Discernment/vocation concerns


#1

i am questioning myself as i usually do, i am due to meet with my spiritual director next month but as he cant answer every question i have at the drop of a hat i am left seeking outside opinions or suggestions here, which i do not mind as i take it as constructive critisim and nothing more, and if i find something worth bringing up i write it down for later to talk with my S.D. about.

I am contemplating/discerning a religious life, i have recently been research what a priest does and have compared it with the brotherhood or being a deacon, all of which have their own limits, priests cant marry and neither can brothers but deacons can before they become a deacon, where as deacons can not hear confession say mass etc, and some parts of the brotherhood are allowed to participate in certain levels either saying mass or live in a community, so as i may not be able to articulately compare the three i have the basic concept.

and i feel that i could be called to one of these…

the thing is i know myself to a degree at the age of 33,

and i realize i have not had the best relationships with women or experienced a real loving relationship with a woman on a level of dating, though i have had speratic dates here n there after the army and pursued a female in highschool, nothing is really sticking.

so, psychoanalysing myself, i could in theory say hey, i just need to work on myself, and my issues i might have with women, get a degree, and a stable career, move around and get to where the single women are , and i should find a wonderful woma whom i can have a loving beautiful realtionship, that i dont need to let my past experiences of what i have seen with my parents or past relationships i have had deter me or wreck me from having a married life, that i just need to work on things and pursue to have a family of my own some day.

But i look at the one consistancy in my life that has gotten me through so much of my life, and especially the army, which is my faith in Christ and being Catholic.

I have rarely missed mass, if so it was due to immaturaty or just the hardships of living in the army when you are called to field exercises or for some being deployed some where.

but it isnt like i was ever a lapsed Catholic, and i am just wondering if perhaps i should relax a little bit and give some serious consideration that i am being called to some kind of religious life.

I just hope that i will be strong enough to accept if the fact is that i am not, because that would mean i need to reevaluate myself and figure out how to fix what ever issues are limiting me from pursuing finding a wonderful woman ( what i was always hoping would be my soul mate ) which i know some women do not like hearing, but maybe it is dilusional, maybe not.

but i am certain it can not be both, i can not be called to be single for the rest of my life and i can not be denied living a religious life, something has to give, either i am ment to live a married life or i am being called to live a religious life with Christ. or for some a happy middle i guess is being married and a deacon, but i just dont see myself as that, i feel that i have too much to offer, and that i cant just split and limit myself to that vocation. Not that there is anything wrong with being a deacon by any means, maybe i am just realizing that if any vocation out there is not for me, it is being a deacon.

And i just hope that in time my Spiritual Director will see something in me that i dont see or fully understand and either say it is time to pick a vocation and enter into the seminary or something, or that i need to work on rebuilding myself to prepare to live a married life.

i guess i am nervous in this aspect.

do i wait for my S.D suggestion, or at some point do i have to make the decision and say i am certain this is what i want, here are the facts, this is why i am certain that this is the life i am ment to live.


#2

One thing I would caution is that the decision to become a deacon should not be based on the ablity to marry.

If the wife of a deacon dies first, the deacon is then required to live a life of celibacy. Every deacon has to consider celibacy as very real possibility, and ask himself if he could make that sacrifice if God called him to it.

A deacon is ordained to service, to be the servant of everyone else. What you see a deacon do at Mass is only the icing in the cake.

-Tim-


#3

Thank you for your response Tim,

the only one out of so far 222 views !

lol 222 views and only one response, either i really confused everyone or it comes off as a hot potatoe no one wants to touch.

i dunno...

I realized the decision to a vocation is two fold and it takes time, I need to give my SD time to get to know me, and I need to give myself time to let what ever is happening to happen and to pray more and be silent and listen more.

as for my concerns with women i guess they are valid, why not. but being worried about falling in love some where down the road in a vocation can not be a major worry right now, i do tend to look to far down the road, this thread may be nothing more than me just venting.

I have been researching how others have handled the issue of falling in love or developing feelings for one of the opposite sex while in a vocation to a religious life, and have been reading some really excellent responses that have put me at ease.

This is a wonderful forum. I really do appreciate this forum.


#4

[quote="john78, post:1, topic:285862"]
i am questioning myself as i usually do, i am due to meet with my spiritual director next month but as he cant answer every question i have at the drop of a hat i am left seeking outside opinions or suggestions here, which i do not mind as i take it as constructive critisim and nothing more, and if i find something worth bringing up i write it down for later to talk with my S.D. about.

I am contemplating/discerning a religious life, i have recently been research what a priest does and have compared it with the brotherhood or being a deacon, all of which have their own limits, priests cant marry and neither can brothers but deacons can before they become a deacon, where as deacons can not hear confession say mass etc, and some parts of the brotherhood are allowed to participate in certain levels either saying mass or live in a community, so as i may not be able to articulately compare the three i have the basic concept.

[/quote]

I think your problem is your being too legalistic about it. A vocation isn't about coming up with lists of the limits of various vocations and comparing them. It is about finding and following God's will. You need to think about what vocations attract you, even if that only eliminates one vocations.

[quote="john78, post:1, topic:285862"]

but i am certain it can not be both, i can not be called to be single for the rest of my life and i can not be denied living a religious life,, something has to give, either i am ment to live a married life or i am being called to live a religious life with Christ. or for some a happy middle i guess is being married and a deacon, but i just dont see myself as that, i feel that i have too much to offer, and that i cant just split and limit myself to that vocation. Not that there is anything wrong with being a deacon by any means, maybe i am just realizing that if any vocation out there is not for me, it is being a deacon.

[/quote]

If you can't see yourself as a deacon then that's probably not what God is calling you to, especially if you see it as just a way of reconciling two desires. So honestly I would say leave that.

[quote="john78, post:1, topic:285862"]
And i just hope that in time my Spiritual Director will see something in me that i dont see or fully understand and either say it is time to pick a vocation and enter into the seminary or something, or that i need to work on rebuilding myself to prepare to live a married life.

i guess i am nervous in this aspect.

do i wait for my S.D suggestion, or at some point do i have to make the decision and say i am certain this is what i want, here are the facts, this is why i am certain that this is the life i am ment to live.

[/quote]

You don't just "pick" a vocation. A vocation is something that comes from God, He picks it for you. You need to discern what that will is. Give yourself over to God and ask Him to guide you. Discernment is not easy nor is it simple but it sounds like you need to start discerning fully before you make a rash decision.


#5

You need to know what options are out there for the sake of those God may put into your path in the future. Imagining yourself in the roles is a good way to grasp the concepts. Discussing their jobs with the priests, deacons, and religious would also give them feedback as to what could be put on website FAQ pages.

There's no such thing as a stupid question (unless one knows it's stupid and is posing the question just to harass someone out of arrogance) so please ask away.

The concept of permanent deacon has to be answered in the context of marriage. If one is not married, then one is making a celibate life choice.

HTH

Blessings,
Cloisters


#6

[quote="PerfectTiming, post:4, topic:285862"]
I think your problem is your being too legalistic about it. A vocation isn't about coming up with lists of the limits of various vocations and comparing them. It is about finding and following God's will. You need to think about what vocations attract you, even if that only eliminates one vocations.

If you can't see yourself as a deacon then that's probably not what God is calling you to, especially if you see it as just a way of reconciling two desires. So honestly I would say leave that.

You don't just "pick" a vocation. A vocation is something that comes from God, He picks it for you. You need to discern what that will is. Give yourself over to God and ask Him to guide you. Discernment is not easy nor is it simple but it sounds like you need to start discerning fully before you make a rash decision.

[/quote]

Thank you very much for your input, and sometimes i lack the proper words to put into context what i am thinking, i do understand a vocation is a calling and not me, or rather anyone just sitting down and saying okay, im going to pick this or that. and hence why i am still in the phase of discernment, i wouldnt call anything i am saying rash, but merely curious and excited as to why i have always had a constant feeling in my life of wanting to live a religious life, and through my journaling i am starting to grasp why and i am in the process of exploring many vocations. Though I can see how what i write may come off as me wanting to quickly to pick something and say yes this is what im going for and may seem like i might be rushing into something...

and if anyone i give that impression to anyone, i merely ask to bare with me as my skills in writting/ typing do not always adequately or properly express what my heart and mind are trying to get out on paper or in a thread.

I think the process of elimination is a good method for me, i can not honestly say for certain as of yet that being a deacon is 100% not for me, but merely that at this point in time i do not see it as a real calling, i could be wrong, only time will tell.

thank you again for your response.


#7

Ah the ole quote of " there is no such thing as a stupid question "

a true quote and you are right to add that unless one knows that the intent of asking the question is stupid and to harrass,

i think so many of us worry about asking questions merely because we fear of appearing stupid, and we forget that if it is an honest question then why worry how it appears, i faced this recently in a college course, and truely my questions were showing me that others were wondering the same things i was asking.

I think also in part i get upset with myself sometimes asking questions online and being misunderstood , because i did not properly explain exactly what i ment or was thinking.

but you are right my questions are not ment to harrass and my intent is honest.

hence why i take others input as constructive critisim and a way to look at my perspective from some elses view point as to better help me discern what is really going on in my life.

thank you for your response.


closed #8

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