Vocations? What's that?


#1

Hello everyone.

My name is Daniel.
I am 25 years old.
I have dated exactly 1 girls in my entire life and I never courted anyone. I have gone on retreats, discernment trips, and other stuff. My spiritual director told me I should concentrate on doing God’s Will every day and that by loving Him He would manifest Himself to what vocation I should follow.

I have never been in love with anyone. Although I have felt attracted wih some women, they were not Christian women. I can’t seem to be attracted to Christian women.

I have thought about becoming a priest and I like philosophy as well as religion, but my spirit director says that I need more than that to really overcome what it entails.

I have thought about other vocations but never felt any “pull” towards any.

Why don’t I feel a “Vocation”?
What should I do?

Am I supposed to be waiting all my life?

Hug,
Daniel


#2

I think it's quite normal to not feel a 'pull' as such to any particular vocation. I've always heard that associated with religious life rather than vocations such as marriage. I've never felt that calling, I considered religious life at one point but I do not believe God is calling me that path. Think about in what path could you serve God best, what you are inclined to and what you enjoy.

For me personally, I look at 1 Corinthians 7:8-9
"To the unmarried and to widows I say: it is good for them to stay as they are, like me. But if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry, since it is better to be married than to be burnt up."
If I were to enter religious life I know I would be, in the words of St. Paul, "burnt up". So I believe I am called to be married, not just for this reason but because when I think of a future where I am married with children I long for it and can see a life of faith in that.

And remember, sometimes looking too hard blinds us to what is right infront of us.


#3

Have you discerned deacons, brothers, etc.?

It would be good if you could spend some time with Religious and with good, holy Catholic families to get an idea of their lives. It will help your discernment.


#4

I once, when I was in my early 20s, asked a priest why I had no real understanding of what I was called to. I was very let down by it all. I remember the priest said, "maybe that is your calling - to not know where you are called. But to just keep seeking all your life."

Ok, so the validity of that answer is debatable. He was well intentioned I am sure, but I think he had a point.

I think some of us God works with in different ways. He just wants us to trust Him to lead wherever He wants to lead us. In the end, He has the plan. He knows where He is leading and what He is calling us to. Maybe He just wants some of us to search longer, and wait longer, so we will appreciate it more. Who knows? It is all in His hands. I guess we just have to keep waiting, asking, and above all, trusting.

Maybe it keeps us humble too. I know it sure does one on me when I see young women in the religious life and I am just astounded at how they did that when they were so young.

Keep trusting and just let yourself be led. :)


#5

Perhaps you might find these pamphlets from an Irish Jesuit called Fr William Doyle helpful? They certainly helped thousands of people with their vocation in the early part of the 20th Century.

fatherdoyle.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/vocations.pdf

fatherdoyle.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/shall-i-be-a-priest.pdf


#6

Have you really been immersed in what the life can be like for married, Religious, Holy Orders, Third Order, etc.? Once you really see the love and joy they radiate, it draws you to want to know more and want that for yourself.


#7

I think the main point is that I'm not a very self centered person....

I don't mean I don't take care of myself, I mean that I don't really care about myself.

There are only 2 things (mundane) I value over anything else: knowledge and being with people.

Knowledge is mostly an understanding of the world, and being with people is what I mostly look for in my everyday life.

I don't know why but all of the Vocations I know seem to deppend on a certain "rigidity" that I feel uncomfortable with for myself. I've always been free to go out with whomever I feel like, to go on trips, to talk to strangers about the most crazy subjects (even when I was 6...) and I feel that a Vocation means that I will have to be attached to something: to an order, to a woman, to a parish, to a place... etc.

It's not that I'm completely unambitious, I certainly think that my job and everything I do can get better and can better help mankind, but I never look at my job as the source of "x" income. The number in and of itself isn't important to me, it has more to do with impact, and the whole of Humanity.

I would be miserable if I'd work filling papers for the rest of my life in a clerk job...

The thing it pains me the most is exactly not being able to find a path. I'm just so spontaneous that I can't plan over 1 month ahead. A good example was when I was doing my exams for college: I didn't know where and what I wanted to do, so I found myself going to different parishes to invite people for a youngsters' meeting about Unity even on the eve of my Physics exam. I was thinking about being a Philosopher but my parents told me I'd be stuck as a teacher. I was thinking about going for Applied Mathematics and Physics (Astronomy) but my parents told me I'd be stuck in the Unviersity. I was thinking about going for Physics Engineering (new course) but everyone said "go to Telecommunications, it has Physics and math and stuff"...
It's not that I don't like what I did, because every aspect of Knowledge is to help Humanity but I'm always thinking if I did the right choice.

I like to read a lot. Specially philosophy books. I also study Music because, let's face it, Music is fascinating knowledge.

I have imagined myself as a priest, a husband, a father, a monk, a missionary and even a hermit and the only thing I know for sure is that I wouldn't like to be a hermit =D

Most of the people in my family ask me when am I going to get a girlfriend, or join a seminary and I always feel sad for not being able to follow a clear path.

What will become of me?

Hugs,
Daniel


#8

[quote="dskysmine, post:1, topic:232476"]

I have never been in love with anyone. Although I have felt attracted wih some women, they were not Christian women. I can't seem to be attracted to Christian women.

[/quote]

Lack of attraction towards Christian women is hardly a prerequisite to join a Catholic vocation.


#9

I told my spiritual director that when I look at a Christian girl all I can see is a saint that I’m not supposed to have attraction to. He said that it is probably a defense mechanism I created in my teen years to protect against impurity because I’ve always dealt with Christian girls.

Maybe there’s something wrong with me. :x


#10

I totally agree with your spiritual director. Focus on growing in prayer, abandonment, and loving God. God knows what He wants of you.


#11

That sounds like a reasonable suggestion to be honest. But there’s nothing wrong with you, it’s just the way you’ve learnt to see things. Though remember that the Christian values of these girls is exactly why you should be attracted to them! Moral integrity and purity and love for God are amazing qualities. I know you’ve experienced the situation where being with someone who doesn’t share your values can cause innumerable problems. If you find someone who shares your values you can share and support each other in your faith and purity.

Another point, and I hope I don’t seem like I’m prying here, but from the experiences you’ve shared before, is it possible you are somewhat attracted to the idea of a ‘project’ - like ‘missionary dating’?
(I hope this suggestion doesn’t offend you)


#12

I really can’t control whom I feel attracted to…

I don’t understand the “project” idea…
What do you mean?


#13

[quote="dskysmine, post:12, topic:232476"]
I really can't control whom I feel attracted to...

I don't understand the "project" idea...
What do you mean?

[/quote]

Like the idea of having someone who you feel you can help, like finding someone who's faith is poor or doesn't have faith and trying to help them and fix their problems. Which is an amazing thing to want to do, but isn't necessarily the best thing to base a relationship on.


#14

I would highly encourage you to read St. Francis de Sales, particularly "Finding God's Will for You." Can't recommend St. Francis de Sales enough for discerning a 'vocation.' I know that a lot of priests say that they did not neccessarily feel a specific 'call'. It took a lot of time, patience and prodding by God before they even entered a seminary, let alone became a priest. It may sound strange, but wait to be 'nagged' by God for your calling. Spend ALOT of time in adoration, sitting and listening in quiet and peace for God to speak to you. Don't force it..... just let Him come to you. God bless!


#15

@PerfectTiming,

I don't really think that is so.
I deal with all sorts of people. Believers and not believers. I do like helping people, but not for a relationship that would lead to marriage. I help men and women alike and I don't think marriage has anything to do with a man being the knight in shiny armor.

@wild thing,
Although I do like to pray, I don't have much time to spend in Adoration (check my thread about time in the Back fence). I will try to find that book you mentioned. I also think that the better way to Love God is by using it for others and not myself.

Hugs,
Daniel


#16

Hello everyone...

I have been having a strange couple of days and this night I was a bit caught by surprise.
The last time I spoke with my spiritual director I was told that the first thing I need to be sure of is what kind of vocation would better suit me considering my emotional history and affective needs.

This lent the Pope mentioned that we should really spend the Easter Triduum in prayer so I saw it fit to do it as much as I could.

After this Thursday Mass after I finished preparing everything for the Friday Celebration (I'm an altar boy in my parish) I wanted to spend a little time in adoration. I went to the little room where we put the Holy Eucharist and stood there. I really wanted to ask what was I supposed to do with my life. I've never felt this strong a wish to understand what is my vocation. There were only a dozen people with me. Our priest was there with us.
I was the only young person there. The priest started reading out loud from a book that John Paul II wrote about Easter and the meaning of Jesus' Sacrifice. I started to listen to what he was saying. After a while he started making a few requests and finished with a "It is Your 'fault' that we need more priests... people all around the World ask You for more priests. You have to convince our young that Your path is The Path to Salvation".
After he finished another man from the Charismatic Movement started talking out loud about the good that Jesus was for each and everyone. He finished his speech with a request for God to protect our priests, deacons and seminarists who are so precious.
After that an old blind lady started talking out loud about her. She said that Jesus knew about her pains and miseries and that everyone only wanted to feel His Love but even she didn't want nothing more than to know that everyone on Earth to know about Him and that the youth should stop being so selfish and dedicate themselves to God.

At this point I was practically in tears...
This blind lady particularly moved me and I couldn't even pretend to pay attention to what the others began saying afterwards... I really felt my heart falling in a bottomless pit.
Was I being selfish for not becoming a priest that seems to be what everyone wants me to be?

15 minutes later we finished the prayers because it was already Friday (almost 00h30).
My heart was beating so fast that I thought to myself "I have to speak to the priest". I asked him 2 minutes... he told me to come back the next day.

I went home in the freezing cold with a tear coming down my face.

The next morning I only woke up at noon because my parents turned off my alarm for me to sleep (I mentioned in another thread that I usually sleep 5-6 hours per day during the week). I was told that we were supposed to go to their godson's birthday. He is a nice young man. It was his 18th birthday. His mother didn't have enough time to make a fish recipe for the birthday so they only had chicken for the lunch.
I ended up only eating potato chips and codfish patties because I didn't want to eat meat.
Since I ate a couple of his desserts I tried not to eat anything else during the day but after 20h30 I ended up eating some bread with cheese they had in the table.

At 15h00 we went to the Holy Friday Celebration in their parish (I had substitutes in my parish for the altar service). I felt again a heavy heart when I got there. It was a seminary and there was a priest with my age there. The Celebration was very peaceful and when I kissed the cross all I felt was a very deep cold in my lips. When the Celebration was over I stayed behind to pray. The Cross was wooden and very beautiful. I was even amazed at the art in it. As I reminded myself of Jesus' Words I thought to myself: "He suffered so much for me... but He already knew that was His Path... why is it so hard for me to find my own?"

When I got home after the party I had a skype meeting that lasted until midnight because we had to arrange some things for a youth meeting here in Portugal.

After that I went on facebook to check how everyone was doing. There weren't a lot of news, a couple of birthdays of some of my friends, some people wrote a few words on what they felt the Easter was for them. I felt like I needed to say something so I wrote:
"How many lives were touched by Your sacrifice?
I was just looking to spend some time with You but You wanted something more from me.
I waited as he spoke about his wishes for a better world...
Whispered while she hummered a little prayer...
Wondered what to say to such requests...
Everyone wants You in their lives.
Everyone wants nothing more than You.
You didn't answer, but You listened to each and everyone.

What to do now?
Should I give myself?
Should they be right?
Do you really want me?
Am I anything but a shadow?

You stood there but a shadow of Your Glory... but Your Glory was all there.
I don't understand what this means. I'm lost.
Do you really want me?
Do you really want me?

... Totus Tuus.
Your cross is my way wherever You want to lead me.
"I am the Way and the Truth and the Life".
Daniel Maria"


#17

It was almost 2am. I ended going to bed at 2:30. Then "it" happened.
In the last year I have tried to get closer to God not just through prayer and adoration but also in purity of mind and acts. I stopped masturbating. This night I had a very strange dream. I know I was dressed in white and I was in a van with a couple of men also dressed in white. It was dark and we were getting to a crossroad. After we got to the crossroad we got hit by a very intense light. I woke up only to see myself covered in semen. It was 4h50... I tried to remember how did this happen if I didn't remember anything erotic about my dream. The only thing that came to my mind was "2. 3." and "gays"....
I don't know how to explain any better. I really don't. I went to wash myself and I thought to myself "why?"....

I woke up 5 hours ago and I needed to share this with someone. I need to make some sense of this. I don't know what this all means.

In case if you are wondering if anything changed in my usual routine (I think I mentioned it in a thread in back fence) the only thing that changed was my exercise because I used to go jogging for 1 hour more or less every day but it wasn't lowering my weight as much as I wanted to so I end up doing a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) that makes us run for only 30 minutes but with high intensity peaks. It breaks us up completely and then when the muscle restores it spends much more energy, so we end up losing more weight.

I wanted to talk to my spiritual director about this but he's busy this weekend and I don't know if I should go to confession or something before I go to Easter Vigil tonight.

Can anyone help me?

God bless,
Daniel


#18

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