Need help with discernment


So I have been confused these last months on what God is calling me to do.

I am currently 18 years in college and have thought about God’s will for me.

First of all I don’t know whether I am called to celibacy or marriage. I suffer from scrupulosity and have honestly thought that this is going to make it impossible for me to have a wife, the reason is that I just get many intrusive thoughts that I think it would be better for me to be single than have a wife. I have learned that this is something that Saint Alphonsus Ligouri had as well, and that he decided to remain celibate as these sexual matters were to great for him.

Second I have had a hard time deciding what I am going to major in college. I want to do something that will help me get closer to God. I had to narrow my major choices to three things.

The first one is business. The reason is that I have always wanted on owning my own business and am big on entrepreneurship. I have planned on opening a family bookstore/ Catholic bookstore. I have also planned on having a restaurant.

The second major is economics. I have just liked to study this and would like to know how it is affected.

The last major is history. To be honest I think this one is my favorite. I have always been big on history and I like learning more.

The thing is that whatever I decide to major on, I want it to be something that I can use to help other people, and that can bring me closer to God. The problem with the first two majors is that I just don’t see how I can honestly use them in the spiritual life.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


hi peter here.i am a lot older than you and the things that are bothering you will get answered as you get older.if you read philippians chapter 4 verses 6 and 7 you will see what god tells you to might seem like an easy answer but god does have a plan for you.and for his plan read jeremiah chapter29 verse 11. god is not bitting his fingernails worrying what hes going to do with you. in your prayers ask him to show you in his time what he wants you to do. and yes he does have many different ways to let you know. he can even speak directly to your heart read john 10 verse 27. dont worry yourself,rest in him and he will direct your path(proverbs 3 verses 5 and 6. I know there is some scripture reading there but another word for scripture is the word of god,bless you


You would benefit greatly through seeking spiritual direction.


yes hes right arturo.and the best guidance youll get can come.from gods love letter and instructions to us.the bible.bless you


Part of our spiritual path is learning how to navigate our souls in our bodies. Would it be blasphemous here to also suggest that you get some good counselling and nutrition?

While some call it scrupulosity, others might call it part of the anxiety spectrum. You may have lived with this for so long that it feels like it’s your personality and maybe it’s your brain chemistry. Bright, talented people can suffer from this and never know how to get help. I know a few priests who have needed long rest breaks due to this problem. I don’t mean to undermine your spiritual struggles but please consider that this might just be a physical disability that you have lived with for too long.

A mind that can work as amazingly as yours is at high risk for anxiety-type symptoms, scrupulosity being just one of them.


And, by the way, all of the career/vocation choices you mentioned can lead to God. Aptitude in a field can be a good guide but I have met some very God-centered people whose vocational paths were in an area of challenge or outside their usual interests. My brother was a genius but became a landscape gardener. I think that choice was good for him in that it kept him in nature with people contact and low mental stress. Also running a good honest business is one of the most God-loving things you could do in this world. And being able to support yourself, and perhaps a family one day, is a good thing as well. Ask around and be open to inspiration from others.


I would advise you first to forget yourself and think solely about what the Lord needs. "I must decrease and He must increase." Let go of your life, your interests, your desires, and allow Him to enlighten you. Remember that God does not call those who are qualified - He qualifies those whom He calls. Go before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and humble yourself before Him. Adore Him. Praise Him. Thank Him. Offer propitiation to Him for your sins. Then pray, petition, beseech, implore and then be patient. It will take time and may be spiritually painful, almost excruciating (the root of excruciating is "cross"), but your answer will come. What I can offer are prayers on your behalf.


Have you ever read Saint Alpohonis’s small booklet Uniformity with God’s Will? I found it quite stress revealing and also helped my prayer life. Its also only 40ish pages and is available free on EWTN’s website (a Google search can get it for you).

But yeah other than that a spiritual director would be a great idea, its good to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Make sure its someone (older, more experienced) and is someone you trust to be devout and obedient to the Church, generally its recommended to have a priest as a spiritual director simply because they have undergone plenty of discernment themselves, can offer confession and are generally quite knowledgeable of theology/apologetics. But of course lay spiritual directors can still be good.


Hi Arturo. All responses to your post have been excellent, and I will
contribute my voice, for what it's worth..
- In regards to your concerns about scrupulosity, it is simply too soon in my
opinion for you to truly "suffer" from that, or if it is your cross to bear, or a
blessing (it could be either), it may not be for your entire life.
You are only 18. So young. Who is to say that you
will not meet and fall in love with a woman who will want to share your life ?
Who is to say that you would feel guilt at the thought of marrying her or not ?
It cannot be supposed, because your experience thereof is not developed.
Thus, you should not make any rash decisions or assumptions about yourself
concerning that.
- In regards to your studies and career path, you can work the employment of
your Faith into so many different fields. Or, like many, the employment
of your Faith may not be connected to your career at all. Again, being only 18,
you are likely to change your mind about your career path as your awareness
and experience is built. It's too early, you're better off to decide on some basics,
for instance "Arts" or "Sciences". For example, I changed my college major
four times ! First I thought accounting, then I registered for wildlife biology, then
I had a stint with journalism, then, at the beginning of my Junior year, I committed
to history, and have a degree in history. Such changing is not recommended, but
is not uncommon.
Are you quite good at math ? Is math something you want to include in your
studies ? For example, the main reason why I dropped out of wildlife biology is
that I could not handle calculus. I also had some difficulties with zoology.
History and the Arts were where my strengths laid. Now, History could be an
excellent starting point for you, from which there would still be many majors
that you could apply your taken courses to, somewhere along the way of your
Freshman-Sophomore years, but by the end of your Sophomore year, you really
have to decide in a final way what your major will be, that's just how it's structured,
and in some universities, you will have to commit sooner than that.
History can yield a career and post-graduate career path in many ways.
Lawyers (including Canon Law), teachers, seminarians, historian, antiquarian, museum work, art, political science, etc. are all post-grad paths for someone with a B.A. in History. How long do you want to be in school for ? What are your requirements
in earnings ? Is history something you want to devote your mind to (there is a lot of
reading involved, to say the least) or would you rather be a hands-on entrepreneur ?
History can still be something you enjoy on your own, apart from being a career path.

closed #9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit