When Catholics try to push you into taking up a vocation?


#1

When Catholics try to push you into taking up a vocation, are they doing it for themselves or for the individual ?

Is it for the sake of the catholic community advantage or for the individual’s advantage?

The community gains but does the individual gain from taking up a vocation?

Obviously taking up an oath to vocations is not an easy thing to do, so it’s a false premise for a vocation if people are saying 'oh you’ll be a great such and such"… why don’t you take up a religious life?

Why are they doing it (persuading) me into religious life, I’ve only said I thought about it. I know the implications and I know what I am like ( a vacillator).

In the end, I am culpable, don’t they know this?


#2

I had a lot of it too.

I think much of it comes from the fact that they see a good religious in you …it’s just a possible harmless observation.

Also, many people need a welcome or since many don’t receive it at home…an invitation to at least consider and look (which everyone should do anyway).

God bless


#3

A vocation to Priesthood or the Religious life is a vocation, a call from God.
No one has the right to guilt anyone else into a vocation.
Many people give it some thought. That doesn't mean they're called.
It's a huge commitment, and for life.
I hope you find a useful and polite way to silence these people.
If they persist with their insistence, in the end you might be justified in asking politely if they realize that they may be intrusive and rude. :eek:
If you are called or not is between you and God. You need time and space to consider...and some of the most unlikely persons are called, not necessarily the ones whom others think would be perfect.


#4

[quote="Francie3, post:3, topic:332212"]
A vocation to Priesthood or the Religious life is a vocation, a call from God.
No one has the right to guilt anyone else into a vocation.
Many people give it some thought. That doesn't mean they're called.
It's a huge commitment, and for life.
I hope you find a useful and polite way to silence these people.
If they persist with their insistence, in the end you might be justified in asking politely if they realize that they may be intrusive and rude. :eek:
If you are called or not is between you and God.

[/quote]

I would also add that on the whole, people mean well. But as in everything there are people who have trouble respecting other people's boundaries and can be "fanatic".

It is perfectly ok to politely request persistent inquirers to respect your privacy and refrain from asking questions that are essentially between you and God. If they are not willing to do that, you have a responsibility to protect your privacy and spiritual discernment and minimize contact with these individuals.


#5

Everyone has a vocation.

vo·ca·tion

/vōˈkāSHən/
Noun

A strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation.
A person's employment or main occupation, esp. regarded as particularly worthy and requiring great dedication.

Synonyms
calling - profession - occupation - trade - metier

Some people have a religious vocation. God speaks to us through many ways, sometimes it is our friends and family. If someone is persistently mentioning a religious vocation to you, take a little bit of time for discernment, it may be that is how God is getting the message to you.

If after serious contemplation on the matter you have truly decided not to pursue such a vocation, then let the person know.


#6

Nobody should force or pressure another into a vocational choice. That being said, however, it is often a compliment if someone thinks you're "vocation material".

You can be very firm with people when they start telling you they think you should be this, that, or the other thing. I suspect many of them never made an informed vocational decision themselves. When they think in terms of men= priesthood/marriage or women= nuns/marriage, they obviously have not done their due diligence insofar as vocational discernment is concerned. You can't just leave out major vocations such as religious brotherhood (which is superior to the priesthood state-wise), diocesan hermit life, consecrated virginity (for women), or secular institutes and think you can do a good job telling others what to choose.


#7

[quote="Seaborgium, post:1, topic:332212"]
Why are they doing it (persuading) me into religious life, I've only said I thought about it. I know the implications and I know what I am like ( a vacillator).

In the end, I am culpable, don't they know this?

[/quote]

What would you like people to say, when you say that you have thought or are thinking of the priesthood?

They really only have three options. (Of course there are other options, but these are the major ones.)

1)Ignore what you have said. To me that seems rude. :shrug:

2)Tell you that you would be awful. :eek:

3)Tell you that you would be great. :thumbsup:


#8

If you told someone that you are interested in the idea, perhaps they are attempting to be supportive?


#9

[quote="Seaborgium, post:1, topic:332212"]
When Catholics try to push you into taking up a vocation, are they doing it for themselves or for the individual ?
Is it for the sake of the catholic community advantage or for the individual's advantage?
The community gains but does the individual gain from taking up a vocation?
Obviously taking up an oath to vocations is not an easy thing to do, so it's a false premise for a vocation if people are saying 'oh you'll be a great such and such"... why don't you take up a religious life?
Why are they doing it (persuading) me into religious life, I've only said I thought about it. I know the implications and I know what I am like ( a vacillator).
In the end, I am culpable, don't they know this?

[/quote]

Some parents try to steer their kids into specific careers--doctor, lawyer, priest, etc-- because it's what* they* want for themselves for various reasons...sometimes for prestige or they feel money is most important.
Sometimes they do feel they know best for their kid, but they don't always.

Ever see the film Saturday Night Fever? A classic.
There's a very touching scene--the writer took it from a real life moment--when the elder son leaves the priesthood and explains to John Travolta's character that he felt pressured by their parents to go into a religious vocation even though part of him deep down inside didn't feel it was right for him.
He says something like:
"They had dreams of pious glory. They turn you into what they wish at the time. You can't defend yourself against their fantasies. All I ever really had any belief in was their image of me as a priest..."
Their parents felt somehow that if he was a priest, he further says, it made their family holier than others. But their pushing ended up backfiring.

If you are feeling pressure from your own parents or others, I'd suggest you let them know straight that you are not certain of what you are going to do yet and you still have much looking around and experiencing to do first and...to please...ease up! :)

.


#10

Being over insistent can be bad but one must not be afraid of a push, you never know if God is using them to tell you, especially when it is lots of different people over a period of time.

Most people need a personal invitation to pursue a vocation and that can come from anyone so people are often aware that they might be the one person who sees it. As in all things people can be "too much" just be patient with them the best answer for them I find is "I am discerning" or 2I am praying about it" that will often get them to step back but do discern and pray.


#11

It probably depends on the intentions of the person asking you. And of course they will always say it’s to help you. I think it has to do with parents unwilling to raise their children or grandchildren with a genuine interest in the priesthood or other religious life. They then feel compelled to guide other people’s children to a religious vocation.

From my own experience it always seems to be people who are not ordained or not in a religious community who seem to ask more. They also assume because I’m almost 30 and I don’t have a girlfriend that I’m a good candidate for the priesthood. Of course they don’t realize how many years of studying is needed to become a priest and I’m definitely not going back to school unless it’s for my doctorate. I definitely know I’m not called to the priesthood or other religious life, but conveying that to others is not always the easiest thing to do. I tell them it’s not for me and they respond with the question how do you know? Or are you sure? Those are very condescending questions, as if they may know my life better than myself. If I’m feeling spiteful I’ll respond with, “When the Catholic Church allows priests to have wives, I’ll get married and become a priest.” That usually ruffles feathers.


#12

Everybody has a vocation....and the common denominator of all our vocations is to live a life of love.

If people are saying they think you have a religious vocation you should keep an open mind about it. In the long run it may be the best fit for you.


#13

Why not say something to the effect that I’m praying that I might know God’s vocation for me would you quietly pray for me as well.


#14

If you’re young and active in church, you will definitely hear comments like “Oh, you’d make such a good priest/nun!” It’s mostly the older generations who would say this. Perhaps back then, that was the only option. If you’re young and have a zeal and love for God, you became a priest or a religious. Now, of course, we have other options, with a variety of ministries and lay orders that allows us to be active in the secular world as well.


#15

It's a strange thing, to be honest. I think people are just trying, generally, to make a sincere observation. I personally have found out it's actually terrible for vocations; people who don't feel incline try to force themselves through seminary and people who do have vocations don't want to face it because of the pressure other's put on them (myself included).


#16

I agree that sometimes, if you're young and active in parish life, people will suggest a religious / priestly vocation on that basis alone. that said, sometimes people can see things in us that we can't see (or don't appreciate) ourselves. The encouragement / suggestion of others can also been a sign from God - I recall one woman in my former parish turning to me, after one of our priests announced that he leaving the parish, and telling me that she thought I would make a good priest. So far so young person in a parish - expect that I didn't really know this woman except to say hello (at that). I'm fairly sure that people know that the qualities of a good priest go beyond simply showing up to mass! So this woman's comment really struck me. Admittedly, this wasn't the first time somebody had said something like that to me. Earlier in my vocational discernment, I'd wonder how they knew what I was thinking or dismiss it as well-meaning but uninformed (long the lines of "they don't really know me..."). As I went on however, I learned to listen to these comments and not just dismiss them out of hand - granted they may be nothing, but on the other hand, the person making them may actually be on to something...


#17

From the tone of your post, I'm getting the sense that perhaps you wish someone in your life would say to you: "Discerning a vocation certainly is a complex process of exploring, owning and honoring the depths of your heart, but only you can ultimately know what's best for yourself. I'll support you in whatever you ultimately decide. If you ever need a neutral sounding board to 'think out loud' to so you can better hear your own inner wisdom speaking to you while you examine your potential calling to a consecrated life, I'd be happy to simply listen without trying to persuade or dissuade you in any way."


#18

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