Poll

If single, are you considering or have you discerned a religious vocation (to Priesthood, Religious Life as a Monk or Nun)?

I have not seriously considered a vocation up till now, but am open to doing so.
1 (11.1%)
I have considered it, and discerned that I am called to a vocation.
3 (33.3%)
I have considered it, but discerned I am not called to a vocation.
2 (22.2%)
I am not interested in discerning a vocation.
1 (11.1%)
Other (please explain)
2 (22.2%)

Total Members Voted: 9

Author Topic: To single Catholics: are you discerning or have you discerned a Vocation?  (Read 508 times)

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Offline XavierSem

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Dear friends, among the single, what can we do here on CI to better promote discernment of vocations to religious life? Some Saints have said 1 of every 3rd child has a vocation! In the Great Double Novena, Jesus expressly promises to those who make it, "Many young will be called to religious life, including the Priesthood." An incredible and very true Promise. A very holy Priest, the late Fr. Barielle, SSPX vocations director for many years, has an excellent article on vocation discernment here. https://sspx.org/en/do-i-have-vocation%E2%80%94foreword Have you considered or are considering a vocation? If married, are your children considering it? :)

"Fr. Barrielle was spiritual director for St. Pius X Seminary in Econe, chosen for this extremely important role by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Founder of the Society of St. Pius X.

In this work dedicated to St. Joseph, patron of vocations, Fr. Barrielle explains the basic principles of Catholic doctrine concerning a religious vocation. He wrote the booklet in 1967, at a time when the fruits of Vatican II were not yet clear, and accordingly he references the council documents. After all, the documents of the Council say many things that are traditional, but many other statements are couched in ambiguous terms that can be—and have been—taken in several senses. It was the outrageous exploitation of these terms, above all, that has made for the destruction of the modern day Church and the plunge in the number of those answering the call of a vocation. Once Fr. Barrielle perceived this dangerous trend, he refused to participate in the destruction of the Church and allied himself with the SSPX.

Do I have a vocation? - Ch. 1

Here we speak  of the particular Vocation by which God calls one to a higher state of life. Man renounces the world in order to give himself totally to God and binds himself to the observance of the evangelical councils. It is to this higher state of life that one generally reserves the word “Vocation” in its strict sense.

“The Fathers most strongly exhort those who are preparing for the sacred ministry to develop a keen awareness that the hopes of the Church and the salvation of souls are being committed to them.”
(Vatican II – Optatam Totius n. 22)

Everyone is called to Sanctity, to Salvation: “the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory in Christ Jesus,” says St. Peter (1 Pet. 5:10). We do not speak here of the vocation of every man to Salvation, but of the particular Vocation by which God calls one to a higher state of life. There, beyond the observance of the commandments of God, a man renounces the world in order to give himself totally to God and binds himself to the observance of the evangelical councils. It is to this higher state of life that one generally reserves the word “Vocation” in its strict sense.

Troubling questions

"Am I called by God to a state of life of perfection rather than to live in the world?"
"Do I have a vocation?"
“Can I? Should I give myself totally to God?”
Here we have a question which has troubled many generous souls.

It even happens that consecrated souls, in the face of temptations or of the “demon of midday,” are troubled and ask themselves: “Am I following the right path? Was I not mistaken in entering the Seminary? the Convent?”

And the devil profits from this to confuse, trouble, and discourage these souls by scruples: “Who knows if...? Am I following the right path?” etc…

Both in order to make clear for the young people who, standing on the threshold of their adult lives, pose this incalculably important question to themselves: “Do I have a vocation?”, as well as for troubled souls who are already in the religious life, we are going to consider the question head on. The first point to consider is:

There are more vocations than one thinks.
God has always given the world the vocations it has needed:

“In no time and in no place can one think that God does not provide for the needs of the Church and, as in the past, that He does not call to Himself innumerable batallions of receptive adolescents, in their generosity, their strength, their integrity, their purity, to obey the voice of Christ and have the desire to devote themselves to the Church…” (Pope Paul VI, Allocution to the Congress of Priestly Vocations, Dec. 3, 1966).

If all those who had been called by God would have responded, the world would already be converted. But we must consider:

Those who were not born! What a joy and glory for those large families from which God has chosen so many elite vocations: a little Thérèse (ninth child), a St. Ignatius (eleventh), a St. Francis Xavier (thirteenth), a St. Catherine of Siena (twenty-fourth!). Without rashly judging individual cases … what a shame if Madame Martin had refused to bear her ninth child! The world should not have St. Thérèse of Lisieux!

There are the only children... adored... they are not accustomed to sacrifices. And then, a family for which God is not God, is not proper soil for vocations!

There is that monstrosity of an education where God and His Christ are continually made an abstraction. This is a fact many times verified and besides proclaimed by those who have engineered atheistic teaching, i.e. teaching which willfully excludes speaking of God, His Revelation, the Divinity of Jesus Christ and our duties toward Him, and so on. There is nothing better than this for drying up a vocation in a man (and much more for women).

Lastly there are those who feel the call, but do not wish to answer it.

Vatican II proclaims in its “Declaration on Religious Liberty”:

“The rights of parents are violated if the children are constrained to attend classes which do not correspond to the religious conviction of the parents, or if one imposes a unique method of education from which religious formation is completely excluded.”

But when young Christians are given a Christian upbringing, vocations flourish, are numerous and strong.

Vatican II (Lumen Gentium) reminds parents that

“Parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each of them, fostering with special care any religious vocation.”

Men who understand this, as did St. John Bosco and St. Alphonsus Liguori, say: “In general, for every three children, there is one vocation!” That is more or less what Paul VI said above: “God calls innumerable batallions.”

Misconceptions about a vocation

Some believe that, in order to have a vocation, one must have an attraction to it. There are some, however, who do not have the attraction and yet have the vocation. And there are others who desire a vocation and yet, quite clearly, are far from having one, because they do not have the required dispositions.

Others imagine that one must one day hear a little voice inside which says: “Come!”

Still others forget that there are many diverse vocations. I knew a priest who was not able to continue with the Chartreux (a strict monastic order) because of poor health, but who became a very holy diocesan priest, a holy vicar, a holy country pastor, and who died the curé (parish priest) of a cathedral with a true renown for sanctity.

There are some vocations which require health or intelligence beyond the norm. Alternately, there are vocations which, in requiring a great love of God, can befit a candidate with delicate health or no instruction (e.g. the humble lay brother and porter who became St. Pascal Baylon) ...
Do make Acts of Consecration to the Twin Hearts, Spiritual Offerings of the Precious Blood of Jesus in Union with the Holy Mass, like in St. Gertrude's Chaplet, along with Spiritual Communions at least every hour. The Saints say Spiritual Communions are a way to quickly advance to Union with God.

Offline Seraphina

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  • Voted "Other, "so I'll explain.  Had there been any exposure to the true faith after age 7, I feel reason able sure I'd have joined a missionary order of sisters, probably teaching or doing medical work among the needy. The rapid changes after Vatican II squelched all my interest.  I went to mass weekly and on holy days to please my parents.  When I left home at 17, I quit going to church.  It was after a year of seeing chaotic mayhem and srlf-inflicted misery among my college peers and professors, that I recognized liberal shite for what it was.  I searched quite literally for the Truth for nearly three decades that I "discovered" Tradition ate 49.  
    Since I never married  or had children I had to learn the Faith from the bottom up  like a child.  Now  I'm 63, been on  my own, supporting myself and needy family members, I would no longer be suited to an even semi-cloistered life.
    In my case, I do consider my work with special needs children a vocation of sorts, also being a single Traditional woman living on her own in the world.


    Offline Matthew

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  • Your poll is weak. Probably because it's so subjective. I'm seeing a pattern here with you - subjective - emotions.

    What does "discern" a vocation mean?

    You completely blur the line between subjective (your opinion, feelings) and objective (the will of the Seminary Rector, Mother Superior, etc.)

    Your vague "discern a vocation" could mean anything from thinking about a vocation for a few minutes one Sunday afternoon, all the way up to spending years at a seminary, monastery, or convent -- or even more than one!

    Quite a difference there, don't you think?

    Likewise, "discern I don't have a vocation" can easily be a human mistake -- but when you are actively dismissed from a seminary, monastery, or convent -- even repeatedly -- that carries much more weight.

    Just saying.
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    Offline Brunitix

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  • Voted other becuase I am at the moment conserning and discerning my vocation and what God wills of me. As a young recent convert and a young men I have many doubts and concerns

    Offline Markus

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  • Don't forget the single vocation. :)


    Offline XavierSem

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  • Quote from: Markus
    Don't forget the single vocation.
    It's my understanding that single life in the world (as opposed to in religious life under superiors, with the holy vows of poverty, obedience and chastity) is a vocation of consecrated life only when one has vowed to remain single for love of God. Is that correct? Anyone has sources to check and confirm. My understanding comes from Sacra Virginitas of Pope Pius XII, especially this part, "Nor do we extol virgins because they are virgins, but because they are virgins dedicated to God in loving continence."[19] And the masters of Sacred Theology, St. Thomas Aquinas[20] and St. Bonaventure,[21] supported by the authority of Augustine, teach that virginity does not possess the stability of virtue unless there is a vow to keep it forever intact. And certainly those who obligate themselves by perpetual vow to keep their virginity put into practice in the most perfect way possible what Christ said about perpetual abstinence from marriage; nor can it justly be affirmed that the intention of those who wish to leave open a way of escape from this state of life is better and more perfect." and this book by Rev. Fr. Unger https://www.tanbooks.com/index.php/mystery-of-love-for-the-single.html which confirms and elaborates on it. Your thoughts?

    Quote
    Voted other becuase I am at the moment conserning and discerning my vocation and what God wills of me.
    Wonderful, Brunitix. Do you go to SSPX? Resistance? At any rate, you can either speak to your Priest after Mass or Confession, or write him an email and visit your nearest priory. I did both. There, you can speak to him about your concerns and attempts at discernment and ask his help. They will be very helpful and friendly in my experience and opinion and the goal is not to impose anything on you but help you discern God's will for your life, as you said. Religious Life is a very great calling, and many more are called then we think. Give it a try!

    Quote from: Matthew
    Your poll is weak. Probably because it's so subjective. I'm seeing a pattern here with you - subjective - emotions.
    Matthew, perhaps there could be one or two more options. But I did add other at the end, and I think discernment does not in any way exclude the guidance of Superiors in that discernment, rather it presupposes all possible guidance. Internal guidance from God in prayer, and external guidance from Superiors and the Church. Yes, I could have added, Superiors chose otherwise etc as more options. (I don't think it's subjective to emphasize discernment).

    We say, discern a vocation, because as we know, all who wish to serve God must not try to take it upon himself or herself to enter of their own will, but only when, after careful discernment, they believe they are called by God. St. Paul says, "Neither doth any man take the honour to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was." and of course the word vocation comes from the Latin vocatur in this text. (Heb 5:4) Man must be called, and among those who are called, as the Lord says, not all are chosen. We know that and we know whatever God wills for each of us individually is where we each ought to be. But objectively, religious life is a higher calling and thus I wish we would all do more to encourage all those who may be called by God to enter. Sometimes vocations are lost because no one stressed the importance of it. Saints say sometimes if a person is called to a religious life and a state of perfection but does not follow it, he or she may lose his or her soul in the world. The example they give is that of the rich young man in the Gospel who did so. That is so for some, not all. Thankfully. But still it is an obligation to discern.

    Quote from: Seraphina
    In my case, I do consider my work with special needs children a vocation of sorts, also being a single Traditional woman living on her own in the world.

    Seraphina, that's a wonderful and noble thing you're doing. Thanks for sharing the story of your life. Have you ever tried reaching out to a traditional Priest or order just for general advice and guidance? It may be that they may very well tell you to carry on and continue doing what you're doing, but you never know, God may still have other plans for you. Hope you will do that. God bless, all.
    Do make Acts of Consecration to the Twin Hearts, Spiritual Offerings of the Precious Blood of Jesus in Union with the Holy Mass, like in St. Gertrude's Chaplet, along with Spiritual Communions at least every hour. The Saints say Spiritual Communions are a way to quickly advance to Union with God.

     

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