Discerning a Religious Vocation...and a Crush?


#1

Hello!

Here’s my situation: I am discerning a vocation to become a religious sister. I don’t have a Spiritual Director, and don’t really have the opportunity to get one. When I was younger (I’m a teenager), I loved thinking about romance and falling in love. As I got more into my faith in my early teen years, that fell away. In the past year or so, I have had no attraction to any kind of romantic involvement. The idea of dating or liking someone (or having them like me) freaked me out a little bit and didn’t appeal to me. Then, I went to a new parish, and there was a boy there that I started developing a crush on. I avoided him for months by going to different masses than him, but more recently, the feelings have come back strong. I know it isn’t really the best idea to be discerning a vocation to the religious life and have a crush on someone. On top of that, it is very confusing. I’ve never talked to him (yes, it is a juvenile crush, not one based on things that matter), and I would never ever pursue ANY kind of relationship with him. However, this crush is distracting, and I am not sure how it fits into the whole plan. I’m have not completely decided on the religious life, and in the past couple months I’ve warmed up to the idea of mature courting (in the late 20s!), and getting married when I’m older. So, my question is, what do you suggest I do? I know there isn’t much I can do…I pray for purity and for these feelings to pass from me every day as I would really prefer not to have them! Thank you for your time, and for reading this! Stay warm!


#2

If you don’t know anything about the person, I would expect that it’s just a physical thing. Those kind of feelings can’t really be helped, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up over them. It’s perfectly natural =)

I have a tendency to “swing my crushes” towards God.

To my mind, as a single person, and a Jesuit, I am “married to God.” I may stumble over “physical” feelings now and then when I see a pretty woman… but I understand the science of “why I have these feelings.” I think it also helps me that I have a natural tendency to “see God in every place, person, or thing.” He Is all around us, and in us, at all times, and places, so perhaps that might help you see Him working in you, as well =)


#3

You need to get someone to mentor you to see if you are a good fit for a religious life. Seek someone out to help you. As far as having a crush on someone you never talk to, it seems you could use more maturing.


#4

Forgive me if this seems nosy…
But why don’t you have the opportunity to obtain a spiritual director?
Is your location remote?
Do you not have a religious that you feel comfortable confiding in?
What is the obstacle?
If you’d rather not answer, ok.
Peace to you,
pianist


#5

Discerning a vocation to the religious life takes maturity and work. If you seriously feel called to religious life consider you will be taking vows that are just as binding as those of Matrimony. They are said for life and for eternity. You need to understand what that means and what it will mean to you in particular.

You also need to find a Congregation that seems attractive to you. The best way to see if you are sincerely “called” to religious life is to contact different religious Congregations and visit with them and begin correspondence with them. It is also imperative that you take your current devotions seriously. That means regular Confession and if possible, daily Mass attendance. You should also inform your parish priest that you think you may have a vocation and you should also get regular in your prayer life. What your educational level is is also important and what your career plans are and were as you grew up, i.e. teacher, nurse, homemaker, veterinarian or anything else you took interest in. These are all factors that play a part in the discernment process and it is a process.

One doesn’t just decide one day that you should join the convent because you don’t like any of the boys in your neighborhood.

Talk to your parents too. They play a part in this as well. I don’t know if permission from your parents to enter religious life is still required but it used to be. That is probably dependent on each particular Congregation’s Constitutions. There are some that only take Virgins and some that are more open (to widows or penitents, etc.)

Last but not least, and I have to say it, there are Congregations that have so modernized that they aren’t recognizable as houses of religious as was once known. There are some who are under Interdict and Censor and some that aren’t quite there yet but are on their way. Be careful. Not all that glitters is gold. But you personally may feel an affinity towards those types of places. Who knows? And you won’t till you check everything out first.

I’ll repeat, the vows of religious life are just as binding as those of married life and should be taken as seriously. If you aren’t mature enough to handle vows to married life, then you aren’t mature enough to handle vows to religious life either. Sorry if that stings, but it is the truth and if you explore the possibilities, that is one of the things they will be looking for.

Glenda


#6

That is a beautiful post, Glenda =)

Jazzy, I would suggest looking into the Sisters of Mercy. You Clearly have the heart of someone who can ~feel~. I would encourage you to contact them, first
sistersofmercy.org/


#7

#8

:thumbsup:

“Luck” is not a factor =)


#9

i was just going to say, maybe you should talk to the guy, then i’m sure you’ll figure it out pretty quickly. and perhaps you are called to marriage, don’t rule it out just yet. and yes, you need to visit different religious congregations to check them out, just like you need to get to know a potential boyfriend before you start dating them and before marriage, it’s sort of the same principle
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#10

Ok true, well wishes then :slight_smile:


#11

Apologies if I’m misunderstanding, but it sounds like you (OP) are implying that not having romantic feelings might be indicative of having a religious vocation.

Not only do I think that an appreciation of romance is healthy, but I daresay it can help religious in their ministries with those who do have romantic lives.


#12

Hi everyone! Thank you for your responses so far. After reading them over, I realized that I wrote and asked my question wrong.

I thought it over, and I have a slightly different question: Is it common for one to have romantic feelings for another person when starting to seriously discerning the religious life? It seems contradictory…

Also, I wanted to explain that I am NOT considering the religious life because I haven’t liked anyone in a while, or I didn’t find the idea of dating or romance appealing, I have felt a call to the religious life since I was very young. As I mentioned in my original post, the idea of romance and getting married as started to appeal to me again, as it did when I was young. I don’t know why I really included this information as it may have been hormones from my early teenage years, but it seemed light it might be important. Thanks again!


Edit: I also wanted to add, I don’t know if “crush” is the best word for my feelings. It isn’t that I’d want to date him or pursue any kind of relationship with him, but that I feel he is attractive (I feel bad knowing my attraction is purely physical :mad:). Can people who are discerning still recognize when people of the opposite gender are attractive? Thank you!


#13

I’m no expert…but I think that having attraction to the opposite sex is healthy and normal. To not have experienced that would imply that all religious are somehow disordered, which could not be further from the truth. When one allows their passions to control them is when it becomes problematic. For anyone.
I’m sure there are others who can answer this better and more clearly. But that’s what came to mind…Peace.


#14

There are so many wonderful nuns out there , are you attracted to the Divine Mercy, if so why don’t you contact the Sisters of Divine Mercy, they have a house in the States, and are very traditional . Best thing is to go on a Vocation retreat and pray hard and see what the Lord is calling you to be.

God Bless Walk with God.


#15

This. God tests us at every turn.

So think seriously about this. Does it bring you more Peace to be a mother of a family of wonderful children that you Carry within you’re own body? Or else… =)

“Else” is a wonderful, beautiful, feeling to have inside of you.

That is the only question you need to ask yourself <3

You can’t choose the wrong answer, so don’t worry about that part. Choose the answer that is right for ~you~

Kyrie Eleison

Sean


#16

Thank you…your post brought me peace of heart.


#17

God(Yahweh) made me do it.


#18

When I was 16 I spent a year in a cloistered Convent for discernment, and did my school work there, being taught by two Nuns who had formerly been teachers. One of the Postulants there had been engaged to be married, when she realized that she did not want to be a wife, but preferred the Cloistered Religious life. She ended her engagement and entered the Cloister, later went to the Mother House as a Novice. Worked out well for her. She certainly had “romantic” feelings for her fiancée, and found him attractive, but since she went to daily Mass, she gradually realized that her first dream/desire of becoming a Religious was where she actually belonged. I think there was some pressure from her parents to marry, rather than enter the Religious life. Her fiancée understood, and they broke off the engagement and she entered the Cloister. Interestingly, she told me when she was leaving for her Novitiate, that he was currently discerning a vocation to become a monk!! They were both under family pressure to marry, rather than enter Religious life, and both changed their minds and did become Religious. Both were in their twenties at the time.


#19

As always, those discerning vocations to the religious life need a spiritual director.

Otherwise, I would say being called by God to a religious vocation doesn’t mean that you won’t have any kind of attraction to men.


#20

I once was on a retreat put on by some sisters, and one of them, in her testimony, said she had been engaged and then felt the call to a religious vocation. She loved her fiance’ very much, but felt Jesus calling her to a vocation. She did not stop loving the man, but she of course had to break the engagement because of her love for Jesus and desire to answer his call. She is a very happy person.


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