Discernment

I usually think that I’m not going to be a nun someday. In the past, I have questioned it, but it still seems so foreign that I don’t like the feel it gives me. But, I want to be open to it, just in case.

I’m college aged. I’m very interested in film and art. I’m not very interested in raising kids. I’m not baby crazy and sometimes this makes me feel off when I’m around baby crazy girls. I suppose that I might really enjoy children if I have them though! Maybe I’m just not called to it right now … but I’m not sure if it is a sign or not.

I’m a real hopeless romantic, but I don’t feel ready to marry yet. I feel I am young and there are other things career wise that God might be calling me to. I don’t know that is a sign either! If I marry I want to marry an incredibly noble and inspiring person who doesn’t care what the world thinks … basically a very holy person, you know! But, since no one is perfect it makes me wonder if that is a sign that Jesus might be the only one for me.

I’d love to hear from nuns. If anyone else has any vocation advice too, I’d appreciate it! Some advice perhaps to understanding true peace in regards to vocation :slight_smile:

Thank you, and God Bless.

Here’s some solid advice: Spend time regularly with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament every day if you can. If you can’t that’s ok, pray everyday and bring it before Him. Don’t be anxious though, one day at a time. He’ll lead you to your vocation in due time don’t fret.

Just work on your relationship with Jesus. You’ll be alright! :slight_smile:

God bless!

I am not a nun, but have considered. Someone, who I am not going to say, but reputable, gave me solid advise and told me it is a great, but wait until I am well late into age.

I would like to add that you would be more of an asset and contributor later in life to whatever order you choose being that you’ve worked and mastered your profession in the world. There is no experience like real, day-to-day world.

All the best.

I’m not a nun either, but I was discerning for many years. A priest told me once that having a call to a vocation will be like when a woman finds the man she desperately wants to marry… you will just ‘know’ and it will feel very right with no doubts or question as to what you should be doing… you will know. He told me if you have doubts it was not the time to make any decision, but encouraged me to continue exploring the idea, as well as other vocational avenues. You did not state your age, but I assume you are probably in your late teens, early 20’s? Please don’t feel pressured to make a decision right away about what you should be doing, but do be active in seeking answers. What you eventually decide to do with your life will feel right, but in the process of finding that, try many things- just for experience and the taste of it, so that you will know what you like and don’t like.

You are right to consider that a spouse will never be perfect.   That is something I realized after discerning- that you won't find another Person like Jesus!   There are holy and noble men out there, but they are human too.   Each vocation has its "deal"- its crosses, its sacrifices.   Meditate on what duties you will have in each, really think about it.  

Oh and the whole baby crazy thing is for* some* women… it doesn’t necessary mean they make great moms or mean that you would not if you yourself are not baby crazy. I have a friend who never was baby crazy but she has a child and she is a very good mom. I would say do not have a baby until you feel up to the responsibility though.

True peace in a vocation will be just that- a peace that is true, no questioning it. You will just know and feel in your heart it is right.

Wait a little. Your vocation will be revealed in time. There are many vocations and when the right one presents itself I think you will know it. Peace.:thumbsup:

Great advice!
Also, you might want to consider the practice of saying three Hail Marys daily, asking Our Lady’s intercession to help you know and follow your vocation, whatever it may be.

It might not hurt to find out more about the different vocations out there, but not worry about it.

You’re answers are so great :slight_smile: Thank you folks.

Have you heard of Fr. Dubay’s book: “…and you are Christ’s” ? It’s an excellent discourse on consecrated chastity and I would recommend it, though you can tell it was written a few decades ago. I think it might give you some valuable insight. I plan to do an article on it on my blog for our religious community, Our Franciscan Fiat, as soon as I finish re-reading it for the third or so time. (I’m currently re-reading it even though I read it during my initial formation.)

Sr. Christina M. Neumann

goshngolly,
I’m basically the male version of you! As much as I would like to be married, part of me simply can’t see myself being married. I’ve grown more and more attracted the priesthood and religious life and see myself fitting in there better. This may be a sign, but who knows? I’ve talked to people who never thought they would be married but have a beautiful family!

My advice would be to develop a strong prayer life and get a good spiritual director.

People used to joke with me about being a nun & for yrs I pushed the thought away… but the Holy Spirit kept nudging me to be open to the idea. Recently, I attended a discernment retreat (1 out of many thru the yrs) & met apostolate sisters and monastic/cloistered nuns & was moved by the indescribable joy within their charisma’s that they still have. Although the doubt of being a nun/sister has left me & is replaced with peace, my deepest doubt still remains: to find that a selfless catholic man that I use to pray daily for was answered…to be married, homeschool my children (natural family planning & also adopt children)…spending time with kids in creative ways is so much fun. Here’s what’s odd: I can attend retreats, talk with religious sisters & brothers, my spiritual director, local priest, parents, close friends, God thru prayer, whoever & whatever I do to please God with my words & actions… but by the end of each day, the same doubt grows deeper (the doubt of knowing that I am loved by God & future husband someday)… let me confess how frustrating all my worrying & contemplating thru this long journey of the discerning process continues to be. I’m torn between religious life (sister/nun), sacred single life, and married life. In my eyes, I need to sacrifice my will for His will since we are called on this earth to serve Him & give Him glory, no matter the cost, no matter if I’d rather be married & raise a family conservatively… but I feel that if I chose that, that God would be mad at me… esp since He has healed the past & showed me peace within the religious life. People say I’ve got time, but not really…college is almost done & I’d rather plan ahead than do nothing about it.

Make sure to stop searching for answers, so you don’t wear yourself out. Take time to build a deeper relationship with Jesus… He knows everything about you… let Him reveal in time what His will is for your life. As my spiritual director told me, “in the meantime, live your life,” be patient with God & yourself. There is a time and a place for everything. Perhaps we aren’t meant to know right now, but that’s okay… because “everything’s going to be okay” (Blessed Mother 2014).

I felt like this about becoming a priest. I always strongly desired marriage. But I had an experience that caused me to open myself to the fact that it might be God’s will for me to spend my life in His service.

I entered the Dominican Order in Ireland as a novice and spent a year discerning that vocation. I left at the end of the year. But right after that I met my fiancee. I had been praying throughout that year for God to make clear His will for me. I had also been praying for my future wife if that was God’s will.

It’s amazing how God works to show us the path we should take. Sometimes you think it’s one way but then, suddenly, something happens and the way becomes clear.

I think the best thing is to be open to anything that God might throw at you. Even if it seems uncomfortable. Go to vocations days and speak to the Vocations directors of Orders. They’ll be happy to speak with you and answer your questions.

To AdamPeter:

Thank you for sharing! It gives hope from a different perspective uniquely.

On the last discernment retreat I attended, a Sister from a religious community spoke about the hesitations that can prevent one from entering into religious life. She shared a true story of a woman that spent 6 months with a religious community to contemplate if its for her… well, the sisters found that the woman’s reason for desiring to enter was to do the hardest vocation that she thought was God’s will as a sacrifice for Him. She found herself not following the deepest desire of her heart & it eventually bothered her, so she left having 6 months of a closer prayer life. Later on, she attended an event, met a man & they talked about common interests… she found he wasn’t catholic, but as they grew closer as friends, he converted to catholicism & they are now engaged/married. She prayed years for her future husband & found him. :slight_smile:

^I share this true story because out of all the sisters/nuns that spoke, this example woke me up in a sense. I asked the sister: what if one has doubts about marriage but finds peace with exploring religious life? Her response: “It’s not like a rope is tied to your foot, forcing you to do this or that” (she said more but that’s what I remember most). I met 2 inspirational Dominican sisters there & openly shared my lifestory for answers. They listened, offered prayer & trust advice, & asked for contact info. Is it possible that God keeps the doors open of all vocations with significant signs from each, but allows a person to decide what he/she wants (“deepest desire” of heart) to serve Him best?..if so, that’s what I’m going thru & idk how to explain it. Does that make any sense? Have I answered my own questions?

Your story reminds me of something that one of the Dominican priests said to me when we were chatting about vocations. I was a novice at the time. He asked me why I wanted to be a priest. I told him I loved the sacrament of confession and the healing that it can bring and I wanted to bring people closer to God. He said that those were admirable reasons but there was something important I was missing. He then wrote down on a sheet of paper the following word:
H A P P I N E S S

He handed it to me and said"this is what God wants for you. He wants your vocation to bring you happiness.
Now, this priest was one that I talked to regularly and he knew that my biggest struggle was that I desired marriage but also wanted to figure out if I was to be a priest.
He also said to me, shortly before I left, that its ok to want a family and to pursue that. That the Church needs good Catholic husbands and fathers to raise children in the faith.

I think that God shows us our vocation through our desires. I had a deep desire to have a family. I opened my life up to God and he showed me the path. If you have a deep desire to spend your life in God’s service then perhaps that’s an indicator of a vocation. If you desire to find a good man and start a life together with him then that could be an indicator you are called to married life.
I realised that when I was a novice, I was meh happy. I liked the life of prayer and poverty, I loved my Dominican brothers and I’m still friends with them to this day. One of them is even playing the Organ at my wedding. But I longed for something different in my heart.

To AdamPeter:

Thank you!!! I found what I needed… just need to build the courage to trust God with no doubt that He will provide someday to unfold my vocation of marriage.

It’s kinda funny that a local priest suggested that during my discerning process to not nurture all that I know of marriage & future spouse stuff… but instead take a break & explore the religious life. Recently I stopped the discerning because refraining from watching love story movies, listening to music, talking about it, etc… bothered me. I bought the book, “I was blind (dating) but now I see” by Stephanie Ritche, to give to a friend & beforehand read a bit to ensure it was the right book for her… had to give another gift… that book was meant for me to read!.. it’s been giving me hope that: if she can survive the single years & unlucky/unfortunate experiences that life sometimes offers, keep her standards (simple- yet to the world seems complex), & yet still get married, so can I (eventually). Still reading the book & cannot stop… it’s comfortable; I can relate to author a lot; last section of book is preserved for life with her now husband or soon-to-be. With that in mind, I’m taking a break of searching, discerning, & instead building a deep relationship with Christ… before meeting my future husband, Christ needs to be at the center of my life above all else. I started watching those love movies again, & see the big picture… married life isn’t a fairytale, it’s a ‘give & take’ with sacrificial love & commitment… worth more than fairytales & doubts could afford.

God certainly works in mysterious ways… thank you Jesus for opening my eyes to reality & the big picture.

Again, thank you SO much for sharing your perspective. It is noticed. :slight_smile:

No problem. Glad my story could help you. I have heard Priests say that kind of thing before. About ignoring other thoughts while you discern a religious vocation. I find it to be unhelpful. If we have constant thoughts about the possible marriage and children we could be giving up while discerning, that’s an important factor to consider. I used to always think of marriage and the “wife I would never have” while I was a novice. Now that I’m getting married, I never think, “Oh my God, I gave up life as a priest!”. I have no doubts that this is the right path. That in itself is a big sign to me that God is calling me to marriage. And while marriage is a primary vocation, I still might join the Dominican Third Order (Laity) some day as I have a special place in my heart for the Dominicans. :slight_smile:

God Bless

I know this is what people- and especially clergy- always say to do, but frankly, this never helped me. Its not that I didn’t want to be in God’s presence and contemplate this, but that I get severely distracted by all the other adorers- even if they are quiet- my thoughts automatically go to them, continually. I can’t think about any of my concerns when I’m around other people in a close setting like that, nor can I hear God when they are around. I only ‘hear’ (feel) the other people.

Please understand I’m not ‘annoyed’ by other adorers, just that its like I feel their presence very heavily and so the reason why I went to adoration in the first place is lost. I’m just putting this out there in case others have found this suggestion unhelpful. I would think there are others who have felt the same way. I actually find it better to pray in church. There is more space. I also prefer to pray at home when I’m alone… As the Scripture says in Matthew 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you…”

I get distracted in that way too. When I stop trying to read others’ body language for their perspectives & focus on praying to Christ, I close my eyes… & fall asleep… Eucharistic Adoration is relaxing! Time with Him for me consists more of spiritual reading, quiet prayer alone in church (daytime afternoons) are soothing, cat naps to clear the mind, sing psalms (bedroom, in my car, walking at night). Although I still don’t understand Adoration fully which is a slow process, there are many other ways to draw closer to Him in the meantime. If you like to write, I suggest bringing a journal to Adoration (I write poetry as prayers). Have you tried sitting near the front of the room/church area for Adoration to prevent from watching other people, to instead focus on His presence there?

That bible verse is good!.. especially the part about pondering in silence done secretly… He really accommodates for all of us to grasp His understanding in more ways than one.

Adoration is definitely something to get used to. Its different than being in church and different than being at home alone and praying. Its specific.

Its not so much that I am distracted by the movements or sounds from others (which does occur) but just their presence. I can’t focus on Jesus in the blessed sacrament or on any concerns I have to Him… it just doesn’t work. I have tried sitting in front, but then I feel too close and I still can sense the others. Its not noises or movement, its just other souls being there with me… It feels very heavy on mine… hard to explain.

I like the journal idea, and I was going to do that but same problem.. can't focus at all on anything.   Plus, I suggested it once to a young adorer and she said she was told that sort of thing (working on homework or sketching or journaling while in adoration) was wrong.   SO, I just never did.  I didn't' want it to cause scandal, though i really love the idea of working on something while being in Christ's presence.  That just sounds like heaven!  When I was in the monastery, this was ideal for me and I got the greatest thrill out of being there in 'God's house" with the Blessed Sacrament stored in the chapel right below my room!   It was so comforting, and again, like heaven.

Ha!.. totally understand about almost falling asleep there. For a small time I tried going in at 3 am. (I was practically assured I’d be the only person in there- so no distraction!) And as you can imagine, sometimes it was hard to stay awake. Sometimes though I felt as though the weight of the world was upon me because I was the only adorer there. Kind of spooky, but a very unique and wonderful time that I cherish.

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