Who should you talk to first about discernment?


#1

I’ve been discerning a call to religious life for several months now and though I am still in the beginning stages, I’m interested in becoming more active in my discernment – exploring specific orders and also becoming more involved in my parish. I would like to get a spiritual director and maybe talk to my parish priest some about this. Should I tell my parents about my possible vocation first, or is it okay to pursue this on my own for a while before I let them know I’m even thinking about it? (I’m 16, almost 17) Right now only two other people I really trust know I’m discerning.

Thanks!

~lefty22


#2

As a general principle, I wouldn't advocate that teens keep things from their parents. But depending upon your particular circumstances, perhaps there could be a reason to hold off for just a little? I would not presume to know this.

Talking to your parish priest sounds like a good first step. He will be able to point you in the right direction regarding spiritual direction and he will probably be able to address any concerns you may have about telling your parents of your possible vocation.


#3

I've not been in your position, but, first, let me say how happy I am for you. Whether you continue on, or not, at least you are conscious of God in your life. If you keep Him close to you, no matter what career you follow in life, you'll always be happy. In discerning a vocation at your age, I'd like to feel that you'd first make your parents aware of what's attracting you. Your pastor would be your next contact. He can help you discern by alerting you to the possibility of retreats or devotions that will give your mind and soul the necessary ingredients to decide. You will have time to finish high school befre pursuing a vocation, so there's no need to feel like you need to make any hasty decisions. Good luck and God bless.


#4

Considering your age, you seriously need to speak to your priest about it. He might be able to recommend a good spiritual director for you. If he can't you can always contact a couple of religious orders and ask if they provide provide spiritual direction.

Talking to your parents: I would pray about it before you do. Parents can go either way and by not knowing your parents I can't give a definitive answer. Speak to the priest about it and see what he says.

I think it is wonderful that you are considering this life, but you also need to take your time, finish school and if you can, continue to college or university to get a trade of some sort. I don't know what the end result will be, but at least by finishing your schooling, and having a trade it will help you in two ways: 1) if this is meant to be, at least you'll have some sort of training that can help the order for example if you were trained as a nurse or a teacher, accounting it would benefit many of the community based orders. 2) if this wasn't meant to be you'll have something to fall back on. The world always needs teachers and nurses and wherever you end up, at least you'll be able to find a good job somewhere. Education never goes to waste and you never know how God will use it.

As time goes on, if the calling becomes quite real, you can always contact the religious orders, see what skills they like their people to have. Until you end up joining, it's important to live your life. Date, go out, have fun (within Christian parameters) see the world, go to school, join a young people's group, get involved in the community and go to school. Some orders have young people's groups so you can always join one of those. Singles for Christ, as well as Youth for Christ which are ministries or subgroup of Couples for Christ are great groups to join because members are discerning their vocations either as single, religious or married.

At sixteen the world is open to you so don't rush it. Just take your time and enjoy the gifts that God sends.

Good Luck,
SG


#5

Your parish priest. And I would share with your parents as well.

I will be praying for you.

God bless.


#6

Thank you all for your replies.

I don't have a particularly open relationship with my parents, especially when it comes to faith. I've been making an effort to change that lately, and I told them about CAF and my correspondence with a seminarian I met on here, which they are pretty upset about, and I can't exactly say their reaction has encouraged me to be more open in the future. I honestly have no idea how they would take it; they could either be very supportive or give me a lot of trouble. I'm inclined to talk to my priest first, but I'm worried they would be really angry I didn't go to them first, not to mention it's a bit difficult to arrange a meeting without them knowing since I don't have my driver's license yet.

But maybe I should rephrase my question a little: is it wrong for me to go to my priest first, without telling my parents I'm going to? My parents will probably make me feel like it is, but is it really?

Thank you for all your help and encouragement. I appreciate it! :-)


#7

[quote="lefty22, post:6, topic:250695"]
Thank you all for your replies.

I don't have a particularly open relationship with my parents, especially when it comes to faith. I've been making an effort to change that lately, and I told them about CAF and my correspondence with a seminarian I met on here, which they are pretty upset about, and I can't exactly say their reaction has encouraged me to be more open in the future. I honestly have no idea how they would take it; they could either be very supportive or give me a lot of trouble. I'm inclined to talk to my priest first, but I'm worried they would be really angry I didn't go to them first, not to mention it's a bit difficult to arrange a meeting without them knowing since I don't have my driver's license yet.

But maybe I should rephrase my question a little: is it wrong for me to go to my priest first, without telling my parents I'm going to? My parents will probably make me feel like it is, but is it really?

Thank you for all your help and encouragement. I appreciate it! :-)

[/quote]

Hi,

NO I don't think it would be wrong. Just tell your parents you would like to talk to your priest. Tell your priest everything, and follow His counsel to a T. If he counsels you to tell your parents do it. You can never get burned by following counsel.

God bless.


#8

[quote="lefty22, post:6, topic:250695"]
Thank you all for your replies.

I don't have a particularly open relationship with my parents, especially when it comes to faith. I've been making an effort to change that lately, and I told them about CAF and my correspondence with a seminarian I met on here, which they are pretty upset about, and I can't exactly say their reaction has encouraged me to be more open in the future. I honestly have no idea how they would take it; they could either be very supportive or give me a lot of trouble. I'm inclined to talk to my priest first, but I'm worried they would be really angry I didn't go to them first, not to mention it's a bit difficult to arrange a meeting without them knowing since I don't have my driver's license yet.

But maybe I should rephrase my question a little: is it wrong for me to go to my priest first, without telling my parents I'm going to? My parents will probably make me feel like it is, but is it really?

Thank you for all your help and encouragement. I appreciate it! :-)

[/quote]

How can your parents be upset because you spoke to a priest for guidance? He's called "Father" for a good reason. If you're not confident that your parents will be pleased, then you should see a priest first. He can speak with your parents on your behalf. Good luck and God bless.


#9

[quote="Waiting, post:8, topic:250695"]
How can your parents be upset because you spoke to a priest for guidance? He's called "Father" for a good reason. If you're not confident that your parents will be pleased, then you should see a priest first. He can speak with your parents on your behalf. Good luck and God bless.

[/quote]

This is what I was going to suggest. Or you can have your parish priest be with you when you talk to your parents for support. That is one of the reasons we call him "Father", isn't it?


#10

Talk to the priest first. However, i have yet to talk to Sister that is at my church. If you have one at your church and you are a girl, talk to her. i think she would be more than willing to talk to you about the religious life and her life as a religious.

For me, my parents i was scared to tell them because i didn't know how they would react. My mom doesn't want me to be in the religious life because she wants to have grandchildren to care for but she also said that she wanted me to be happy. So, i'm a little scared myself to tell my mom that I know for a fact that God wants me to His Bride. i have no idea about my dad and last time i tried to mention it, i was nervous and the whole moment felt awkward, so i am no help you there. Sorry.


#11

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