Hi, I was just thinking about my vocation. I really want to focus on doing the work of God here on earth, it’s just I don’t know any other way than to become a priest or a religious. I don’t want to waste my time looking for secular jobs that have nothing to do with saving souls, but I also don’t want to take vows that I don’t even know if I’ll be able to keep. If only there was a way to devote myself to serving Love without having to leave home and make vows. A way that I don’t have to pursue money to provide for food and shelter. Sometimes I wonder if that is that even possible. That would be cool if they had a convent-like place for laity who don’t have to take vows and just be able to live a good life focused on God. Any insights?
Perhaps you could be a Deacon? Or maybe a lay minister? Or go out and preach the gospel to your friends.
In Religious Life, one does not make vows before one knows whether one should – nor does the institute for consecrated life allow you to make vows before THEY have discerned you are called to vows. And the first profession of vows are always temporary across the YEARS of discernment.
That said, have you considered The Catholic Volunteer Network? It might be along the lines of what you are seeking or may give you a lead to what you are seeking.
Your openness is admirable. Keep praying and God will lead you, even when/if it seems like you are wandering.
The call to religious life is a call to intimate union with God. Much will be asked of you, but much will also be given. Vows, far from being a frightening thing, are a chain of love. Don’t be frightened to pursue a vocation that requires one to make vows. If God is calling you to the religious life, you can be sure that, in His Providence, He has already provided the graces necessary to become a Saint.
As to religious-esque vocations that don’t require vows, I think I know two:
Opus Dei numeraries:
The Foyers of Charity (instituted by Ven. Marthe Robin and her spiritual director):
Take care and God bless!
How old are you? You have to love the Lord with all your mind and heart, with no hesitations. Son, read the parable of the rich young ruler found on Matthew 19:16-22. Avoid any distractions kiddo, and spend some time contemplating the Lord. Also, read Matthew 6:25-34.
God would never abandon you, trust him. By the way, if you don’t have any disabilities, work in the meanwhile, don’t be lazy. If you truly want to serve the Lord there can’t be any but… if… the moment you do that, realize that it is not your calling; there can’t be any conditions or excuses. Do not let fear guide you. Have a good talk with your folks, or any other of your family members.
Good luck, God bless.
Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom in your discernment.
You are doing some excellent thinking with your questions, and God is certainly working in your heart.
As you grow and mature, I recommend meditating on how the most “non-religious” of jobs can be used by God to do His work here on earth. Employees are part of a community – how we love and serve others, and set aside self, how others see us living our lives at work and outside of work – and the witness of our lives can be a powerful bit of the work of God here on earth for saving souls. Over the years of working in the same place, people really do get to know you!
There are many, many, many careers where you can very directly be the hands and feet of Christ in this life – I’m a public school teacher in an inner city school; my friend is a counselor in a homeless shelter; another friend is a nurse in a hospital; my uncle was a police officer (“to serve and protect”)… and on and on and on.
But it is not the job that determines whether we are doing the work of God here on earth, but rather how we live our lives at work at outside of work. WE are either doing the work of God or not. WE are either a witness to the gospel or not. WE are either serving Christ in others or not.
Keep praying. Keep listening. Keep questioning. God will surely keep leading your heart, because He loves you infinitely more than you could ever love Him
God bless you!
Have you looked into any of the third orders, lay apostolates, or groups like the Knights of Columbus?
A deacon makes the same promises / vows as a priest.
Do you think working is somehow not living a good life focused on God?
Happy to give you my insights Y4T. I would like to be in your shoes again. I know that i have wasted much of the time God has given me pursuing the things of the world. But ,bless God He is able to redeem the time that the devil has stolen. I want to give you wise principles based on scripture.
First of all, doing a secular job does not mean you can’t fully serve God. Jesus worked as a carpenter for many years, but He grew in Grace during that time. In everything we do, we can serve God if we know Him, but the key here is that we must know Him as fully as we can first. That is our job one according to the bible. The word says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God,and His righteousness, and then all these things will be added unto you.” This is step one (after salvation) and you have to do this first or you will not have or be in God’s will no matter how many vows you make. Most do not do this and lose out. You will have a great advantage if you do. Study the lives of great Christians. They are a source of inspiration and a model for us. St Paul did not just go out and start a ministry after he met Jesus. He first spent a few years in prayer and personal worship getting to know his savior and shepherd. He did nothing until he fully knew Jesus and the fullness of his great power toward us. Can we afford to do less? I am convinced that most Christians miss God’s perfect plan for their lives, because it depends on us to put in the work of devotion to Christ and His word first.
Secondly, the word says that we can’t serve two masters. I feel you genuinely want to serve God, know that he will test us first in how we make choices in our everyday life. Are we making Kingdom choices first or do we only look at what benefits us? We must pass the small tests first. This pleases God much more than the making of many vows.
I suggest making a thorough study of old testament saints who were types of Christ and models of faith as in Heb. 11. Also Elijah and Elishah and Jeremiah. What inspires me just as much is the lives of modern day saints. Wow, God has done just as much for them! For example, check out the testimony of one of my most favororite Christians, Heidi Baker. You will find it on You Tube. You will learn, time after time, that all you really need to do is to know God (through Jesus) and His Kingdom and He will make a place for you, because He has already planned it just for you because he love you so much and wants to give you succes and satisfaction, only not doing it our way, but His way. The bible says we are surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses” . Their testimony is a great help to us. Study them. See how God led them. He will not do less for you! Set your sites high.
Does this make sense? Let me know. There is much more.