Vocation advice needed


#1

A few weeks ago, I had spoken to my mother about my desire to enter the Order of Friars Minor next year at the age of 18, but she had told me to wait until after I finished College before I made any decision. I accepted this for a time, until I spoke to my spiritual director and several other priests who told me that it would not be necessary to go to College first and even saw it as a waste of time and money. My spiritual director encouraged me to not delay entering until after College, and told me that I may have to make a decision that would displease my family.

I told my mother yesterday, and long story short: she was furious... She told me that I needed to obey her, I am still immature, and that waiting until after College was for my own good.

I feel stuck and don't know what to do. I know that we have an obligation to obey our parents and their advice, and in some ways I agree that I am not mature enough, but I feel like God has spoken through my spiritual director and my confessor (who seemed very surprised that I would consider waiting another 5 years)... I'm feeling quite strange on the inside right now- it's a mixture of confidence and sadness. I feel like this is what God wants me to do, but I know that World War III would ensue in my family if I truly do enter next year... Please pray for me, and any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks and God bless!


#2

Throughout the ages innumerable parents have been unhappy about their children's life-choices. All have to find ways to cope with the directions their adult children take.
It can take a lot of adjustment for parents.

Each person is entirely an individual, and it may not be appropriate for a forum member to advise you when there is a conflict between your parents and your spiritual director.
Perhaps you need to ask for discussion between your parents and your spiritual director/confessor?

May God guide your parents, your spiritual director, your confessor, and you, and according to God's wisdom and direction.

Tricia:)


#3

My friend, if you feel called by God and have discerned well, then it is He you must obey. Your mother may not fully realize His plan for you, and perhaps believes she is acting in your best interests. Another five years of college may not hurt, but what will it gain you? What if St. Faustina had waited another few years? What if any of the Apostles had decided to wait a few years after they were called and then go look for Christ? It is never too late, but if you are feeling called, then maybe this is the time God wants for you.

If you are called as they were called, and feel God is calling you now (and have discerned much, as it sounds like you have), then perhaps you should do as you desire. Seminary will be a place of further discernment, and you will grow much there. Besides, it's not as though you will immediately become a priest. You'll have years to further discern.

Whatever you decide, it seems you have done so prayerfully and with Christ as your ultimate goal. And so long as this remains true, whatever you choose, you will have chosen well. Be at peace, and ask the Lord to give you the grace to do as He wishes. And if it is contrary to the will of your mother, pray that she may come to understand.

God bless you in your discernment!


#4

May the SACRED HEART BLESS YOU as you discern!!

As op's have said, it is the LORD you must obey in this instance, not your mother, as hard as that can be.

I will say a prayer for you brother....


#5

One thing that you should tell her is that just because you may be entering OFM, that doesn't mean you aren't going to college. You should contact the formation directors of the community that you are considering joining for details but most groups require a college education before making final vows. Of course what courses you will be taking, your major, and where you go will be determined by a) the requirements of the Order b) your special talents.

So just because you are joining an Order doesn't mean you aren't going to college, instead of getting say an engineering degree you may be getting a theology, or other humanities type degree.


#6

Looking back on this thread after posting I just noticed something about the OP. Your profile says that you are a Catholic Convert 2012. Based on that my advice needs to change a little. My advice is still to contact the formation director of the community you are interested in for their advice. BUT most Orders will not accept people within 2 years of converting.

They want to make sure your Catholicism is not still in a honeymoon phase and that you truly feel called to Orders. Depending on your financial situation, at least your first 2 years of college will probably have to be on your "parents dime". You may have to pick a major that fits both your parent's wishes and those of the Order. Examples include degree that are heavy in the humanities/philosophy, etc.


#7

Oumashta,

It's awesome that you're discerning a religious vocation!

One question for you: part of religious life is submission to authority -- you'll be discerning and being formed in the evangelical counsel of obedience. However, you tell us that you're not yet 18. Your mom is telling you "do X", but you're saying "no, because God wants me to do Y".

What happens when, as a friar, you think God's telling you "do Z", but your superior tells you "do W"? Will you obey your superior then? If so, why will you not submit to the legitimate authority of your mom now?

I think I would advise that, while you're still a minor, you should consider following the Fourth Commandment.

Even if you go to college on your own for one year, you'll still be able to enter the OFMs. (You'll also be calming your mom's fears that you're making a rash decision, to some degree... ;))


#8

I will echo what a few others have said here.

Contact the vocation director of the province of the OFM that you want to join. Regardless of what your spiritual director says you will need to follow their guidelines.

Some religious groups will not let you start the process to enter until you finish college or are near to finishing.

You will need to contact them to find out what their guidelines are.

Also if you have just entered the Church there will be a waiting period as stated above.


#9

All the same, I will pray for you and your vocation!! May the LORD make You a Saint regardless!! This I desire with my whole heart!!!!

make him a Saint Lord JESUS!!


#10

[quote="Friar_David_O.Carm, post:8, topic:302162"]
I will echo what a few others have said here.

Contact the vocation director of the province of the OFM that you want to join. Regardless of what your spiritual director says you will need to follow their guidelines.

Some religious groups will not let you start the process to enter until you finish college or are near to finishing.

You will need to contact them to find out what their guidelines are.

Also if you have just entered the Church there will be a waiting period as stated above.

[/quote]

Hello, I have visited the friary numerous times for a "come and see" experience. :) They accept any single Catholic male that has finished high school (no College degree needed, since it is mandatory to take a course in philosophy and theology).

I have spoken to the vocations director, and he told me that there can be a dispensation for me to enter 1 year after converting, since I have been involved in the Catholic Church for many years (but I could not get Baptized because my mother did not allow it).


#11

[quote="Oumashta, post:10, topic:302162"]
Hello, I have visited the friary numerous times for a "come and see" experience. :) They accept any single Catholic male that has finished high school (no College degree needed, since it is mandatory to take a course in philosophy and theology).

I have spoken to the vocations director, and he told me that there can be a dispensation for me to enter 1 year after converting, since I have been involved in the Catholic Church for many years (but I could not get Baptized because my mother did not allow it).

[/quote]

Looks like you have done the work.

I would suggest that you talk this issue of your mother's concerns with the vocations director.


#12

I'm personally on your mother's side. Having an education is always a necessity especially in this day and age. Fortunately there are many programs out there that could be benefical towards your vocations. I suggest that you speak with your spiritual director and see what he or she has to say. Maybe they will suggest a trade problem or something.

Education is a gift and I think its important to not let it go to waste.


#13

[quote="SecretGarden, post:12, topic:302162"]
I'm personally on your mother's side. Having an education is always a necessity especially in this day and age. Fortunately there are many programs out there that could be benefical towards your vocations. I suggest that you speak with your spiritual director and see what he or she has to say. Maybe they will suggest a trade problem or something.

Education is a gift and I think its important to not let it go to waste.

[/quote]

So are you of the mind that the 4 years of undergraduate philosophy studies and the 4 years of graduate studies (at least this is the requirements in the United States) is not education?


#14

[quote="Friar_David_O.Carm, post:13, topic:302162"]
So are you of the mind that the 4 years of undergraduate philosophy studies and the 4 years of graduate studies (at least this is the requirements in the United States) is not education?

[/quote]

Agreed!!

Do you know how much Philosphy, languages, Theology goes into these men? Its a scary prospect.


#15

We have an obligation to honor our parents, but once we are adults, that does not mean absolute obedience. Once you are 18, you will be free to discern a vocation. You will not have to make a decision on permanent vows for some years.

I am not telling you to lie to your mother, but you can just tell her that you are considering both college and discerning the religious life.


#16

Thank you all for your advice! :) I think I know what to do know...

My mother still seems quite unhappy about it, and is asking me questions like "Do you have to join after one year? Can't you wait?"

I'll be going to the friary again next week, so I will discuss this matter with my vocations director. I think that I have made a decision, even if it merits my mother's disapproval. :) But if they recommend that I keep peace with my mother and go to College first, then I will obey.

Thanks once again for everyone's advice! Please pray for this situation.


#17

Will Pray!!

may St. Francis and the SACRED HEART Bless You!!


#18

[quote="Oumashta, post:16, topic:302162"]
if they recommend that I keep peace with my mother and go to College first, then I will obey.

[/quote]

If you are a minor, then your obedience belongs to your parents.


#19

Being called to Christ's work is an honorable and noble calling, and mine is in the sfo, but in this case I feel you should take the advice of your mother.

Consider.

The length of time to attend college would not be that long, in fact you could still be in spiritual proximity to your vocation by taking a theology course at a Catholic college with subject matter oriented to your calling. While you make good grades and take a zealous interest in what you desire, your mother(and you) may come to realize indeed you chose the right path.

The next consideration is that your separation from your vocation is a good experience in self mortification, a practice in humility well known in the orders. You can offer the separation in sacrifice to the Holy Spirit in the hope that he will assist you later.

You are quite young, I'm 66 and in personal formation. The formation is 16 months and I drive 80 miles to attend. I need to reserve extra time before the 2 hour general formation meeting which follows immediately. All this calls for extra sacrifice, but what is sacrifice to those called to accept the suffering of out Lord?. It is extra work, but it is a joy, as I know I am closer to Christ by it and it tempers my resolve and contribution I will make.

In the end, your choice and mine will be realized, but only if the Holy Spirit desires. So we can trust in him and relax. Meanwhile live out your vocation on your own initiative, perhaps by volunteering as custodian to a Church sponsored adoration prayer chapel, or as alter server,etc. You could do this while at school.

(Adoration chapels are also excellent places for contemplation and prayer.)

All these will reflect positively when you finally join.

M2C :)


#20

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”

Mathew 19:29

Your mother is also right about the degree. It will give you time to think and prepare for your vocation. By the time your done with your degree you will have a firm decision. Also, a degree will facilitate you seminary studies and reduce the number of years.
You could try to get admitted in a Catholic University and work closely with the fathers expressing to them, your desire for priesthood. You could use you college life as a pastoral experience.


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