"Signs" of a vocation? Frustrated and confused

I have read various articles about discerning a vocation, lists of "signs" that one is called, etc. Examples of such signs are desiring a deep relationship with Christ, wishing to help people and build up the Church, being willing to offer one's self for Christ, etc...

In other words, qualities which every zealous, devout Catholic ought to have!

Sometimes it even seems as though, if one is a devout, holy Catholic, one probably has a calling --- so....married people are supposed to just be the weaker ones who can't practice great virtue?

For instance, I was recently talking with a friend of mine who related a story about St. Alphonsus Liguori to me, in which St. Alphonsus told a man that, since he was able to control himself sexually, he should become a religious. This makes me want to become a priest all the LESS!

I never heard it said that “weaker” people get married. My goodness! Sometimes, I think it would be very “easy” to be single, celibate, maybe live in community, and not have to face a man over the dinner table who doesn’t seem to care sometimes, while I’m trying to rear Catholic children who sometimes seem bent on Hell…

Could be the grass just looks greener on the other side of the fence?:wink:

[quote="MilesVitae, post:1, topic:239808"]
I have read various articles about discerning a vocation, lists of "signs" that one is called, etc. Examples of such signs are desiring a deep relationship with Christ, wishing to help people and build up the Church, being willing to offer one's self for Christ, etc...

In other words, qualities which every zealous, devout Catholic ought to have!

Sometimes it even seems as though, if one is a devout, holy Catholic, one probably has a calling --- so....married people are supposed to just be the weaker ones who can't practice great virtue?

For instance, I was recently talking with a friend of mine who related a story about St. Alphonsus Liguori to me, in which St. Alphonsus told a man that, since he was able to control himself sexually, he should become a religious. This makes me want to become a priest all the LESS!

[/quote]

Yeah, I empathize with you there on that last bit. There were a few other quotes that made me question the thought processes behind some discernment methods, too... :( * And I could be entirely wrong about this*, but I concluded that that *mindset (single < married < religious) was more preVatican II, and was more of an *undertone *than an actual *teaching... So by that conclusion, we are all called to have those outlined "signs," all called to holy, and not one vocation is any less than another. The vocations are indeed different, but in no way inferior or superior.
I am willing to stand corrected if someone has a more technical insight. :shrug:

I agree that these 'signs' are virtues which every Catholic should try to cultivate.

My advice would be, if you're trying to discern then the more help the better. Your diocese may have discernment meetings (we have a monthly meeting with Adoration, supper & discussion), or you could go to 'come and see' events run by various religious orders. You should definitely get yourself a spiritual director and discuss it at length with him/her. Even if you don't feel ready to approach your diocesan vocations director or similar, there are so many people and events to help you get there! All of these would help you to untangle these "signs".

[quote="MilesVitae, post:1, topic:239808"]
I have read various articles about discerning a vocation, lists of "signs" that one is called, etc. Examples of such signs are desiring a deep relationship with Christ, wishing to help people and build up the Church, being willing to offer one's self for Christ, etc...

In other words, qualities which every zealous, devout Catholic ought to have!

Sometimes it even seems as though, if one is a devout, holy Catholic, one probably has a calling --- so....married people are supposed to just be the weaker ones who can't practice great virtue?

For instance, I was recently talking with a friend of mine who related a story about St. Alphonsus Liguori to me, in which St. Alphonsus told a man that, since he was able to control himself sexually, he should become a religious. This makes me want to become a priest all the LESS!

[/quote]

Celibacy is not superior to marriage. Both are icons of the Christian life, Spouses give Celibate people an example of how total self giving can be fruitful while celibate people give the married an example of heaven where nobody will be married and all live for God. All are called to self control and purity, thouse who can't control themselves shouldn't enter the religious/priestly life because they first have to conquer themselves, marriage can't be an excuse to release sexual disorders or the marriage will fall apart very fast.

In a purely objective sense, celibacy is superior to marriage:

This Rock "Celibacy is a Gift:
"Although celibacy is objectively superior to marriage, it does not diminish the goods of marriage. ... Even though celibacy is the objectively superior state, this does not mean that it is for everyone. Our Lord makes this very clear when he says, "Not all men can accept this precept, but only those to whom it is given. . . . There are those who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this let him receive it" (Matt. 19:11–12).

In addition, celibacy is not the superior state for all people. Aquinas states, " Though virginity is better than conjugal continence, a married person may be better than a virgin for two reasons. First, on the part of chastity itself; if to wit, the married person is more prepared in mind to observe virginity, if it should be expedient, than the one who is actually a virgin. Secondly, because perhaps the person who is not a virgin has some more excellent virtue" (Summa Theologiae I:152:4).

Augustine admonishes virgins to say, "I am no better than Abraham, although the chastity of celibacy is better than the chastity of marriage" (On the Good of Matrimony 7). Augustine also states, "Whence does a virgin know the things that belong to the Lord, however solicitous she be about them, if perchance on account of some mental fault she be not yet ripe for martyrdom, whereas this woman to whom she delighted in preferring herself is already able to drink the cup of the Lord?"

These statements underscore the fact that celibacy is a gift. This is not something one can take upon one’s self for reasons of pride or human respect. The very essence of a gift is its reciprocity, meaning the giving and receiving are simultaneous. It is only when we become willing to give ourselves completely are we able truly to receive. This is especially crucial in a proper understanding of sexual love, whether it be celibate or marital. It is also crucial that this be understood on an individual level, particularly when making discernment in regards to celibacy and marriage.".........the whole article is worth a read catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0102fea5.asp

However, in a subjective sense for an individual nothing whatsoever can be superior to God's Will for a person. If a person is experiencing difficulties or problems in discerning God's Will (for the whole of one's life especially), then the way to travel is to consult a spiritual director. Outside of this, seeking information and direction from differing sources especially will probably only confuse the matter even further. A spiritual director is an expert with expertise.

TS

the sign is you want to save your soul and save others soul

you want to go to heaven and lead others' soul to heaven, by prayers, sacrifices.

to love jesus and to make him loved

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