What is my place in the church?


I'm really in a low spot mentally right now and have plenty of time to think. Which is not always a good thing, especially with the OCD. Anyhoo, I've been trying to make sense of what my vocation is, what my role is in the life of the Church, what God expects of me...that sort of thing.

I have many chronic mental and physical illnesses that keep me from working. I have periods off and on where I am physically/mentally able to do light volunteer work, but not as often as I probably should be doing I suppose. I can't pray much due to the mental problems. We can't have children due to infertility and are financially unable to adopt due to all my health care costs. If I could have kids, I KNOW what my calling would be. But things are so uncertain because that door is closed to us. I can't just go start a career, because my health won't allow it. I feel so helpless, useless. I know God doesn't make mistakes, but what on earth could my purpose in being here in such a state be? So I'm a married woman, stay at home wife, can't be a mother, can't work and so feel like I have failed in being a wife and mother, Child of God and member of the Church. I just don't know what I am supposed to be doing, or what God wants in all this. I've tried getting spiritual direction, but they don't seem to know either. :shrug: :(


You have one of the most important callings. You are part of the body of Christ. That in itself is important. By just showing your faithfulness and a way of life to others is your testimony to being Christian and Catholic. Always remember others are judging the Catholic church by your actions. Maybe they shouldn’t be, but they are.

Other things you can do.

Volunteer to work with the elderly. There are many people in nursing homes that get one visit per month if they are lucky. They are isolated from people. You can be there beacon. You don’t have to talk religion to them. That may come in time. Just be there for them.

Volunteer to help with youth instructors. Instructors always need help.

Help out at the soup kitchen. Be there for the homeless.

There has to be countless other things. Pray for ideas. You don’t have to be on your knees to pray. Close your eyes and talk to God and really listen for an answer. It may take constant prayer for days, but you will find your answer.

May God Bless you,


The most important thing you can do is offer up your sufferings for the souls in Purgatory. There is many a rich and successful businesswoman/mother in Purgatory who needs the graces that your suffering can bring them.


You are among the layity, which is one of the most important roles. We are the ones who are the true ambasadors of the faith. We’re the ones who are called upon to evangalize faith and morals, not the Bishops, Pope or Priests. They’re the ones who define these things for us, we’re the ones who have to go out in the world and tell everyone about it in a variety of ways. First and foremost, by trying to live our lives by them. The, by defending the faith when challenged, and by exhorting others to a higher standard.

If you’re married, then your ‘vocation’ is marraige, which is also very improtant. Then you have childeren and you are responcible for forming the next generation of Catholics. There is no unimportant part of the Church!


I realized this, but I think you didn’t read my post very clearly. Yes, my vocation is marriage, but we are infertile and can’t have children. :frowning: Right now we are completely unable to adopt also. So we don’t have the “normal” vocation of marriage (getting married, having and raising children in the faith, helping with grandchildren later in life, etc.) so to speak. We won’t be having children for the Church. While we are open to live in our marriage, we physically can’t be involved in the procreative aspect of marriage. We can’t be fruitful in the normal way so we must figure out other ways to be fruitful. :shrug:


Thank you Oblaidon and jmcrae : your posts were beautiful and very helpful. :)


That doesn’t make marriage less of a vocation. In fact, chronic illness, both mental and physical, add a lot of stress to a marriage. You have a challenge with this, and can be an example to others.

Even with mental health problems, praying as much as possible is a great thing.

I’m glad you found a couple of helpful posts.


Hi Convert in 99 I am so sorry you are feeling sad and unsure of your vocation to God.You are called to laity.You are a wife and have been a child, sibling and so forth.Now your calling is to pray.Pray, pray, pray,that is the most important work you can ever do.
Religious orders spend a large amount of their time praying!
If you can pray as much as you can all day every day for all Gods children you are doing a lot to help your brothers and sisters all over the world! Now thats an AMAZING calling!
God bless you


I would like to second what tbcrawford and Oblaidon had to say - prayer does more than anything else to bring about the Kingdom of God. You have been given a more difficult calling than most, but one of the most important things Jesus taught us is that suffering has merit if we unite our sufferings to his. When you give of yourself in volunteer work, after contending with your own illness. you are performing an amazing act of charity! And certainly God is made very happy by that and he will repay that by working the sorts of saving miracles that only he can!

So pray, and be the best witness for Christ that you can be, just as all of us are called to do - but take comfort knowing that God knows your suffering, he hears your prayers, and he will do marvelous things in answer to those prayers.

I’ll be keeping you in my prayers - please pray for me as well!


your vocation is the most difficult and the most essential to the life of the Church which is to offer yourself and your sufferings up daily in union with Christ for the Church. More active people have in many ways an easier time of taking up their daily cross because they can see clearly a specific task or duty, and then do it. It is much harder when you don’t know what the duty is only that you must give yourself, in all that you are and all that you experience each moment. This requires merely an act of the will verbalized or mentally each day, and throughout the day in response to each new challenge.

Most of all pray when you can, and pray as you can. When you cannot pray, simply remain present with and to God and ask the Holy Spirit to take over. When–and this happens to everyone at times–your mind and senses cannot even express this desire, just be in the presence of God. There will by times you cannot even conciously make this act of the will, but you will do it often enough in the times you can pray that this will become the state into which you enter.

Some of you are blessed to learn this reality of prayer and suffering united with Christ early in life, some of us have to do this learning curve in old age, but we all come to this, the most perfect form of prayer–giving to God all that we cannot do with our bodies, minds and wills.


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