Vocation and salvation


is it possible to lose salvation if you choose the swrong state of life?

I read a quote by st. alphonsis that says it’s almost impossible to obtain eternal life if you reject your call and are in the wrong state of life

but then, when I asked about vocations before, I got replies that this is an invitation and God does not punish us for saying no.

he doesn’t force vocations on us. but neither does he force salvation on us.

is there really such a strong link between the two as st. alphsis implies?


“Many are called, but few are chosen.” You don’t lose salvation due to your state in life, but how you live your life, “Live long and prosper.” Peace.


Before beginning his discourse on vocations, St Alphonsus, in accord with Church teaching said:

To enter into any state of life the divine vocation is necessary. For without this, if it is not impossible, it is at least most difficult to satisfy the obligations of that state and to be saved. (The dignity and Duties of the Priest, chapter on preaching)

He uses stronger language than most, but says the same thing the Church has said.


which is what exactly? and what does he mean by the divine vocation?

perhaps the quote I read was inaccurate, because I don’t remember it being quite the same as that one


The two are very closely related, but they are not synonymous. The refusal to submit to what one truly believes to be God’s Will, is, in serious matters, a mortal sin. But if we choose the “wrong” path, God can use our mistakes; He can re-direct us. There is always room for repentance and re-modelling, so to speak.

Most importantly, we should ask for the grace to know and love His Will. Such a prayer cannot fail to be answered, even if it takes time.* Some* uncertainty might be present (perhaps for an indefinite period of time); this is often a part of faith.

Some pertinent quotes from St. Alphonsus:

"But if you entreat him with indifference and resolution to follow his will, God will make you know clearly what state is better for you."

“You will answer me: “How can I be content, if I was not called to this state?” But what does it matter if at the beginning you were not called? Although you did not become a nun by divine vocation, it is nevertheless certain that God permitted that for your welfare; and if he did not call you then, at the present time he certainly calls you to belong completely to him.”

(A quote for those discerning a religious vocation):
“There is a true vocation whenever the following three things concur. First, a good end, namely, to get away from the dangers of the world, the better to insure eternal salvation, and to unite oneself more closely to God. Secondly, that there is no positive impediment due to poor health, lack of talents, or some necessity on the part of one’s parents, in regard to which matters the subject ought to quiet himself by leaving all to the judgment of the superiors, after having exposed the truth clearly. Thirdly, that the superiors admit him. Now, whenever these three conditions are truly present, the novice ought not to doubt that his vocation was a true on.”


God has no Plan Bs. Only Plan A1, Plan A2, . . . Plan A99.

We make Him move along to the next plan.

For an exaggerated case, read up about Samson! :wink:


no, I certainly wouldn’t want to purposefully reject his will.

it’s like you said, more about not knowing or perhaps making the wrong decision.

I do pray about it but feel like I’m not really getting any answers.

so far, it seems like marriage and religious life are not for me. still trying to explore other options.

but is st. alphonsus saying that you are called, even if you do not feel attraction for the life? I thought there was at least supposed to be a desire?

any spiritual direction I’ve gotten basically just says “bloom where you are planted”

anyways, I’m just afraid I will be wrong. and I don’t know if I wish to remain single in the world out of selfish desire. I think I may wish to make a consecration of some sort, but I don’t think I’m necessarily called to full religious life.

I guess I just don’t trust myself and my conscience


If salvation depended even partly on this then very few would be saved. In 1Cor3 we are shown that some lose all the works that they were building with because it turned out to be wood, hay, and stubble. In other words they worked in the flesh rather than in the spirit, but they were still saved.

However, we would not want this to happen for us. Our greatest desire is to have the Lord’s approval in what we do. The only way this will happen is if we follow the steps given in scripture. We do not try to find or discern purpose for ourself. The first thing is to know God and find rest in His presence. God created man on the seventh day, the day of rest. The first thing is rest. Mt 6:33 says “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be added unto you” That is what this is saying. If you will FIRST work to enter into His presence, then everything else is just an overflow of your relationship. That is how the Kingdom works. Knowing God is your only responsibility.

Does this make sense or is it too much at one time?



First, we can’t lose salvation because we don’t have it yet. Second, choosing the wrong vocation makes it more difficult to attain the degree of perfection that God planned for you.


this is all just making me really scared.

I certainly don’t want to go to hell because I didn’t become a nun or get married.

doesn’t the church teach you have to at least have an attraction for the state of life? st. alphonsus doesn’t seem to think so. he says everyone should try to be a religious unless they can’t for some reason


You’ll not go to hell for something like that!

If you’re single, stay single for a bit longer - all the doors will be open.

Pursue what fields of study and professions you can - all the doors will be open.

There are no set ages in principle by which you have to move on to the next thing. You do need a number of sane and sober people to discuss a lot of details with, though.

I’m single, 60, and I’ve just decided I would like to marry for companionship, hence am starting to pray that God will lead a lady that wants to marry for companionship, into my life, unless he has got something “even better” for me up His sleeve. There are various degrees of possible approval of that by the Church depending on circumstances but basically that is a door that is probably open to me because I didn’t close it earlier in life by becoming a monk.

Because I had a drink problem for some years I missed certain chances. Life would be significantly better in certain ways if I hadn’t hidden away and stultified my thinking during that period.

Unless you are grossly stunting your development and throwing your life away on some grievous vice, you are not losing out.


For any vocation whether to marriage or some form of consecrated life, it helps to look at the three A’s of a vocation:

Attraction: are you attracted to this way of life?
Ability: are you able to live this way of life fully and truthfully?
Acceptance: are you accepted into this way of life by either a superior in the case of consecrated life or in the case of marriage by your future spouse (has someone said “yes”)?


Where did I say you would go to hell if you didn’t become a nun or get married?

You don’t instantly become a nun the moment you enter a monastery. It takes 6-8 years before solemn profession. Before then you’re free to leave at any time and can expect to be sent away if they don’t think you have a vocation with them.


The desire comes from God, so seek Him, not clarity. If you have no particular inclination, accept this, for now, as God’s Will of good pleasure. For all your uncertainty, you can still seek Him with all your heart. He will make His will known to you when you need the clarity.


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