Missed calls?


#1

Does anyone here believe they may have "missed" a call to priesthood or religious life, or know someone who has?

Don't misunderstand me; I'm not saying we make deals with God or he punishes us for not hearing, or anything like that! I'm just wondering if anyone has this experience of thinking there was a call but we made a poor decision or failed to act and it is now too late (got married, got old, whatever).

Pray at all times.


#2

Hi,
i feel you....the one thing we can do ..lead other to him by our example


#3

[quote="Dodge_pursuit, post:1, topic:330925"]
Does anyone here believe they may have "missed" a call to priesthood or religious life, or know someone who has?

Don't misunderstand me; I'm not saying we make deals with God or he punishes us for not hearing, or anything like that! I'm just wondering if anyone has this experience of thinking there was a call but we made a poor decision or failed to act and it is now too late (got married, got old, whatever).

Pray at all times.

[/quote]

There is probably a vast difference between thinking one has a call to priesthood or religious life - and actually having one and if one does have one, a certain vocation or call is only ever an invitation and not a Divine Command.
Not unusual at all after a few years of married life or even religious life, priesthood, to wonder if one is not in the right vocation ('the grass is greener syndrome'). Whatever vocation in life one has taken up, one can be absolutely sure that all the Graces for salvation and sanctity will be present in that vocation. It is a matter of personal response.


#4

Just wondering if anyone believes they have missed a call, or know someone who has.

Not saying no one has doubts.
Not saying I am damned if I missed the call.
Not saying God is mad at me. :slight_smile:

Anyone?


#5

Don't think at all that I have missed my call. Did think years ago I had a religious vocation and entered monastic life - I didn't have a religious vocation and left. That 'detour' did clarify for me that I had no religious vocation but did clarify much for me including that The Lord had other plans for my life - and I went on to the vocation I now live: private vows in lay secular life with spiritual direction. Undoubtedly my 'detour' into religious life did ' speak to' my actual vocation as it unfolded and was confirmed by spiritual direction - and our Archbishop at the time, and I have his confirmation in writing on diocesan letterhead still and in his own handwriting.
I still love dearly contemplative monastic religious life and when the going gets rough in my own way of life, I can experience a pining for monastic life. But in the light of day, I know it is not my vocation. On another Catholic discussion site, a person who had left religious life wrote that outside of living the life itself, one is only fantasizing - in the life itself (religious life) the going can get quite rough (and indeed it can) and it is while actually living the life that one commences the real journey of discernment and this, to me is very true, since one is then actually living the life and dealing with reality and realities and not one's imagination about religious life. This is what the early years of religious life up to final profession is all about : discernment by oneself and by the community as to suitability for the life and confirmation that one indeed has a religious vocation.

Sometimes The Lord writes very straight indeed in what appears to be crooked lines.
I don't think it is possible to miss one's call. If one does not take up the original invitation, The Lord merely extends another different call. The Lord is not mean minded nor 'spiteful'. Humanly, if a person turns down one's invitation, one might be inclined to not invite them ever again. Not so The Lord!
Isaias Ch55 HERE : " For My thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts "

Our primary and universal command from God is to holiness - our 'vocation in life' is the way we choose to journey to holiness and Grace is never lacking........not ever. The choice we make in the first place is a Gift of Grace since all that is good has its first and original beginning or origin in God. Our task with Grace is to return that Good to Him in praise and thanksgiving and holiness of life. In this way, we proclaim that He is indeed The Alpha and The Omega - the beginning and the end. Book of Revelation : " Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to render to every man according to his works. I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end "


#6

I wouldn’t mind putting a bob or two on the theory that those who might feel that they have missed their vocation are experiencing some sort of dissatisfaction in life and their current vocation. This is not an indication that one has in fact missed their vocation (impossible anyway) - rather that they have problem or two to work through in their life or current vocation.


#7

While growing up, I thought I would be a nun. What held me back was were the first vows of poverty and obedience. I was never sure I could make those vows. I never worried about making the vow of celibacy.
I was also considering religious life for the wrong reason. As time passed, I married.
Years and circumstances changed. A friend told me that if I had ever entered a convent, even for the wrong reason, were I truly called, I would have been been given the right reason.
More years passed. The nun thought crossed my mind with the right reason. I already had abetter understanding of poverty and obedience.
I have done the research. I have looked at different communities, both when young and later.What I never did was follow through…


#8

[quote="DebChris, post:7, topic:330925"]
While growing up, I thought I would be a nun. What held me back was were the first vows of poverty and obedience. I was never sure I could make those vows. I never worried about making the vow of celibacy.
I was also considering religious life for the wrong reason. As time passed, I married.
Years and circumstances changed. A friend told me that if I had ever entered a convent, even for the wrong reason, were I truly called, I would have been been given the right reason.
More years passed. The nun thought crossed my mind with the right reason. I already had abetter understanding of poverty and obedience.
I have done the research. I have looked at different communities, both when young and later.What I never did was follow through..

[/quote]

You state that you married and that "circumstances changed" and I am not too sure what that means.
Are you able to consider a "follow through" now? It is not unusual at all for a person to have more than one vocation in the course of their overall journey in life. Nowadays, unlike pre V2, one has the opportunity to ask many questions of a community, to correspond, visit and if the community agrees go on a 'live-in' prior to actually entering a community formally if the leadership of a community agrees.

Certainly many years down the line and under private vows, I have a better understanding of the vows now and in their positive aspect rather than the negative. However, understanding the vows and even having right motivation is still not indicative of a religious vocation although coming close. A religious vocation can not be said to exist until one is accepted into the life by a community and this final acceptance does not occur until final or life vows. Until life vows, one is still on a journey of discernment, as is the community. There are levels of commitment until final vows but nothing final until life vows.

Not unusual for religious life to be romanticized (not saying that you do however) and religious life in many communities and religious orders do present themselves in such a way as to trigger discerners romanticizing the life. Entirely different to actually enter religious life and live it out in reality in community - and then to stay all the way to final vows. Although some do find religious life a heaven on earth as it were - others have to travel the hard yards often doing it hard. No way of telling really until one actually enters the life. St Therese, for example, experienced religious life in Carmel as all she hoped it would be, despite the fact that it presented her with challenges and difficulties and for Therese, it was in a special way for one the fact that she felt the cold in Carmel dreadfully. Therese truly had a vocation to Carmel and so the cold she experienced was a real difficulty, trial and cross she was prepared to endure in order to remain in Carmel and live out her call. This was the Grace of vocation alive and effective in her for when The Lord calls and invites, He guarantees all the Graces necessary all the way to salvation and holiness - and no matter His particular call.


#9

I definitely don’t romanticize the call. For various reasons I choose not to get into specific aspects of my private life. Making a commitment, especially one that involves making vows is something that I have never taken lightly.
Poverty is not merely material poverty. Poverty is a poverty of spirit, an understanding that we are totally and completely dependent on God. You actually addressed this earlier in your earlier post, which I had not read before posting. Regardless of our walk in life, we are called to holiness. Obedience comes from the Latin word to listen. Our obedience is first and foremost to God. What is it that God asks of me?
There is a reason that communities will not accept a person immediately after they just completed a retreat, while they may be on a spiritual high. As Jesus told his Apostles after the Transfiguration, sometimes, we need to go back into the marketplace. Some of us are called to work in the fields. Even those who are called to monastic community are not called to escape from the world. They are still part of a community. They still have to do the dishes and deal with people.
Age does have a way of catching up with us. The age limitations for community entry has changed over time. I don’t know any communities today that accept 14 year olds. The upper age limit has been raised from 30 to 45, and even to 60 year old in some communities.
As a young teen, the only way to learn about various communities was by writing to the communities that advertised in Catholic magazines. Today, community websites provide valuable information for anybody in the discernment process. There are more live-in opportunities through vocation.com/ as well as other contact information. I even learn of a community in New Jersey that guides women through a year of discernment as they learn about different communities before they either enter their community of choice or return home. I which I could remember the name of the community…


#10

Excellent article on the art of discernmentcatholicnewsherald.com/viewpoints/50-news/roknewspager-viewpoints/3695-the-poor-clares-the-art-of-discernment


#11

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