I think I may have multiple callings, is this possible?


#1

I mean to go to a spiritual director about this but I wanted to ask your opinions first. :slight_smile:

I’m 23 years old, a practicing Catholic and I believe I may have multiple callings which quite simply scares me. I know I shouldn’t be scared because everything is possible with God but hey I’m human.

Now, I’ve been accepted into medical school and I begin this August. I believe I’m meant to be an MD and that I’m called to it. The other calling I’m not exactly sure what it is but I know its there and that it does have to do with Priesthood or brotherhood. Why would I have these two callings its quite perplexing and I don’t understand what use my Medical Degree would be as a priest or brother.

All in all I feel called equally to both things, and I am quite sure both are there. Its like an itch or a tickle telling me “Hey don’t make any plans after you finish studying medicine because someone else has something planned for you”. I hope I’m not wasting my time studying medicine.

I’m glad I got that off my chest it feels good to write it down. All opinions are welcome and thank you for reading.


#2

It is quite possible that you are called to be a doctor priest. Usually, however, “callings,” as in, vocational callings, are only callings to a religious life, married life, or other vocations. I am not too familiar with God calling a person to be part of a particular profession.


#3

Yes to both. You most certainly may be a doctor and priest or brother. Especially out in the bush where the need is critical.

I would suggest fitting a spiritual life into your medical school. Look up the spiritual directory of St Francis de Sales, and start with it.

There is also a prayer either to or by St Thomas Aquinas used by the Dominicans before beginning study. St Luke is the patron saint of physicians.

Blessings,
Cloisters


#4

[quote="GGalindez, post:1, topic:319307"]
I mean to go to a spiritual director about this but I wanted to ask your opinions first. :)

I'm 23 years old, a practicing Catholic and I believe I may have multiple callings which quite simply scares me. I know I shouldn't be scared because everything is possible with God but hey I'm human.

Now, I've been accepted into medical school and I begin this August. I believe I'm meant to be an MD and that I'm called to it. The other calling I'm not exactly sure what it is but I know its there and that it does have to do with Priesthood or brotherhood. Why would I have these two callings its quite perplexing and I don't understand what use my Medical Degree would be as a priest or brother.

All in all I feel called equally to both things, and I am quite sure both are there. Its like an itch or a tickle telling me "Hey don't make any plans after you finish studying medicine because someone else has something planned for you". I hope I'm not wasting my time studying medicine.

I'm glad I got that off my chest it feels good to write it down. All opinions are welcome and thank you for reading.

[/quote]

Hmm, being called to be an MD and a priest? Not likely. There are three vocations. Priesthood, fatherhood (parent), or the single life. MD would be either in fatherhood or single life. Priesthood is a career, if you want to call it that. You are married to the Church and give yourself completely to Her.

In the sense of wasting your time studying medicine you aren't. All you have to do is keep praying. If you think you're called to the Priesthood then you should act like it. Try to: pray a rosary a day/or more, say a chaplet of divine mercy at 3:00pm, say morning prayers, say evening prayers, say nighttime prayers, ect ect ect.

The more you go on studying and praying you'll realize what you want to do. Remember that some people don't realize they have the call until they're in another life style (ie - a MD realizing that he's really suppose to be a Priest or vise versa). Don't fret... pray for your vocation.

Prayer for your vocation


#5

This could be a tricky situation. Yes, it is possible for someone to have a call to be both a physician and the consecrated life. However, medical school usually involves a lot of debt and religious orders generally require for those discerning to be free of debt. Of course, if your costs are fully paid, you would be completely free to follow both callings.

The diocesan priesthood might not have such a limitation.

Alternatively, you might find yourself associated with Mission Doctors Association or a similar group.


#6

I was thinking maybe Doctors without Borders. :yup:


#7

Finish your medical degree. There have been doctors who have later on become priests. Some felt the call earlier on and then pursued it later.

There is at least one nun who is also a doctor and uses her medical degree to help the poor.

There is also the Order of Saint Camillus who are a
group of Roman Catholic religious men dedicated to caring
for the sick.

Sometimes what we feel called to do now, can stand us in good stead later on for truly being a servant of the Lord.

If the Lord really wants you to become a religious, then He will keep knocking. Sometimes he plants the idea and gives it time to be nurtured. But it doesn't necessarily mean He wants you to chuck your studies now. And it doesn't mean if you finish your degree, He has walked away from calling you.

Also not all who feel called to a religious life end up becoming one. Many enter the seminary but not all finish, so having a medical degree behind you I think would be a good idea. It is not about incase you change your mind. For whatever reason some aren't called to finish priestly studies, so if you were my son I'd say finish your degree and then see where the Lord is leading you.


#8

As someone else mentioned, if you have to take on debt to go to Med School, you might want to discern a bit more. The debt is an albatross which will keep you away from consecrated ministry for a couple of decades. While the study of medicine is good, the enemy is quite crafty about offering us something tempting to draw us away from God's call.

I'm not suggesting you should not pursue medicine, or that it is not your calling, but if you are not 100%, it might be time to hold off for a bit and spend some time with the Diocesan Vocations Director and a retreat. If you should decide later it will look like this.

Med school 4 years
Residency 3 years
Pay off debt if you don't go crazy buying BMW's and a big house because you've been poor so long 10 years
Decide you really should have gone into consecrated life 2 years discernment
Go to Seminary with Philosophy pre-requisites 5 years.

Equals

Begin Consecrated Ministry at about 24 years from now.

Even if the discernment is collateral with debt pay off and you can cut seminary by a year, you are still at 20 years out and once you start accumulating debt, you will have to move forward to get a job high paying enough to pay it off and live a comfortable lifestyle. Might be worth taking a couple of semesters and making a decision. Good Luck and congrats on Med School Acceptance!:thumbsup:


#9

There are a lot of religious orders that could use an MD. It sounds like you should get your degree and then explore your priestly or religious vocation.


#10

The world needs more renaissance men! Foster your intellect; explore and discover. You’re only 23; it’s a good sign that you’re unsure what you want to do with yourself! Never be afraid to push yourself; often times the best of us comes out when we challenge ourselves. In this increasingly specialized and narrow-minded world, we need more industrious individuals. Some of the greatest scientists known to man were also olympic athletes, something which would be practically unheard of nowadays!

You are capable of great things through Christ, who strengthens you!


#11

Wow, thanks for the quick replies I didn’t expect to get so many so quickly. Sorry for my late reply I was working.

A couple things regarding debt, I’m Puerto Rican which is a US territory and I got into a low priced med school especially compared to mainland med schools because its public (just in case you’re thinking it must be a bad school its cheap and the most prestigious on the Island plus its still considered a school in the United States with full accreditation) plus I have a scholarship so I’m sure I won’t accumulate too much debt :D!

Thanks for the info on prayers Cloisters and vjnycguy. I know I should pray more than I do now.

I will also look up information on these associations for Doctors they sound interesting. Thank you!

Thanks for doing the math and congratulating me Churchsoldier, I’ll try my hardest to cut that down a bit. I hope I don’t go crazy buying BMW’s and a big house haha.

I will call my spiritual director tomorrow to set up a meeting. I’m sure i’m being called to studying medicine even though its not a religious profession.


#12

Thanks for those motivational words TimothyIgnatius. I do believe that Christ has helped me every step of my life and I pray he gives me the strength to keep on fighting. All the glory is for Him.


#13


#14

[quote="GGalindez, post:1, topic:319307"]
I mean to go to a spiritual director about this but I wanted to ask your opinions first. :)

I'm 23 years old, a practicing Catholic and I believe I may have multiple callings which quite simply scares me. I know I shouldn't be scared because everything is possible with God but hey I'm human.

Now, I've been accepted into medical school and I begin this August. I believe I'm meant to be an MD and that I'm called to it. The other calling I'm not exactly sure what it is but I know its there and that it does have to do with Priesthood or brotherhood. Why would I have these two callings its quite perplexing and I don't understand what use my Medical Degree would be as a priest or brother.

All in all I feel called equally to both things, and I am quite sure both are there. Its like an itch or a tickle telling me "Hey don't make any plans after you finish studying medicine because someone else has something planned for you". I hope I'm not wasting my time studying medicine.

I'm glad I got that off my chest it feels good to write it down. All opinions are welcome and thank you for reading.

[/quote]

Speak to your spiritual director is the best way to discern. Your director knows your spiritual life intimately usually and is in the very best position to give you spiritual advice.If you dont already have a spiritual director, it is probably unlikely you will get firm advice on a first appointment - but then again, you could depending on what takes place when you meet with a director.

My tuppence: I think it probably is tricky to anyone but your director and it is a very sensitive spiritual issue being a potential call to priesthood and/or religious life. He/she could advise you to finish medicine and then see where you are - or the advice could be not to delay a call to the priesthood or religious life. I couldn't say.
If it is the latter, it might well be that the vocations director of priesthood or religious life might advise you to finish medicine. This would mean lay celibacy or the 'single state' as your vocation until you finish medicine which is a number of years. But start with your own director who would be in a position to discern all the factors which could point to either medicine or priesthood/religious life as the next step for you.

The lay celibate state in secular life (what we call "the single life") is the state in life that does remain open to further call from God, whatever this might be. Although such a further call does not always occur.

It is not unusual that a potential call to priesthood and/or religious life is a matter of being rather afraid. What a director will discern is if there is a very real attraction to one of these vocations despite quite human fears - and attraction to the life is the first of the basic signs of a vocation. At this point, your attraction is to medicine - the other as yet is not clear to you.

I would think that a medical degree might be of great value in the priesthood and religious life. But this would be up to the vocations director of the religious orangization (diocesan or religious life) where you apply, if you should apply.


#15

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