Possible Religious Vocation

I have 3 questions for you guys who are now in the religious order…

  1. Is it normal to live a completely average life up until 22 years old and then out of the blue have a strong calling to the priesthood?

  2. When you started researching and meeting with your vocation director, did it all just feel right like you were supposed to be here?

I have honestly not accomplished much in life. I was lazy throughout school. I made bad choices with the friends I had. I did not put in much effort and basically coasted along yet I was blessed with a life I do not deserve.

  1. Did life for you start anew or ‘kickoff’ once you acted on your vocation feelings? Do you feel like you started a new chapter in your life once you became a seminarian/priest/etc?

Hi I absolutely love your signature quote!!
You may very well be called don’t let your past make you sad you have renewal in Christ!!
I believe when you feel like something feels right that is indeed what Gods Will
is. When we have peace about something that is ultimately good I believe we are doing the Will of God!!
You should look into St. Ignatius’s writings on discerning the Will of God.
All we can all ever really do is pray always that we do the Will of God and remember the words from the “Our Father” “Thy Will be done” :slight_smile:

God bless you :gopray:

Okay let’s start:

Sort answer, yes. I was about 20 I think when I first began to think seriously about the idea of priesthood. there were of course triggers for that thinking but it certainly wasn’t like I’d been thinking about it all my life.

  1. When you started researching and meeting with your vocation director, did it all just feel right like you were supposed to be here?

Not really, no. Anxiety and fear are common emotions in the early stage of a vocational calling and I definitely felt both of these. It took me a fair while to get my head into a space where I felt comfortable with what I felt I was being called to and for it to just feel right. Of course, having said that, some people get that feeling much early - being called is one thing, timing is another thing altogether.

  1. Did life for you start anew or ‘kickoff’ once you acted on your vocation feelings? Do you feel like you started a new chapter in your life once you became a seminarian/priest/etc?

I wouldn’t say that life started anew when I acted on my feelings, or even when I (finally) entered the seminary. I’m still the same person I always was and it’s important to me that that’s how people see me - I’m not special! having said that, I do feel that I’ve begun a new journey / stage in my life and that I’ve left my old life behind. It’s not that there was anything wrong with the old life, or that I was sick of what I was doing - it’s just that I’m called to leave it behind as part of the dying to myself.

Anyway, just my thoughts / experience - hopefully it’s of some help to you.

At 22, I had a strong desire to join a monestary. This desire came on rather abruptly one day. I, too, had a hard time in school (“he’s really smart, just never applies himself”, etc.). I realized what I really wanted was a “way out” from the typical American life. I didn’t want to care about clothing, or food, or tomorrow. I wanted to follow what Jesus said on the sermon on the mount. But I also thought I might want to get married and have a family some day. So I joined the military instead.

Years later, I’m out of the military, working on my B.A., a happily married husband and father. But I still, to this day, feel the desire for monastic life. I have absolutely a NO regrets or misgivings about my married life, and I believe wholeheartedly that God was the architect behind my marriage. But I can’t help but wonder if I was originally meant for monasticism. Like when God put me together, he used the monk blueprints.

Dwell on it for a while. Pray. Talk to your priest and others about it. I’ll bet, regardless of what you choose in the end, that you’ll always feel the call.

I’ll end up writing my vocations director an email by the end of this week. Please pray for me so I do a good job.

Ave Maria!

  1. Yes, many people, even saints, have had radical conversions which have led to a religious vocation.

  2. No, I was very against the thought at first, but as I learned more about the faith and myself, it slowly became clearer. It was like a rollercoaster at times. My spiritual director helped immensely on the way. Sometimes it feels 100%, sometimes 0, but He always provides the grace and Our Lady is most comforting.

Don’t worry, I went down a similar road. Because of the structure of religious life, one often accomplishes 10x more than outside, all for the glory of God, and rests assured it is God’s will. It does not allow you to be lazy. Becoming a saint takes continuous effort until you die.

“I was blessed with a life I do not deserve.” - Keep this humble thought always in your mind and never forget it! Use it to crush your pride so Our Lady can use you for good and bring you to heaven. "

Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age… (Mark 10:31)

When you live the life, you see first hand how literally true Our Lord’s words are. If you think you are blessed now, wait until you enter and see God utterly astound you. You’ll be annihilated by God’s incredible mercy, generosity, and love.

  1. The more I gave all to God, the more He was able to transform and work in me. The more you withhold, then the opposite is true. The religious life is continually a great adventure. Chapter after chapter God writes for you. “Behold, I make all things new.”

“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.” -St. Augustine

From Counsels on the Religious Vocation By St. Alphonsus Liguori

Yes, without doubt, he who is not called to the religious state may serve God in every place, but not he who is called to it, and then from his own inclination wishes to remain in the world; such a one, as I have said above, can with difficulty serve God and lead a good life.

Consecrate yourself to Our Lady. and place your vocation in Her most tender and loving hands. She is the Queen of heaven and earth, and it pleases God to give her anything She asks for, especially when it concerns something so important as the possibility of ordaining you to be a priest of God.

Mary, Mother of Vocations, pray for us!

In the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Friar John Paul

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