Is it true that those who are less open to religious life tend to be the ones who have a religious vocation?

This seems like an odd question. Why would someone who is not open to religious life even be looking into a religious vocation? And I think back to some of the saints, some knew they wanted to be monks/nuns since they were very young.

But I believe I may have a vocation to some sort of celibate life. I currently volunteer at a field house for a lay apostolate, and I just love it. I’m considering the possibility of a vocation to join this apostolate. For the past several months I’ve felt God pulling me in this direction. I thought he was being pretty obvious about his desires for me. I’m planning on visiting their mother house for a month in a little while. Can’t see if I walk on water if I don’t get out of the boat. :wink:

However, not long ago I volunteered at the mission in my city and I was talking to an elderly member of this organization. Me and her have bonded a lot, she’s like a big sister to me. We were talking about me going to the “mother ship” for a month and she said not to go expecting to join, to live one day at a time so I can get the full experience no matter what God calls me to do when the month is up. She said that those people who go expecting to join don’t end up joining, and those who go with a lot of reservations and with the intention of spending a month there and then leaving are the ones who end up joining. This devastated me because I love this place. I know without a doubt at all that God wants me volunteering at the mission here and that it is His will that I go to the mother house in the summer. I REALLY want to join. But there are many people who have wanted to join religious orders or lay apostolates since childhood, aren’t there? I was not open to the idea for my whole life until six months ago. Now it’s all I think about. I’m just so sad that she said the desire for it often means the call isn’t true.

Isn’t deep and persistent longing an indication of a vocation? Obviously it is not nearly enough, but it’s an indication of HAVING a vocation and not NOT having one, right? Help!

Maybe God is calling you and i would say that you should listen to your heart and soul and move forward with Our Lord. You have a calling.

God Bless You

If you feel a very strong longing to go there and join (assuming that your goal is to serve and glorify God), then that likely is your vocation. However, I’m 16 years old and no expert on this, so take my advice with a grain a salt. I will be praying for you.

I don’t think what the lady told you was necessarily true. I have heard many testimonies, (and read also on the internet) from people who have joined religious communities or had a vocation to the priesthood who have had both experiences–known from childhood they were called to a vocation or had it suddenly occur to them. Some people have spent time at various religious houses, others were attracted to an order and joined as soon as they could.

One of our priests never gave it a thought until he was on a picnic and the idea occurred to him. Another was in his final year of seminary and still hadn’t made up his mind and took a leave of absence before returning. A Sister friend of mine was rowing a boat when she “heard” the call, and at first said “No way”. I heard a testimony from a priest who as a teenager was living a sinful life and claims he had a vision that led him to his vocation. St Therese of Lisieux wanted to be a Carmelite from a very early age, and was only 15 when she entered the convent. Friends of mine have a son studying to be a Jesuit–that’s all he ever wanted to be, and he was accepted. He did not have to spend a great deal of time discerning what order, etc.

Go where you want to go and ask the Holy Spirit to help you in your discernment process. Put it in God’s hands and be open to His will. God bless you.

In answer to your question, OP, no, that is not true. Take that person’s theory with a grain or two, or a salt-shaker-full, of salt.

It is entirely individual. Some people, perhaps MOST people, who are called to religious life, DO hear or feel a “calling” from an early age, in some way. It may take them a while to honor that calling, or they might resist it for a while. But frankly, this contrarian theory - that those who WANT to enter religious life end up leaving, and those who DON’T want to, end up staying, seems entirely fictional to me.

It’s not as if people are press-ganged into religious life. One doesn’t just suddenly decide, “Well, this is the LAST THING ON EARTH I’d want to do, so I’m gonna go for it!”


To the OP:

Your friend’s opinion is just that…her opinion.

Don’t allow it to color your thinking.

Trust in the Lord!

Peace and God’s blessings to you.

Yeah, you guys are right. One good thing that has come of this moment of panic is that I realize how much I really want to be part of this organization. The suggestion that it is not God’s desire broke my heart. And if I do discover that it is not God’s will, then I won’t join. His will above mine, but this is what I want and I believe what he wants too. God’s will be done. Trust the Lord, trust the Lord, trust the Lord. Thanks everyone.

So many religious people did not think they were called to religious life. A good example of this is St. Augustine. St. Augustine was a playboy and never wanted to be catholic, his mother, St. Monica, prayed for him and he converted and became a bishop.

Another example is St. Francis and St. Claire. Though St. Francis was not a priest he did give up all material things and his family after a lifetime of drinking and partying to go and rebuild the Lord’s church. St. Claire, a friend of St. Francis was also very rich. She did not convert until after St. Francis then went on to be a nun.

One of my friends is joining the seminary, and he tried to run away from his calling for years. While we prayed for his vocation he denied that this was what he was called to, but thankfully God has opened his eyes and he has been accepted into the seminary in St. Augustine

God Bless,
Jessica Elizabeth Ann Lipori

With God all things are possible! It is a joy when a person finally responds to God’s call!

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