Question About Vocation


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!


If you are over 18, as I assume that you are, you need to be developing some healthy adult boundaries between yourself and your parents. You need to run your own life and not have your mother run it. Do not be waiting for “Mr. Right” to come along and take ownership of your life away from your mother. You do not need your mother’s permission to visit a religious order and to discern a vocation.


Yeah, I’m 19.

By no means do I want “Mr. Right” to take ownership of my life. I’m a very independent person in general, always have been. I simply meant that finding someone whom I believe God is guiding me to would show that I am meant for marriage.

How does one go about setting these “healthy adult boundaries”? It’s much easier said than done.


Hi Angela!

IMHO you gotta go!! Who do you want to please more? Mom or Jesus? I believe you will be so much happier and at peace in your life IF that is your true vocation and you join a community. “Come and see.”

Also, if God is calling you, it’s likely he’ll speak to you at adoration, or the thought of religious life will come to you at that time. Following your true vocation will be where real peace and happiness is going to be found, I believe.

Your vocation might be the married life, but from what you’re saying it seems like you really need to check religious life out and conquer your desire to please your mom.

Hope that helps a little.

I’ll pray for you when I’m at adoration too!


LOL, yea, good luck.:thumbsup:

In all seriousness though, let God guide your life. As you’re only 19, you’ll most likely end up dating someone between now and the end of college. Let it play out as it will. I assure you (and as a seminarian, I feel somewhat qualified to say this), if He wants you in religious life, you will find yourself there, in the manner which you (personally) need to be shown.:smiley:


Yes, it can be a problem. Independence is perhaps an attitude. As adults, we do not need to share all of our inner thoughts with our parents. I would encourage you to discern a vocation with orthodox religious orders. Even if you do not go down that path, it could be a valuable experience.


Thank you for the replies!


Hi Angela

dont get caught up too much on that idea as there’s no such thing. Men and women that enter into religious life are as varied as the population itself. A brother once told me that if I meet a Franciscan, I met one Franciscan…

If you have inclinations about married life then you should explore that by dating and really see if that is where you vocation is (this was btw an advice I got from a vocation director for a religious women’s order during a casual talk we had). That should be part of your discernment process. If you find out that well dating someone is not really for me then you can discern if a vocation to religious life is for you. You are still young - God will be there waiting for you as you put more mileage in your life.

You’re in my prayers


I have a couple suggestions. First: Prayer. Even if you have a better prayer life then the Pope you can still pray more:D. Second: visit a convent for a week or so. Talk with some religious sisters. You’d be amazed how far that will take you. Third: Talk with your spiritual director (or priest if you don’t have one). If you have done all these things (and while you are doing them) have trust and patience for the Lord will show you the way. I will pray for you and for all vocations. God bless you.


peace and good… :slight_smile:
this is a little video that tries to explain a little more how to discern one’s vocation, whether it’s a vocation to matrimonial or to religious life.

have a blessed day… for whatever spiritual question we’re at your service.


I don’t mean to contradict but…

Saint Ignatius of Loyola: “If a person thinks of embracing a secular life, he should ask and desire more evident signs that God calls him to a secular life, than if there were question of embracing the evangelical counsels; for Our Lord Himself has evidently exhorted us to embrace His counsels.”

Saint Paul counsels us in the same manner; “Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. If you marry, however, you do not sin…but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life, and I would like to spare you that.” - 1 Cor 7


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