Vocation~ is it really God's choice or mine? His plan is perfect, mine isn't


Although God gave us the gift of free will, do we really have the choice to decide for ourselves which Vocation we desire the most, that of course is pleasing to God & can reach our full potential (talents, abilities to share with others) in serving Him? How do we know which Vocations are not His plan for our lives? What are some characteristics/references (via Sacraments, Bible verses, CCC, etc) to learn more about this? As a scrupulous person, it would really bother me to make a decision that would be displeasing to God, in terms of deciphering which Vocation to pursue thru prayer and contemplation… I think about this stuff daily and quite often.

*Most of my life, I prayed daily for my future husband and our future marriage & family someday- I devoted much of my life thinking, praying, & talking to close friends about it to ensure I was preparing/planning the future well for meeting my soulmate. After awhile, I kept praying and continue saving myself for my future husband while not actually experiencing something real and authentic that I had always hoped for. A local priest that knows me had suggested that I take a break of the married life prep mentality and explore religious life (b/c when I was a child, the thought of becoming a nun crossed my mind once but I was scared that my parents would disapprove) and to also do a dating fast for at least 6 months. So I did the dating fast (it was very difficult for me to pass up dates, but it did help me to focus on my faith journey deeper and not look at guys as possibly being “the one” for me but rather as brothers-in-Christ~ and that made a difference). I continued discerning religious life (1 & 1/2 years) not necessarily for a particular religious community, but rather the way of life itself & living in the moment with religious nuns & sisters who were actually happy and at peace with their way of living that was so foreign to me. By seeking to explore religious life, God actually revealed to me Himself deeper (like never before), the healing within silence, Jesus & Mary’s presence always being present within our lives in everything, and that I am already loved by Him~ He loves me inside & out to the point that I don’t need to prove myself to anyone that would deter me from being who God intended me to be… meaning that I don’t need to change who I am in God to be accepted and loved by others. 1 John 2:17. This might seem odd, but after typing all of this, I understand God’s purpose in all of this. If I didn’t choose to explore religious life, I would’ve continued obsessing about my future husband and marriage stuff without really getting to know the One (Jesus) who has been with me all along in everything and how much healing of a process I need to experience gradually before He unfolds and fulfills my deep desire for the Vocation of married life (the way I continue to hope for & dedicate my entire life for in His time) with Him at the center, rather than at a distance. Recognizing and God revealing to me that Jesus & Mary are with us always truly helps me to invite Them into my daily struggles, good times & bad times- in everything, and pray more often than not. The Lord certainly works in mysterious ways that are more enjoyable to experience unexpectedly, in order for Him to show us all that He continues to have in mind for each one of our lives, when we choose to let Him be at the center of our lives truthfully. :slight_smile:


Yes, and the choice will bring consequences. The choice ought to be a desire to sacrifice the self.

How do we know which Vocations are not His plan for our lives?
By dialogue and live-in opportunities in religious communities.


Is it possible for the ‘selfishness’ (the devil, evilness) of me to collide with the ‘selflessness’ (the Holy Spirit) within me to persuade me into following a particular Vocation? Every time I share out loud that I think I’m called to the married life, something happens to cause me to change my mind… and this happens on a daily basis, to the point that I am kinda lost which path to take. When I visited a religious community for the weekend awhile back and shadowed the religious sisters to see and experience their way of life a bit, all I really got from that trip was the value of silence to listen to God quietly (that I didn’t do before). I didn’t come all that way just to experience silence with God, but God had a different plan. What I mean is that all of the times I have seeked to learn about religious life, I have simply found God deeper like never before, but yet in those moments, He has touched my soul incomprehensible to describe & unexpected that relates back to when I prayed daily for my future husband- it’s easy to cover up that I’m terrified with God fulfilling this deep prayer to experience married life with a good catholic man and have children traditionally, because I still hold it close to my heart. I trust God with everything else in my life, except this deep prayer that He continues to reveal to me ways to overcome my anxiety about getting acquainted, dating, courting, marriage, etc- how to implement what I’ve learned about religious life (a selfless marriage in a sense) into an authentic married life, simply and selflessly with God at the center. Does any of this make sense? There is so much to talk about with this. I’ve already shared this with my spiritual director, and he has merely said that both Vocations (married life & religious life) are good Vocations; neither one is better than another.


It does make sense. I can relate in comparison with my own past. I found the more I pursued the priesthood and consecrated life with others in that same state of life - I was granted more clarity. I also was struck by light (cf. Jas 1:17) in my personal application of Jesus saying, “He that can take, let him take it.” (Mt:19:12)

Often times confusion as you and I may have at times (as you describe) is part in parcel with the vocation of single life. This is a legitimate vocation, and ought to be embraced for the sake of His peace and reason. “You do well” (Jas 2:8)

Cheers Soulo.


Going back to the ‘selfishness’ and ‘selflessness’, the song from Matt Maher “Empty & Beautiful” explains my experience better. Funny how many years I listened to this song, but never really grasped it into my single life where it presently is… until now. Thanks for sharing your perspective and reminding me that the single life IS a vocation and IS okay to embrace and accept. It’s easy to spend time contemplating about other vocations, but by the end of the day when it’s between God & me), I’m tired… tired of searching for a better life than the one I’ve got and in doing so, it persuades me to think that my life isn’t good; which it IS… there is much to be grateful for, if I only took the time to simply live in the moment more presently with Jesus & Mary… what a difference They continue to make in my life already, despite my emptiness & brokenness. By the end of each day, I’m back to the single life that I privately am content with but can find dissatisfaction quickly. This reminds me of a KLOVE song “You are Loved” by Stars Go Dim that I heard 6 times in one week on the radio- it was unexpected & although aggravating to keep hearing this song pop up on the radio while listening to KLOVE, it actually was uplifting & God reminded me that we are all loved & accepted as we uniquely are, especially that we don’t have to prove ourselves to anyone~ our goal in life is to please God- what would we do differently or what would we keep doing uniquely in honor of pleasing God?.


St. Francis said to a worldly cleric, “But remember that you will have worse to suffer in future, if you go back to your old ways once you have been cured. The sin of ingratitude always leaves people worse off than ever.” (St. Bonaventure, Major Life) He didn’t take his advice and so later he had splendid dinner “in the house of a fellow canon” and later the house fell on them all.

It goes with show to me that my neglect to honor the gifts of God is an area of my life which needs special concern. Also, I would take back the times when I was given the chance to go forward and I gave a conditional (limited) response. Pope Francis, point out how the Lord said no, to man who said “Let me first bury my father”. But “the Lord stopped him: ‘No’!”. In fact, the Pope indicated, “testimony is unconditional, it must be firm, it must be decisive, it must have that language, so powerful, of Jesus:" (Domus Sanctae Marthae, Monday, 30 June 2014)


I think that’s a good way to look at it… a lot of single people tend to think a lot about getting married, but the time of being single is not just a preparation before marriage. It’s a good time to get to know God better and then continue growing in your relationship with Him in your vocation.


For me, it’s a voice growing huge and consuming. It won’t be ignored, it gives me strength. It drives me.

If it were my want, my voice, my motivation, would it be so driven? Directed? Guided?


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