First, a bit of background - I am 35, raised a secular Jew and until five years ago staunchly atheist. I was converted and baptized at an evangelical church, then God led me to the Catholic Church and I was confirmed and entered into communion with her three years ago. Even as a Christian I have lived a life not honorable to Christ, although the Holy Spirit has been working in me slowly but surely to make me a little bit more conformed to Him. In my walk, I've come to several conclusions regarding relationships. First, I now finally intend to fully live by all of the Church's teachings regarding chastity and marriage. As a natural conclusion of that, I've opted not to date anybody until I'm certain I'm ready for marriage.
And I'll be honest here. When I think about a good Christian marriage - devoting myself to my family, caring for my wife like she's myself, and raising children to be devoted to God - I inwardly cringe. At this point in my life, frankly, I would rather remain a celibate single than shoulder all of that responsibility. I just don't want it. Nor to I care about sex. I've had enough of it in my life, and I at this point I could take it or leave it. I'm very self-contained and have no problem spending time by myself. I don't get lonely very easily, nor do I want children.
Also, ever since I became Catholic, I've felt inclined towards a religious life. I'm looking into the Franciscans. The idea of giving up material posessions and living a life devoted to service to the Church and to the poor and needy seems not only much more appealing, but infinitely simpler than marriage.
So I'm wondering if this is a sign that the religious life is my vocation, or is it simply laziness, selfishness, and an unwillingness to shoulder responsibility? I am praying often about this, talking with my therapist, and I am in contact with the vocations director of the Holy Name province. I thought I'd post on here, though, and get some more opinions from thoughtful people.