I’m a sophomore in college, a “revert” to the Catholic faith (grew up Catholic, but the lack of a relationship with Jesus Christ left me more of an agnostic through high school, until college, where I was challenged to a prayer life, asking God for the grace of faith: He, merciful as He is, bestowed it upon me), and thrilled to be discerning a vocation to the religious life.
I have a few random questions, and they feel very “fluffy,” but they’ve been on my mind and I haven’t been able to find anything online to put these thoughts to rest. I’ve been praying fervently, of course.
First, is anyone aware of a religious order for women dedicated to the study of theology, or to teaching theology on a secondary+ level? I absolutely adore intense theology, and one thing that I’m worried about sacrificing is the time to engage in the literature and philosophical/theological evangelization.
Second, how does one go about finding a spiritual director? I’m originally from Minneapolis, currently a student in NYC. I attend daily Mass at our university parish, and know the priests there well enough, though the constant contact with them (at Mass, our Catholic group, other events, etc.) makes me think that spiritual direction would be uncomfortable, considering that it entails revealing one’s soul. Any suggestions? And what does one say? I’m looking for direction? I’m discerning?
Third, is there anyone out there who can put into words what it feels like to be called? I’ve felt a tug, a kind of inward hope that, in the end, my vocation will be religious life, as I love Jesus with all my heart, but I’m not sure if this constitutes a call or if it’s something I’m wishfully attributing.
Fourth, I had a very powerful Confession in early December. It was, as far as Confessions go, normal in terms of content (though superbly healthy for my soul, etc.). What made it powerful was the set of questions the priest asked me at the end, after absolutely zero prompting from me: 1) Have you ever considered religious life? (Yes.) 2) Would you be surprised if this was your vocation? (No.) Then, he said: “I think the Holy Spirit is calling you in that direction.” I’ve been praying for an answer to this question, as I’d really like to know. I don’t know anyone well enough to share something so personal (as very few people know about my discernment), but I’ve just been wondering if this means that I’m 100% meant for religious life, or if this is only the Holy Spirit’s way of telling me to commit to discernment.
Thank you! God bless!