[quote=pauljmaxmi]I feel that I am strongly called to the priesthood/religious life, and have felt this way for a number of years, but have only been actively discerning for the past two. I am 17, and it isn’t as though I am ready to run off to an order right after school, I still feel that college is important, but my parents are doing everything they can to hinder my vocation.
First I wish to assure you that we will all pray for you. As others have pointed out, great Saints have gone through much the same resistance to their vocation from their parents. St. Francis of Assisi and St. Claire for example.
Just to put a little perspective on it…It is good your parents are making it difficult. If God is calling and He very well may be, He is not likely to make the road easy.
In the age of great Saints, we found many parents blocking the road to their children’s vocation. That in the end was a good thing. What many people today do not seem to appreciate nor realize is that some of our worst religious vocations of the last century (and many centuries before that) came from homes where vocations were prized not as giving Glory to God, but to give glory to the parents. That may sound shocking but it is true.
In my own family, the European mentality cultural Catholic idea that parents chose each child’s vocation was rampant.
Some of our ancestors would announce the birth with the note that this child will be a doctor, this one will be a priest, and this one a nun. The children were expected to follow that and they did. In my lifetime I recall with great sadness three of my relatives as children being given no choice. They became a priest and two nuns. All three of those vocations were a disaster.From experience I know that it helped no one, least of all the church.
My great Aunt Marie (who I am named after) was one of those children. I loved her dearly. She was a very wonderful person but so sad. When her parents died she had been a nun for 28 years. Finally, the order listened to her and let her leave. Marie was a good and Holy Catholic. She was not called to be a good and Holy Nun.
I see this in history and in my family as part of the cause of the vocation crisis today. We had lots of forced vocations but we did not have lots of true vocations.
I am excited to think God may be calling you and strange as it may seem, very happy He is making it difficult. If your vocation calling is real…“I expect we shall be able to say we knew you when and praise God for the results of the faithful and dedicated priest you will become.”