Praying for vocations versus rejection of vocation

How does one explain in general to a male or female, how we as Catholics are always praying for more people to accept the call to a religious life, our praying for vocations, then when someone feels he or she has a calling, is in turn for what ever reason not accepted into an order or for formation in their diocese ?

Is the answer simply to keep trying , or that the person may just be called to a different religious vocation that he or she didn’t think of and that they are on the right path an just do not need to get discouraged ?

An can evil satan possibly trick people into thinking they have a calling when they don’t ?

I believe there is a Bible verse that says, “not everyone who cries Lord! Lord! will be saved”

In the same way, not all who “show up at the door” of a seminary will be allowed in.

And even those who do enter constantly discern their calling, and some do leave before ordination. It is not a sign of failure or weakness, but the mystery of God’s call and our ability to listen.

There is an old saying that God always answers prayers – but sometimes the answer is “no”.

Would you be willing to listen to a story from an “old” man?

IN my life experience, I felt called to the priesthood from a young age and in college I made the decision to pursue the application process. I did all the things I read so many young men doing in these forums. They become servers and volunteers at church, they pray the LOTH, they "fantasize’ about their ministry, get a spiritual director, attend days of reflections, etc. I even got through the application process and psychological testing

I did all that and in the end the quiet voice of God told me that he wanted “right where I was” – in the family I lived in, to take care of a sick parent, to work an entry level job after college, still volunteer at the local church, and be content where God wanted me to be That was not what I wanted to hear or believe and I was angry and probably cried with disappointment but I followed the discernment.

What did I learn? I learned that there are many ways to have a vocation from God. There can be the calling to a profession and to living a loving relationship. As a result I became a professor and have a loving family of my own. This is where God wants me to be, this is my vocation.

Was my pursuit of a religious vocation a waste? Of course not! I learned so much about myself and faith I probably would not have learned any other way.

Did Satan trick me? No, God guided me to pursue “my way” so I could see “His way”

Should we continue to pray for vocations? Of course!

I don’t why God has allowed a “drought” of vocations over the past 50 years, and in the end, it does not worry me, because I know all things are in his control.

I hope this helps. Feel free to PM me if you have questions.


I couldnt say it better myself.

For me, after seven years in discernment, Jesus told me that my vocation was religious life and our Lady and St. Therese have gently been putting my attention on Carmel. Already, two communities of discalced carmelites have discerned that their Carmel is not where God wants me. Does that I mean I give up and stop looking at Carmel or other religious communities? No, on the contrary. Sure, it was disappointing to hear that but it hasnt stopped me from looking, because I know that Christ has called me to be His Bride, but where he wanta me and what he wants me to do as a religious I dont know yet and my new stage of discernment. I may find that Christ may want me to do something new or join a community outside the United States. Who knows but Him? That is now what I am trying to figure out and it may take me years to figure this out but I know that where ever he leads me or has me do before entering a community is all to prepare me for this new life and to give me the chance over and over again to say no to Him, should I wish to do so, which i sure hope I never do.

I hope this helps you. God Bless you and may the Blessed Mother guide you in your discernment.

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