It took me one week. I had long felt a desire for marriage (in fact it was an inordinate desire for marriage), but I really had no idea what God was actually calling me to do with my life.
Anyways, one day back in June, I decided that I really needed to figure out what my vocation was and whether marriage was really what I should have been looking for. I read in the link that I attached below that if we feel that we are called to a secular life then we should ask God for more evident signs that we are called then if we were contemplating religious life since the secular life has more paths to destruction then the religious life has. So what I did was I prayed to God that if He did not give me a clear, evident sign that I was being called to marriage within one week (such as meeting a good, Catholic lady), that I would firmly resolve to take this as a sign that my vocation is that of religious life (this was an incredibly scary thing for me to do and I was shaking with fear as I was praying these words… absoluely unsure of what I would do if God didn’t give me some kind of sign as I wasn’t actually prepared for the possibility that my vocation was not marriage).
The next several days were incredible. God helped to me to deal with my fear of not getting married by showing me that this fear was really the result of an inner desire for lust that had been hindering me. After finally understanding the story of Tobias and Sara I realized that our desire for marriage needs to come from an inner desire to do God’s will and not to satisfy our own selfish appetites. As the week progressed I found my fear of not getting married starting to become less… the desire to be married was still present but the thought of being a priest or religious no longer frightened me. By the sixth day I was starting to feel comfortable with the thought of preaching homilies or living a contemplative life. I went to bed that night feeling very close to God’s love and I honestly don’t know how long I was asleep before I was jolted awake by a dream where I was surrounded by blackness and the following words were spoken to me very clearly. The words said: “I am calling you to be a married man”. When I woke up, my heart was racing and I felt such tremendous excitement at the complete confidence that God is calling me to the vocation that I truly desired.
Of course, it could be a long time before I actually get married so, for the time being, I’m called to the vocation of singlehood and I’m going to do my best to enjoy it as much as possible while striving to love God each and every day!
This catechism on vocations was instrumental in me discerning my vocation and I strongly recommend it: