Monastic Callings and Life Hassles


I’ve often been confused about my vocation. I’m 28 now and full of regrets in my attempts to find the right girl. I know a few people in the church I’d like to talk to about this, but I’m wondering if I should bother? I have a house and a dog. The house I’d be happy to sell (I often find some peace in solitude, but I lack the discipline to take care of everything on my own, and feel like it would be better to sell my stuff and let someone who needs money enjoy it). The dog is another story. I’d be pretty excited to find a community that would accept us both. Are there any? There’s an Eastern Orthodox monastery in New York that takes dogs (and they have some really good books on dog training), but I’m Roman Catholic and drawn to the Franciscan order (although I think there are many good ones and am open to exploring others). Also, can anyone recommend resources on the discernment process? I’ve been discerning since I was a teenager on my own, but it’s always been more about praying on my own and deciding not to talk to anyone, which I’m thinking may have been less about what God wants of me and more about what I want. Sorry for the long-winded question, but I’m just not sure how to go about this. I’ve been away from the Church since high school, despite occasionally going to church and claiming to be Catholic. I just feel like God is calling me back in a big way right now, but am looking for some guidance, I guess.


I have no contribution except that I’ll light a candle for you at mass this evening.
I really hope things work out for you and your companion:)
I strongly recommend to talk to your priest and let him guide you further into the discerning prosses and please do not let a dog keep you from following the calling from God.

Remember that you are in my prayers:)

  • Pax Christi


Saint Ambrose…

think always on Christ, and wait for his coming at every moment.

This is the person Christ has loved in loving you, the person he has chosen in choosing you. He enters by the open door; he has promised to come in, and he cannot deceive. Embrace him, the one you have sought; turn to him, and be enlightened; hold him fast, ask him not to go in haste, beg him not to leave you. The Word of God moves swiftly; he is not won by the lukewarm, nor held fast by the negligent. Let your soul be attentive to his word; follow carefully the path God tells you to take, for he is swift in his passing.

What does his bride say? I sought him, and did not find him; I called him, and he did not hear me. Do not imagine that you are displeasing to him although you have called him, asked him, opened the door to him, and that this is the reason why he has gone so quickly; no, for he allows us to be constantly tested. When the crowds pressed him to stay, what does he say in the Gospel? I must preach the word of God to other cities, because for that I have been sent. But even if it seems to you that he has left you, go out and seek him once more.

Who but holy Church is to teach you how to hold Christ fast? Indeed, she has already taught you, if you only understood her words in Scripture: How short a time it was when I left them before I found him whom my soul has loved. I held him fast, and I will not let him go. How do we hold him fast? Not by restraining chains or knotted ropes but by bonds of love, by spiritual reins, by the longing of the soul.

If you also, like the bride, wish to hold him fast, seek him and be fearless of suffering. It is often easier to find him in the midst of bodily torments, in the very hands of persecutors.

His bride says: How short a time it was after I left them. In a little space, after a brief moment, when you have escaped from the hands of your persecutors without yielding to the powers of this world, Christ will come to you, and he will not allow you to be tested for long.

Whoever seeks Christ in this way, and finds him, can say: I held him fast, and I will not let him go before I bring him into my mother’s house, into the room of her who conceived me. What is this “house,” this “room,” but the deep and secret places of your heart?

Maintain this house, sweep out its secret recesses until it becomes immaculate and rises as a spiritual temple for a holy priesthood, firmly secured by Christ, the cornerstone, so that the Holy Spirit may dwell in it.

Whoever seeks Christ in this way, whoever prays to Christ in this way, is not abandoned by him; on the contrary, Christ comes again and again to visit such a person, for he is with us until the end of the world.



Yeah, u definitely don’t want to go in alone at this. When I was in monastic life, I know my Superior didn’t really look kindly upon those who didn’t have a spiritual director, since it’s kinda just as u said, u are the one that’s deciding to do what u want, instead of allowing God to guide u through those whom he’s given the gifts of guidance and counseling to. You need to have some humility here.

Also, since u said u you’ve been away from the Church since high school, you’ll probably want to take things slow. And by slow, I mean:

First: confession (if u haven’t recently).

Second: going to mass at least every Sunday (and maybe more on the weekdays, too, if u are able) ~ it is the 3rd commandment.

Third: make sure u know the basic tenets of the Catholic faith ~ reading the catechism is an excellent way of doing this.

Fourth: Read the Bible, and reflect upon the readings.

Fifth: Talk to your pastor or a trusted spiritual director about what’s been happening in your life up till this point, and have him help u along, trusting that God will help u thru him in directing your spiritual journey, where ever it may lead.

God bless! :slight_smile:


Keep praying to God about it. Prayer works a lot like chopping down a tree. You have to keep chipping away, but eventually a huge movement will occur on it’s own.


HI WittyPseudonym,

I would seek spiritual direction if I were you, to help you in your discernment process.

I agree with the poster Suko who also mentioned that.

Sometimes a spiritual director can be our local pastor at our local parish, or it might be someone else at another parish or convent, etc.

I would start by talking to your local pastor. He can help guide you on what to do/where to start.


Suko and the above posters had excellent suggestions, take it slow, you might see if there are any Franciscan retreat centers or parishes near you, you might be able to speak to a Franciscan. Discernment can take a longwhile so start at the beginning so to speak, maybe your local parish then go from there. (this of course assumes regular Mass attendance at least on Sundays and prayer, confession etc.) Since discernment can take a while… the doggie might not be a huge issue depending on their age??? but first things first… Blessings and welcome back!!!

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