Not Feeling Special Enough to be Called



I am discerning a vocation to the religious life, but sometimes I doubt if it is true. I know I am special because God made me, but I don’t know what makes me special to do God’s Will over anyone else. I know there are many wonderful religious women who haven’t have apparitions from Our Lord or Our Blessed Mother, and they were still amazingly instrumental in God’s plan, but I just don’t see myself being special enough to do that. I suppose I am struggling with seeing why God is really calling me; however, I am completely open to the call. I think this struggle leads me to push away thoughts of the religious life. I don’t research it, and I don’t pursue learning about it because it is a mix between fear and not feeling like I’m special enough for it to happen.

I don’t want this to come off as a self-pity post because I know that I am worthy of whatever God’s calling me to do. I am curious to see if anyone has an advice on the next step to take in my spiritual and discernment journey.

I have asked my favorite priest to be my spiritual director, and (to my delight!) he said yes! However, I haven’t met with him yet. I am also doing and online retreat that has started to get me thinking a bit more about my possible vocation.
Thank you for your time, and your response! I greatly appreciate it! :slight_smile:


In 2 Corinthians, chapter 12 verse 9
Jesus said to Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”

Jesus didn’t say the apostles were great men, but He called them. That was enough.
He called them not to be great, but to serve.

May God bless and guide you always.


Feelings of unworthiness are common with a vocational call. If anything, it’d be more concerning if you felt that you were worthy or special!


These are thoughts you’ll definitely want to bring up with your spiritual director, for sure. Also, u shouldn’t be focusing so much on whether or not you’re “special enough” for religious life. Sounds like the kind of thing the Devil would put into someone’s head to deter and discourage them. There’s a beautiful saying that I heard before, and I hope you’ll take it to heart:

“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called!” ~ all one has to do is look to the Bible and remember all the sinful people our Lord called to follow him. You are no exception. :slight_smile:

Anyway, I would just try to do whatever your spiritual director tells u on this. :slight_smile:

Actually, none of us is “worthy” per se, but because of God’s goodness, he still invites us, all of us, to a loving relationship with him, and sometimes this may also mean an invitation to a bit more of a “higher calling” in life thru the religious life.

For myself, I’m actually in the vocational discernment process as well, and the best thing I can tell u is to visit places that u are interested in. But before that, look at your own talents and gifts that God has blessed u with, and see how those can be best used in service of the Church. So look towards religious orders like that. And of course, listen to your spiritual director and help him to guide u in your path by always being honest with him about how u feel.

Hope this helps! God bless! :slight_smile:


Hi Snow Angels:

You know, in the Mass tonight my priest happened to talk about what it means to be special and how it may be connected to pride. In the beginning of the gospels, when the Incarnation was revealed to Mary, she didn’t talk about how special it was for her to be chosen. She was just happy to be a part of God’s plan and called herself the Lord’s maidservant. When St. Joseph experienced his miraculous visions, he didn’t talk about how special he was: he just obeyed God. When St. Elizabeth miraculously conceived of St. John the Baptist when she was well beyond her child-bearing years, and Mary came to visit her, she simply responded “Who am I, that the mother of our Lord would visit me?”

The point of all of this is that it isn’t about obsessing over how special we are. God loves humility and simple happiness among His people. So I think the answer to your question of why you think you should be called to the religious life is: because God loves you and he wants you to participate with his salvific plan in history. There is no more grand explanation necessary than that.

God bless.


He called them not to be great, but to serve - Humility is good, but doing God’s Will is better. You are only going to know by

I. Getting a Priest for Spiritual Direction.

2.Go for a long week-end Retreat to say a Monastery, pray and read, and daily Mass,
and talk to the Abbott , while at Eucharistic Adoration the Lord just might let you know in what direction he wants you to go.

  1. Remember He always picks ordinary men and women.

  2. The Devil certainly does not want you to be a Priest, even the thought of it sends him to a silent rage.

  3. Pray to do His Will. - Speak Lord for your Servant is listening.

Pray that your Heart is on Fire for the Holy Spirit…

Lord give me an insatiable thirst for you and then quench that thirst.

May the Lord guide you as you look to seek his Will


Well that’s the point of discernment, to discern.

Perhaps you know the popular words of Blessed John Paul II:
“Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors for Christ!”.

Pope Benedict XVI further added:
“Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to Him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us?..And once again the Pope said: No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation…When we give ourselves to Him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life.”

My suggestion (as a fellow discerner) is to think about those words tonight. See what comes to mind for you with those thoughts.:compcoff:


hi, i have followed the advice of a spiritual director,a jesuit…of whom advised; as he might advise, likewise, when searching, i…e. -inquiry during the concluding of your prayer -then to decide- is it peaceful? or not…as i assume this is your dilemma at the moment anyway…so now i see better into the problem…as i write this and recall my experiences… what basic broad category are you drawn? dominican nuns, or poor clares? or regular diocese work?
well there was once a web site…vocation vacation…secular, not limited shadowing doctors, or following nurses around…perhaps…joining a stay at a ranch to learn about horses…

there is not catholic vocation vacation…but there should be…that way -any discerning person could spend some time-on the job site…meanwhile, it is a good idea-i think…perhaps, to discern God’s will (correct me if i am wrong) …just dive in…see if you like it…i’m jus’ say’n
: try it…what do you got to loose?as any plan goes-there is a search; for the dominican sisters-you might learn by their example-place cynicism in its place; or poor clares-admire their body language in prayer that you might want to try it, follow the example;
in summary,a plan verses learn and follow an example…

Perhaps, as a middle ground-the consideration might bring you into the idea-to prove to yourself-that prayer is a vocation…no age requirements, no college degree, no special education, no background check for bad debt (if you owe a college loan), no psychological testing (not uncommon), and open to any one married or single ; then having a vocation to prayer becomes an exciting period of discovery in your life (not feeling one has a special gift to the degree needed can be passing doubt) soon to know and knowing that God loves you no matter what…’ (i guess) might require a counter offer- as if to say “i can trust God no matter what…”


This is so cool! Lately I have been saying over and over to God the Father, a prayer…
“Thank you for making me part of the plan. Thank you for making me part of the plan.”

EACH ONE OF US is part of the plan. We may not see it. We may not discern it. Did anyone ever hear of the Blessed Mother’s Grandmother? Or the woman who lived next door who may have saved her grandmother from drowning??? Without the grandmother we wouldn’t have Mary and so on and so forth… We won’t know the whole plan-maybe never- or at least until we get to heaven. Isn’t it exciting to know the Father has chosen YOU to be alive at THIS TIME in HIS-STORY???

God bless you as you try to discover your vocation. But even if it doesn’t turn out to be the religious life or the married life or the single life… it is special because You HAVE BEEN chosen!


hi, just a quick note to say-very nice post you made, thanks patrick


We had a great homily a few weeks back. Father spoke about how Jesus did not ask his apostles their background, qualifications, motivations, their aspirations etc. etc. He just said “Follow Me” and they did. It is the same for us - we hear His Call to “Follow Me”. He doesn’t refer to our background, qualifications, motivations, aspirations - nothing. He simply says “Follow Me” and to each and every one of us into some vocation or other in The Church.

Other posters I think have said, in different wording, that all our concerns about “worthiness” and unworthiness, and in some threads I have read concerns about their past etc. etc etc. either come from our own insecurities or perhaps pride even…or they come from worse for there is nothing that Satan would not do in order to divert a vocation to religious life or the priesthood, consecrated life in some form…including our universal vocation to holiness. Another poster said that absolutely no one is worthy per se and very true for all vocations. Who indeed are we that The Lord should call us anywhere whatsoever!!!

Great quote by another member “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called” and The Lord provides all the Graces necessary to holiness in each and every vocation. We are worthy of absolutely nothing and in The Gospel, Jesus tells us that after we have done whatever we do we should consider ourselves “unprofitable servants” (". So you also, when you shall have done all these things that are commanded you, say: We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which we ought to do. " Luke Ch17)

“All is Grace” - St Therese of Lisieux

Excellent advice, best advice indeed to put all your concerns to your spiritual director and rejoice and give thanks, as I am confident you do, that your favourite priest agreed to direct you.


I’m hoping to get into a order of Sisters next year. I feel unworthy though because I am unworthy. But I have the desire for it, so that’s why I’m pursuing it. I trust Jesus and let him lead me to the life he wants.
I don’t feel worthy of anything really but like people have said, God loves us and we are all unworthy but he will use us in his plan if we give ourselves to him.


:thumbsup: And I’m praying for you!

St. Patrick’s Prayer
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.


I know this is from a while ago, but I wanted to thank you all for your advice. My feelings are changing, and I think I have grown stronger to accept God’s Will for me…whatever it may be. May God bless all of you!


Let’s look at the people in the Bible. (Found this online at a blog.)

The Word says all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. When calls you there is no excuse that you can give Him that He will settle for.After all, He used all of these people and even though they messed up some times, they went on to do mighty things for the Lord. So can you.
Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar
Leah was ugly
Joseph was abused
Moses has a stuttering problem
Samson has long hair and was a womanizer
Rahab was a prostitute
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
David has an affair and was a murderer
Isaiah preached naked
Jonah ran from God
Peter denied Christ
The Disciples fell asleep while praying
Zaccheus was too small
Paul was too religious
Lazarus was dead!
Even though these people did these things they were willing to allow God to change them and use them. Many people think they have to straighten out their lives first and then God will use them. This is not true. You come to God just as you are and He will take care of the rest.

We can add to that that St. Paul was a murderer and persecutor of Christians, Mary Magdalene was a sinful woman, and Mary was a virgin and unmarried (though she was sinless). Even looking at our more modern saints, St. Augustine was a heretic, St. Peregrine was vehemently anti-Catholic, and St. Dominic Savio was only 15 years old. St. Joan of Arc was a woman. St. Therese of Lisieux was “only a very little soul”. St. Gemma Galgani had very poor health. St. Bernadette was poor. The seers of Fatima were children, the oldest only 10 years old.

Remember, too, that we always say, “the Church is not a museum for saints. It is a hospital for sinners.”


Some of the GREATEST religious women on earth have not had visions, performed miracles, or had prophecies. They work, to this day, with the lowliest of the low. They seek no recognition, only to help in any way they can. It’s a very special and wonderful gift to behold Our Lady or heal the sick, but there’s something equally holy in caring for a man dying of AIDS or handing out toys to disadvantaged children. There’s less glory in it, but God sees the good you, even if no one else does.

What so many people need isn’t a prophet, or even a saint, but a human being to listen to their struggles and a willing, healthy body to labor for them.

I would recommend calling up your local homeless shelter or battered womens’ center and asked what you can do to help. Collect canned goods for a soup kitchen. Contact convents nearby and ask if you can shadow a sister for the day, or just ask some questions. Don’t wait for your vocation to appear in a puff of smoke— chase it! See what it is that needs to be done in your community and how you can use your unique and special gifts to benefit others. God has given you faith, hope, and countless other blessings and talents. You are truly special and you have the power to help SO MANY needy people. :slight_smile:


God will make you worthy if it is what He wants you to do. As to feeling ‘special’, well i think its like this: imagine God was there calling out to a crowd of people ‘will you do this for me, I love you all’ and you were just one person in the crowd. then imagine, that instead He searched around over and above the crowd, and made some extreme effort to locate you in amongst all those people, and then came over just to you, and asked you personally would you be there for Him.

Initially you did not feel ‘special’, but afterwards you did - not special/important in general, but important/special to Him. Maybe God noticed you more than anyone else ever has. And that is how God is - He knows us.


:slight_smile: You gave me JOY today just reading your response!!!


I don’t have any advice, but I’m praying that God
can use you whatever way He can!

Hail holy queen, Mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope,
to you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve,
to you do we lift up our sighs, mourning and weeping
in this Valley of Tears. Turn then most gracious Advocate,
your eyes of mercy towards us and after this our exile,
show to us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus
O clement, O loving, O kind Virgin Mary!
(Pray for us O holy Mother of God,
that we may be made WORTHY of the promises of Christ!).


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