Do You Have to Be a Morning Person to be a Religious?

Well there’s a difference between waking up sometimes and waking up every day at 5:30am. I’m also not called to be married.

Yeah I wish I could delete your comment.
I was updating people after I had prayed. So it was many hours after the other one.

And I was also responding to the person who said they know a monk who basically forces themselves to get up for lauds, then immediately goes back to bed. To me that seems untenable. It doesn’t seem like one could do that for years of your life.

Anyways, I hate Catholic Answers Forum. I’m sure you wouldn’t be confused about what I’m saying if I was having a conversation with you. But alas… Such is the state of affairs…

Yeah, I’m not saying I don’t want to pray lauds. At all. Definite misunderstanding. Oh well.


I’m sorry you feel that way. I don’t think you’ve done anything other than reinforce my original thought, but I’m sorry you feel that way.

Also it is possible to change one schedule, it is not always easy.

It needs that the person is truly motivated by it. Try to change a scedule can be conterproductive for the person who has to battle against herself and her deep-set rythm.
There is a lot of reasons, psychological or physical that a person is a night person.

We can try and make our own conclusion.

For me, when I was constrained, the result wasn’t great. Maybe I wasn’t motivated enough?

My niece is a Passionist Nun and I “believe” they get up at 2 am and say their first prayers.

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If you are called to monastic life there should be a way.

have you explore all the communities and possibilities? Any derogation to monastic law?

Make me think of a testimony I heard. The man tried a traditional cloistred monastic order but can’t cope with the schedule long term. He end up making his own way and create his own sort of community in the world.


Not being Catholic, I have nothing to say on joining Catholic organizations…

Being an evening person that is basically non functional in the morning I can weigh in on.

I worked in a hospital lab that has three shifts. When starting, you tend to be scheduled where ever you’re needed. When a full time day position opened, I applied and got it…the shift starts at 6am so I had to get up at 4:30am. I struggled for over four years with this schedule.

Finally an evening shift opened and I took it. I was happy as a clam there. Finished out my career of 27 years and never regretted the evening shift.

Now retired, I naturally wake at about 8:30 am. In bed around midnight and I sleep great. Some people can adjust to all kinds of schedules and some can not! I am one of those that just can not.


Same for me!

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I’m sure this sentiment has been common to us all at some point. I love the forum but there is no substitute for a face to face chat. There is no font that can convey facial expression, no text that will adequately express hand gestures, and no color that can represent a soft tone of voice. This is why, after nearly 20 years of contributing to forums, I have learned, and continue to learn, to be extremely diplomatic and often edit and re-edit a post to make absolutely certain it is saying what I want it to say with the least possibility of being misunderstood. But even so, stuff happens that creates ill feeling. But each time this happens it creates further opportunity for dialog. Many times I log on with dread over something I’ve said, wondering what sort of flack I"m going to get. But for the most part I find the forum a civil and compassionate place and is well worth being involved in. :grinning:

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One has to look at this with a different mid set i suppose. For monks, cloistered nuns and members of religious orders, they have to get up early, especially in the cloister. i’m sure they get tired of rising so early at times, but they realize they are up to pray or chant the Divine Office to praise God Our Father and His Son, Jesus.And for many of them, they realize when such thoughts creep into their mind they are reminded gently by the Holy Spirit or St.Benedict, St…Bernard , or other holy founder, why they are there, and what their purpose is in life. In Ancient Rome ,greece and Eygpt the pagan priests and priestesses had their issues and problems too. But who ever they worshiped reminded them of why they were there as well. It’s called being human. I have a cat.He will sometimes come in very early , like 2:30 Am and wants me to let him in the house for cuddle time. Yes, i let him in and we snuggle. Sometimes when I come home from work, he will lay on the bed next to me, and we fall asleep together. Do I mind no.
If you decide to get marry, you’ll have this with kids.My dad could diaper us, feed and change us, and yes momma did too. My dad was an early riser because he was in ht military (USAF0 for 33 years. Old habits die hard. Plus having served in combat during WW2, he learned to cat nap, since you never knew if you would be attacked at night, or have to go on a night bombing raid or what. I think the best thing would be to go if you can for a visit some time.They have I’m sure a guest house you could stay in for a few days or however long they let you stay. Would be good to talk to the abbot, prior or the monks who could maybe answer your questions better than we can.

Two points: An attraction to a lifestyle doesn’t mean one is called to it. One must be capable of living out the obligations of the vocation. Most monks follow a rigid horarium (schedule). They must be able to follow it faithfully without dispensations when they enter. This is because the vocation to be a monk is necessarily a communal one (especially in the beginning years), and full participation in communal life is required for healthy community dynamics (again, we are talking about those in formation, not the elderly/infirm).

Second, those who have not been able to change their sleep cycle for a very long period of time might very well have a medical condition. A medical professional should be consulted. Night owls are a real thing, so for everyone who tells the OP that they just need to get into it, that’s not necessarily the case. A lack of sleep can gravely impact the health of a person, and someone who is genuinely not a morning person will find a lot of communities closed to them because of the rigidity of the schedule. This is not a bad thing, it is just what it is.

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When I have stayed at different convents for retreats, I have noticed that the one where I felt most at home and longed to return to, was the one I had the easiest to wake up at. Even waking up before the alarm went off. I am not a morning person either and prefer not to get up before 7.45 which doesn’t work well when school or work start at 8am or earlier. Starting the days with 40 minutes of Adoration before Lauds at that convent was what my body and soul needed.

Something similar happens when I am staying at a hotel. Normally it takes 2 hours before I can have breakfast but at a hotel where there is a cooked breakfast served with bacon, eggs, toast etc I can eat immediately after waking up at 6am without the alarm set.

The key is to find the monastery where we belong or long to return to. It is also easier to go to bed as there is silence after 9pm with nothing more than yourself that prevents you from going to bed.

Thank you. I do currently have sleep problems, which I guess I didn’t mention. I have sleep apnea, and that makes me 3x more likely to suffer from night sweats. Which woke me up today, yay.

Anyways, I stayed at this monastery before I even had this problem. And was unable to adjust back then.

I spoke with a priest yesterday. He gave me some advice about my health as well. I need to get that figured out. But he also said I should pray about and seriously discern my vocation.

Again, thank you for all the responses. I personally consider this thread closed.

Does anyone know how to turn off email notifications? I can’t figure it out

God Bless.

No, absolutely not. Religious are the same as the rest of us. Some are naturally morning larks and some are night owls. Some may be up, showered, dressed and ready even before the rising bell. Others stay in bed until the very last minute. There are religious who dislike rising early and find it a struggle as do other people. However, they know they must do it so they do.

You can ask any religious community you like and they will confirm what I say. I have read it on numerous occasions on religious communities’ websites or on videos I’ve seen, etc.

This is not something that should put you off the religious life is you feel called to it. It is something that you will have to learn to live with. I don’t think the religious life is meant to be easy.

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There’s a difference between early rising being a “struggle” for some people and being too difficult because the individual loses too much sleep due to a severely misaligned sleep rhythm. There are people out there, and it sounds like the OP is one of them, where it is extremely unhelpful or even harmful to advise to just grin and bear something when it can be seriously detrimental to their health. Again, religious life is not for everyone. Not everyone has the physical constitution needed to be a religious. This is part of vocational discernment - to know when things are such that would make a particular person or community or lifestyle to be so incompatible as to make it a horrible experience to live through day after day. Who needs to live in a sleep deprived fog and try to pray half asleep in a monastery day after day? Sleep deprivation for individuals who need it can have severe effects on a person. E.g. Sleep deprivation can be as harmful as drinking and driving because of delayed reactions, etc. This is not something to just dismiss as a “minor annoyance”.


I don’t think the OP is likely to meet the usual requirement that religious communities have of good mental and physical health. Sleep apnoea, far too often, I’m afraid, claimed by people without benefit of medical diagnosis, is a serious medical condition. Therefore, I would be surprised if the OP were to pass a medical examination.

Of course, that is ultimately for a community he aspires to join conducting its own medical assessment of him.

I shall pray, Fets, that you receive guidance from the Holy Spirit with regards to your vocation and wish you well on your journey of discernment.

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