A book from 1897 on “Vocations Explained”, which bears a Nihil Obstat, and also bears an Imprimatur by the then Archbishop of New York, states the following:
Q. What is to be said of those who, having opportunities, give this subject little or no thought?
A. We answer with St. Alphonsus: “In the world this doctrine of vocation is not much considered by some persons. They think that it is all the same whether they live in the state to which God calls them, or in that which they choose of their own inclinations; and therefore so many live bad lives and damn themselves. But it is certain that this is the principal point with regard to the acquisition of eternal life. He who disturbs this order, and breaks this chain of salvation, shall not be saved.”
(available at: gutenberg.org/files/31311/31311-h/31311-h.htm) (Emphasis added.)
If one chooses to become set in a vocation/state-of-life (becoming married, or taking Holy Orders, or taking monastic vows) without absolute certainty that one is called to that vocation, does that person commit mortal sin or any sin?
If they become set in a state of life while having conflicting desires or affections for different aspects of different vocations, do they commit mortal sin or any sin?
How much certainty is required of one’s vocation before one can heavily pursue or become set in a state of life?
I have not found any authority contrary to the statement made above, and so am concerned that by improper evaluation of vocation, or by misunderstanding or poor discernment of inclinations or ‘tugs’, heavily pursuing any one state of life to the exclusion of others would be to put myself at risk of mortal sin or some sin. (Confession of which would require contrition for the very choice I would have made to enter a vocation, which would be difficult, to sincerely confess and apologize and be regretful for becoming married, or becoming a priest, or becoming a monk).
(On the other hand, I am almost entirely certain of what state of life I personally want, but apparently (from the quote above) following our own inclinations is problematic.)
Any assistance with these questions, or contrary authority (not merely the quote of a Saint (unless that Saint is a Bishop or Pope), but rather something with at least an Imprimatur) to the quote above would be appreciated!