I am confused about my vocation (the age-old problem). Normally I’m pretty good about just trusting in God and letting Him guide me. For example, I feel like the major I’ve chosen (I’m in college) is what He wants me to pursue. I’ve felt similar feelings about other issues… The problem with the question of marriage vs. religious life for me, though, is that I have sooooo many external pressures that kind of cloud my head. And I’m afraid that what I think is God’s will for me is actually just what I want for me.
I feel called to marriage because I deeply want a family, and I want to raise my kids Catholic in the way that my own parents never did (I come from a marginally Catholic family). Having a Catholic family would be so amazing. …On the other hand, though, I am someone who probably fits the “profile” of the type of person that might go into religious life. But…I just can’t get myself to seriously entertain religious life; and I think that’s partly because of my mom.
You see, I’m an only child, and my mom already talks about her eventual grandchildren. My mom, first off, really doesn’t believe in Catholic stuff too much, so it’s no surprise that she thinks that going into religious life would be a waste-of-a-life. Whenever I’m around my mom, I find myself saying things to make sure she thinks that I’m 100% on the marriage track. Before I went to college, she kind of had this intense conversation with me where she wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to become a nun; she said that the college tuition would be a waste (I go to a really expensive school) if I was just going to vow to a life of poverty anyway. She said I might as well go to a state school if that was going to be the case. She also “warned” me about those Catholics who try to “pull you into” religious life.
So, as you can see, I’ve had this very negative view of religious life beaten into my mind by my mom. I fear that it has biased me (and made me feel guilty for even considering religious life at all). And I really don’t want to be biased in a matter like this. I am mostly waiting for Mr. Right to come by in order to confirm that marriage is indeed my vocation. I really wish I could visit a nunnery JUST to be sure that isn’t my calling----but my mom would absolutely freak out if I ever did that.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!