious and discuss your experiences. I had a visit with my priest last month when I finally decided to start discerning again and he was the one who encouraged me to embrace the idea of a religious vocation again. This has definitely been a huge motivation for me. Best of luck and prayers! :thumbsup:

[/quote]

i agree, try to experience outside life and then if you can find someone then in that case you are meant, i firmly believe that even if someone loves religious life and god then being married is not a hindrance for you can mold your family to serve god and together live in a religious way being open to any plausibilities, as it is said in the Corinthians being single is best but if you cannot help yourself for we are humans and so we learn to love and dream of having a family then better unite with the person in so called marriage were the of you are united as one and together live a religious, in that manner many people will be inspired and will follow your step leading to a holy life! god bless!! i wish all of us the best :)


#20

[quote="DaughterOfMary6, post:9, topic:234916"]
Thank you. I've heard that Mother Angelica said that if you do not have a natural desire for marriage and a family, you will not do well in religious life because both vocations are encompassed in religious life--mystical marriage with Christ and spiritual motherhood. It's totally natural to desire both. If someone has a very strong aversion to marriage, it would definitely present a problem in the application to religious life and a lot of vocation directors ask the question to make sure there are no underlying problems such as abuse or hatred for the opposite sex. It's definitely important to be level-headed. :)

[/quote]

I have heard this repeated several times myself, and it has always disturbed me.

I have no desire for marriage or natural motherhood. Even as a little girl - I planned my wedding down to the details - but trepidation would set in whenever I remembered the marriage that would come after the dress-up party. Most engaged people I know have looked forward to married life as a "beginning" and an expansion of life's possibilities - for me it means an end and a constriction.

I really thought there must be something wrong with me, that I did not have this "natural" desire. My spiritual director helped me see that this idea - that a desire for marriage is a necessity for emotional health or successful religious life - is advanced by well meaning people in an effort to either 1. encourage people who desire marriage to not dismiss religious life out of hand, or 2. comfort people who may feel called in two directions. It is a well-meant idea, but in fact, not really true. There are many saints who never had any desire to be married; and many of them achieved heroic sanctity as consecrated people.


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