Does finding our vocation require work on our part?


…Besides praying and remaining faithful?

Is it even possible to miss your vocation if you do these things?


Yes. While asking God for His will for us, we must think and choose. For some, things happen relatively quickly, for others it takes time. And vocations could include marriage or helping the poor or something that you hadn’t noticed, but which becomes obvious at some point.

Have hope.



Of course. Discernment can be agonizing. It requires a substantial denial of the self and may take an extended period of time. It asks you for a willingness to leave everything - family, job, friends, community, and follow where Christ leads. There is much uncertainty during discernment and you may question nearly everything, from the meaning of life to the existence of God. The price of discernment can be very high, but the reward is priceless and eternal.


Yes it is, talk to your priest and explore anything that interest you.


I don’t get how God could want and will that we be something yet we have to do things in order to make ourselves whatever God wants us to be, if that makes sense. If we have to work to find and become what God wants and wills us to be, then that almost means that its our choice and not God’s.


The “Do” part is mostly prayer. The rest is a letting go of your life and handing it over to God, to do with as He wills.


I should be more clear about what I meant by “work.” I mean to ask if it means you need to specifically do things that would make you see and make you able to do what God wants from you. For example, if a guy wants to know if he is called to marriage but doesnt even have a girlfriend, should he talk to every girl he can? Or a guy wants to know if he must be a priest. Does he have to see how a priest lives, maybe live around one for a few days, or even try giving spiritual guidance and explaining teachings?

Or does it mean that you ought to make your relationship with God as strong as possible and then have the faith to know what God is calling you to do?


The Holy Ghost works on attraction.

single or married?

if single, priesthood or religious life?

if priesthood, diocesan or religious?

if religious life, active or contemplative?

Even married folk can have a vocation-within-a-vocation.

There are lay associations; secular institutes; and third orders/oblatures which can deepen the married person’s spirituality.

Vocation directors will usually direct you to the Blessed Sacrament. That is what I do. Go before the Blessed Sacrament, and ask what He wants you to do.

Study the religious rules and see which one attracts you.



I think I can put it this way - it requires work in the sense that we need to be active about pursuing our vocation. that can mean speaking to priests / religious / married couples as well as simply praying and listening to God speak in the silence of our hearts. I think most of all it requires us to chase after what we want - the way may well open ahead of us but whether we follow it is another matter,


This is a very good and touching post! Regardless of the answer you get or arrive at, it’s very true!


This post is a good summary of discernment:

If one doesn’t fall under category #1 and their vocation isn’t obvious to them or they aren’t sure, then there should be practical and spiritual steps one takes.

From a practical standpoint, there are some obvious steps like getting a good spiritual director, go on retreats, visit some orders, seminaries, etc. The priority here should probably be prudence.

From a spiritual standpoint, you need to discern in prayer. Fr Gallagher has a couple great books, one specifically on discernment in prayer, the other on the broader approach to a vocation. If you don’t want to buy the books the podcasts are free and are pretty good all by themselves:


Discernment is a life long process that takes us on one wonderful journey after another. It does take work but also lots of courage. It requires prayer, doing your research and time to try it out as well. Prayer will only get you so far, sometimes you just need to try it out and see what happens.


Take your time. Pray at all times. Read scripture.

I know it is possible to “miss” God’s call.

No, he doesn’t love you less. No, it isn’t necessary to answer a call correctly to be saved. I understand these things.

But a missed call, whether or not you can ever be certain, can be a very painful thing.

I was told years ago: dreams don’t mean anything, don’t pay attention to warm fuzzy feelings. Well, let me tell you, those things don’t stand on their own but God does use them to get our attention and guide us along a path.

Years go by, I still have those powerful attractions to the priesthood. But now it is too late. I cannot discern the priesthood. Those warm fuzzy feelings never went away.

May God richly bless you with every grace as you seek him. :smiley:


Learn about the Church read the Catechism, The Bible, the saints,. Get yourself immersed into it. If that’s what you mean by work.


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