Delaying a vocation.... is this a sin?


#1

If God is calling me to be a priest or to religious life must I act on it ASAP or do I take my time in discerning and take it one day at a time? Can I approach with a practical process or do I just jump into it without any regard of the consequences?

I believe I have heard a calling from God, however, I am still in school and I have other family related obligations. Do I just turn my back on these and leave everything behind or should I have a systematic approach towards this potential vocation? For instance, I have a year left in university and I want to work a few years after graduating just to pay off any outstanding debts.

With my current situation, I just find it hard to just leave everything behind without causing any immediate damage to myself financially and to those around me (I am a family bread-winner). I still have a lot of immediate obligations that demand great attention. Honestly, I can see myself doing it, not now but maybe in the distant future… (or maybe God will reveal a different vocation for me.)

What are your thoughts? Is this a sin?


#2

[quote="TemplarKnight1, post:1, topic:318929"]
If God is calling me to be a priest or to religious life must I act on it ASAP or do I take my time in discerning and take it one day at a time? Can I approach with a practical process or do I just jump into it without any regard of the consequences?

What are your thoughts? Is this a sin?

[/quote]

Short answer, no.

It's a question of when you feel ready and when God's ready for you (which may or may not be the same time). Discernment of a vocation is a marathon and not a sprint. Talk to your vocations director, pray and listen to God. Sometimes waiting can end up being for the best in the long term even if it doesn't seem that way in the short term.


#3

Fr. Michael Scanlan wrote a book about discernment called "What Does God Want". He wrote about being called to be a priest and how he discerned what religious order he was called to.

I think he wrote that he was walking across the campus at Harvard when he new he was called to the priesthood. But he made a deal with God, he would become a priest but first he wanted to finish Law School (I think because his mom wanted him to become a lawyer :)).


#4

[quote="TemplarKnight1, post:1, topic:318929"]
If God is calling me to be a priest or to religious life must I act on it ASAP or do I take my time in discerning and take it one day at a time? Can I approach with a practical process or do I just jump into it without any regard of the consequences?

[/quote]

I think the "jumping in with no regard for consequences" is probably the - well - not sin - but certainly ill-advised. Even when you are older, and have decided to go to seminary (if you should) or be a friar or monk, you'll still be discerning. This is a process. That's one reason the Church takes it's time with formation.

Keep this feeling close to your heart and let it be inside you for a while. Like a warm flame, a private thing you keep safe. Nurture it, and see where you are led. Keep yourself spiritually safe by drawing close to Christ, especially in the Eucharist.

But don't worry about it. Pray. Love. Don't worry. Patience.


closed #5

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