I am not able to accept my vocation

Hello everyone,
thank you for your time. I am 27 yrs old woman, from 16 yrs old I feel God is pushing into my heart with questions about consecrated life. I would call it “calling”. Last two years I had very special relationship with one young man, we were very much in love and in the same time we were such a good friends! We were living in chastity and evrything was just perfect, but when there was a time, he was trying to propose me, I strongly felt I can´t go into marriage. But I wanted so much! And I felt like God was telling me He has something even better for my life … I still love this man, can´t forget him and everytime we call each other or see each other, we both feel strong love…
I discussed it with my spiritual director and he told me, it might be really vocation … but I am crying, I am not able to accept it. I feel so strong desire to have a husband, but in the same time there is this strong feeling of God´s will for my life to live consecrated life.
I already visit few convents and talked to sisters and superior (and superior told me, that she can´t accept me for different reasons - slight depression and anxiety disorder), but I feel like God is maybe calling me to different type of consecrated life (not religious life), maybe living in some new community or living alone with personal vows.
I am not able to accept it, bcs this strong real feeling for this man and also bcs there is such a pain thinking about leaving marriage and children behined for Jesus.
I can´t even sleep know. It drives me mad, bcs I am stuck in the middle of nowhere …

Thank you for replies and prayers :frowning:
God bless

As one priest on a radio show told a young man with a girlfriend, but drawn to seminary, “God would not do that to you!”

There is the cloister of the heart. Develop that through internal and external silence. There are third orders, oblatures, and secular institutes. Since one superior has already told you impediments to her community, that could be a stumbling block for others, as well.

I know a few priests and nuns who had relationships and were even engaged before they became priests/nuns.

OP. There is one way to sort this out. We used to call is “testing our vocation.”

Approach the Order, and join.

Test the waters?

Either way this will bear fruit

If that IS your calling then you will know it and accept the reality joyfully

If not then you will go on your way to eg marriage equally joyfully.

Just now you are living inside your fears etc. Need to let the air in! Nothing to lose and all to gain.

Take that leap of faith? Bless you!

raises hand :shrug:

I’d say a little less than half, in my seminary experience, had come to the seminary shortly after ending a serious, long term, relationship of some sort. Some due to internal factors (i.e. “I need to discern this question before we as a couple can move forward…”), some due to external factors (disagreements over what actions would or would not be taken in the event of a physically/mentally handicapped child); and yes, some even engaged. :compcoff:

Consecrated Virginity may be a possibility, but I do have to wonder, given the way you talk about your relationship… Have you asked yourself honestly if it’s simply anxiety over such a commitment?

I guess my question is, if you remove the thoughts of being called elsewhere, what (if anything) is holding you back from moving forward with your [ex]boyfriend?

Yes, and I know one personally. She’s been cloistered over 50 years now! She had been engaged, but broke it off when she felt the call to a specific monastery. Before entering, she went out with another guy. Her ex-fiancé saw them, and standing in the middle of the street in front of the theater, hands outstretched to his sides, he exclaimed, “I thought you left me to enter the monastery!”

If you’re truly called, nothing will get in your way once the discernment on both sides – you and the convent – conclude that you should give this a chance.

I talked about that with one psychotherapist, who knows me very well (we were discussing option of fear of commitment etc. about 5 months nearly every other week) and she told me, that she thinks it´s not fear or something what is standing in my way to marry that man …

I entered a monastery when I was 19 – and I loved the life of prayer and work and silence.

But all the time I was preparing to enter, and even when I was there as a postulant and novice, I kept thinking that I wished I’d had the freedom of my protestant friends. They didn’t have to consider the possibility of religious life. They could just get married and start a family, and in doing so be pleasing to God.

Deep inside, I had this feeling that I HAD to be a religious. And I do believe that God used that time to help me grow in so many ways.

But if you are going to be entering religious life crying over the man you left behind – that is not God calling you there.

You say you desire to have a husband and family. But when you talk about consecrated life, you don’t mention desire, just calling. God works through our desires.

And whatever you choose, you will need to give your whole heart to that vocation. As Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

It sounds as though God may be giving you direction in one way at least – you visited a community and they wouldn’t accept you. That’s God closing at least one door.

Regardless, not choosing is making a choice. You will at some point have to close one of these doors yourself at some point.

If you choose consecrated life in some form, you will have shut the door of your heart to the possibility of marriage, and not keep looking back with longing or wondering if you’ve done the right thing.

If you choose marriage, then you have to close the door of your heart to consecrated life, and not keep worrying over making the right decision.

God bless you. May you move forward in strength, in joy, in confidence.

“Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
(Joshua 1:9)

Then that was a matter for your own personal discernment.

But if you are going to be entering religious life crying over the man you left behind – that is not God calling you there.

I think it is not up to individuals here to claim such things. Emotions are a natural consequence. God does not wait until every decision if void of some pain.

The greater the pain, possibly the greater the sacrifice. It a matter of personal discernment. There ought to be a sense too, of the shoe fitting, in the direction of religious life, even if a specific order, does not bring with it such desire.

You say you desire to have a husband and family. But when you talk about consecrated life, you don’t mention desire, just calling. God works through our desires.

The OP has not clarified enough for people here to make judgment calls.

Feelings can lie at times. While certainly there ought to be a desire for this life, also.

And whatever you choose, you will need to give your whole heart to that vocation. As Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

It sounds as though God may be giving you direction in one way at least – you visited a community and they wouldn’t accept you. That’s God closing at least one door.

Regardless, not choosing is making a choice. You will at some point have to close one of these doors yourself at some point.

One can step forward and will see when a door is open. One just has to walk through. One doesn’t just join an order and that’s it (though maybe it could be if things were different). It has been made apparent to discerners of religious life that discernment is a long process, even for religious-minded aspirants. One isn’t saying, “now I am joining an order”, and then one has taken vows. Sure, it is good to put one’s whole heart in the journey and not look back, but discernment is a continuing process.

The point is to be prayer-filled and trusting enough that one is not constantly being fickle. When one is being, this doesn’t necessarily mean that one has no vocation.

If you choose consecrated life in some form, you will have shut the door of your heart to the possibility of marriage, and not keep looking back with longing or wondering if you’ve done the right thing.

If you choose marriage, then you have to close the door of your heart to consecrated life, and not keep worrying over making the right decision.

God bless you. May you move forward in strength, in joy, in confidence.

“Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
(Joshua 1:9)

May God’s Will be done.

Excellent points. :thumbsup:

That’s a good reason, but then the logical next question to be explored is:
[LIST]
*]What is holding you back?[1]
*]As a follow-up, if you’ve felt called to consecrated life since 16, why haven’t you taken to exploring it before 27?[2][3]
*]Perhaps a third question, much more internal question - why date if you’ve felt a pull for so long?
[/LIST]

I’m not attempting to walk you through why you’re wrong[4], rather I’m trying to help you see if there is an angle you haven’t [fully] examined.

[1] Removing the question of vocation from the equation as I had suggested. I will stipulate that you’ve probably asked & answered this question yourself, but I feel the answer may be helpful to the thread.:thumbsup:
[2] This is ultimately where I (and perhaps your therapist, but I’m not asking) begin to wonder about issues of commitment, if you were wondering.
[3] We’re the same age, and so I’m coming at it from the same angle as I had/have with myself: 2+ years in the workforce is enough to discern whether or not one’s life is congruent with one’s spiritual… purpose? That’s not to say that I’ve figured everything out :juggle:, but I feel fairly confident in saying what I had been doing was not fulfilling for me on a spiritual, self-transcendent level.:banghead:
[4] I’m not saying you are, but I am stating that it is not my intention to suggest that you are wrong. :smiley:

  1. I felt so scared and anxious ( I had severe panic attacks from that ) about the possibility of being called and I didn´t want it to be true, that I tried to silence it in every possible way.
    (Actually I tried few times to visit one community and they were really nic but as I described it before … I just didn´t want it to be true …)
  2. I was born to very abusive family, parents on alcohol, psychiatrical ilnesses of both of them, lots of home violance and suicide attemps (I had to save them few times as a small girl, when they tried to kill etc.), no one ever told me that I am loved, cared etc.
    This relationship was like a huge huge huge healing, very blessed and I feel it was from God - still the thought about consecrated life didn´t go away and I can´t do anything about it.
    I went for 7 yrs to therapies and that´s why I was talking to my therapist (who is catholic) about that… and that is what we together discern …

Do you find it somehow helpful?
What do you think now?

I’m sorry for all of that. I really, truly am.

I also think that the way, the eloquence, and (frankly) the love with which you [continue to] describe your relationship, regardless of thoughts of consecrated life, is rather poignant to those outside of the situation.

Those are my thoughts.

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