Fear and Vocations

Without getting into an excruciating amount of detail, I had a thought enter my mind. Is it possible for God to use fear to lead somebody to their vocational calling? I suppose what I mean is, if a person develops severe social anxieties, could God be using that to call them to a monastic or hermit vocation? If a person is afraid of crowds, could God be using that emotion to drive the individual towards a vocation?

I have a decent amount of social anxiety, and when somebody asked me about a Benedictine Monastery one state over, the thought came to my mind, “You can’t go to a monastery just because you’re afraid of something.” But is that true? Could God have allowed you that anxiety, because He knew that you (or society) would push back against such a vocation otherwise? I’m not saying that the main reason a person goes into such a lifestyle should be to ‘run away,’ but could God be using that as an avenue to get the message across to you?


i doubt it. your vocation should bring you a feeling of peace.

this might help: tradcatfem.com/2017/06/26/discerning-your-vocation-a-how-to-guide/

God has many ways of doing things, and no one can say one way is right or wrong. Only you can discern for yourself with God’s help. If you’d feel peace in a monastery that is one thing to consider. Most importantly is if you wish to serve God that way, if it is His will for you. Your social anxiety may still be something you need to deal with though as it may not be as isolated as you wish, but if God is calling you He will give you all you need to conquer your fears at each step.

I’d suggest getting a booklet for discerning your vocation and/or looking at a few websites and if you can manage it talk to a vocations director for your diocese, even if you do it by e mail or through a website.

Why don’t you find out more about this monastery? visit if you can manage that. Maybe start small with a website tour. Read up on the Benedictine’s too. If you choose that order, you should choose it because you are called to it and feel it’s God’s will to serve there, not just because it is quiet or close by, though those can be factors. Look at all the different orders and see which one resonates with you. Take your time and pray a lot. I think there’s a lot of links at the top of this post depending on which country you are in…under vocations resource information. God bless you

No sane community would take a person who complains of “severe social anxieties.” The reality of common life is not like the movies.

Vocation is primarily through “desire for” and “peace in” rather than “fear of.” If you are happy living by yourself and can devote your time to a lot of prayer, study, and charitable work, then by all means, become a hermit. But being afraid of people does not mean you will be authentically happy alone, it just means you won’t be afraid. You might very well have to work through the fear and master it before embracing any kind of lifelong commitment. Go ask someone IRL…

I think sometimes He can. I have heard of some in the priesthood and religious life who stated they felt sheer terror when they received the call. I remember feeling the same when I had the inspiration to check out a monastery about four hours up the interstate. I didn’t go, and the experience I could have had for my present avocation was lost to me.

Use that fear and anxiety in your prayer. Pray with your emotions. Go check out the Bens in the other state. What could it possibly harm?

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