I won’t go into all the background details of my situation because that would make reading this very tedious. What I need to mention is that I am going though immense anxiety, preoccupation of mind, and dryness in my attempts to discern my vocation in life. All I can say is that I am fairly certain I am not being called to marriage, that leaves single or religious life. Over a year ago I went to a few vocation discernment retreats to try and discern, and initially I was strongly convicted that I was called to religious life but then had doubts. Currently my state of life is paralyzed, so I am all the more trying to discern for my future both short and long term.
Some weeks ago I read a section out of one of St. Alphonsus Liguori’s books, I do not remember the title but I found the book in my parish library, and the section has to do with religious and priestly vocations. In a most grave way, he made it clear that the realization of one’s vocation in life is paramount to the salvation of one’s soul (and others’).
I understand how serious this is. I do not take it lightly but I have so much difficulty in prayer. I try to make holy hours and nothing. I mean, I do not perceive an answer. On the one hand, I am worrying that perhaps I am wasting graces or being inattentive or ignoring the answers because they might be coming to me in a way that I don’t expect, on the other hand I remind myself that God does not operate on our time table, so I have to be patient. On the one hand I tell myself that God gives different natural gifts and talents to different people (which has me thinking that to some extent a person can gain knowledge of his/her vocation by the gifts/talents he possesses), on the other and I think about what I read recently: God does not call the equipped, he equips the called.
and regarding spiritual director : I have one long-distance. I moved a few months ago, and have not been able acquire another director, not because there isn’t an availability of priests but because they don’t seem to meet the criteria of a good spiritual director (not that they aren’t good priests, but trustworty sprititual direction requires things like experience in that field and knowledge of the spiritual life).
It’s been months since my last spiritual direction meeting and recently I talked with him on the phone and we can discuss once a month, probably for about an hour as was the case when we would meet in person.
what I want to emphasize is that I am deeply troubled and not at peace. I hate to say this but I am not experiencing joy, and that worries me terribly. Joy ( I know, not to be confused with pleasure) is essential to the Christians. I would kindly ask for prayers and any advice for this person who feels she isn’t getting anywhere in her discernment.