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What is a religious vocation


What is a vocation? Vocation is a free choice Vocation is an invitation to devote oneself wholeheartedly to love of God and neighbor The Value of Religious Vocation.

He was a man who had everything going for him. He was still young, came from a good family, and had been given abundantly of the wealth of this world. But his heart was restless, and impelled him to search for something more, something that would truly satisfy and that could never be lost. He came to the Lord seeking the way to attain his goal. Though he can honestly reply that he has kept them from his childhood, he feels the need for something more.

He is given a vocation — and rejects it. Others have refused to listen, or turned away as that young man did. But many others have stood wondering, unable to believe such a call could really be for them, until the opportunity had passed; Jesus had gone by and they were left beyond.

This book is written for these young "What is a religious vocation," in hopes that they may recognize the divine call offered them, and for all who may instruct or guide them.


If they seek advice, they may be told that a vocation is a very personal thing; that God will make it clear to them, and leave no room for doubt as to what their vocation is; they will just know when they have found it. Just What is a religious vocation a vocation isand how to know if one has it, remains very mysterious.

Nevertheless this question often causes them a great deal of worry, and even fear. These people are not alone in their search. Almost everyone at some point in his life asks the question: Christians often put it in the form: What is my vocation? However, for the most part these questions cause more anxiety for those who want to enter religious life than for those who want to marry. Is God really calling me to this life? How can I be sure? This should not surprise us if we consider some of the common opinions about religious vocations.

Many people think a vocation means God coming to someone and telling him what to do. They may not What is a religious vocation it in so many words, but that is what it comes to. For example, someone may expect to receive a sign that is evidently from God, and clearly shows him what to do. This is basically the same as expecting a voice from heaven to speak to him.

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God can do such things, of course, but it is unusual. God speaks directly to him Usually, however, the Lord must wait for the person's response. So what usually ends up happening when someone expects such a sign? In the end, he has to make a decision without the sign he was looking for. And since few people enter religious life, it would seem that a sign is more necessary in order to enter religious life than in order to do something else, such as to marry.

Thus someone who wants to enter religious life, but thinks that he should receive a sign from God first, will be stuck. He may wait for quite a while, hoping for such a sign. But in the end he will usually assume that he should follow the "What is a religious vocation" Christian path of marriage. In a way that is right, but on its own it does little good. It is difficult to determine what God is saying through the ordinary circumstances and events in our lives, and trying What is a religious vocation do so can lead to serious mistakes.

The Religious (or consecrated) Life...

For example, if someone were to schedule a visit to a seminary or religious house, and What is a religious vocation be unable to make it due to circumstances beyond his control, he might take that as a sign that he is not called at all.

But What is a religious vocation event might not really be a sign of that. It might rather be that God wants to test his perseverance.

In general, coincidences and other unlikely events that seem to point us in a particular direction are not necessarily signs from God to go in that direction. Another mistake people sometimes make is trying to force God to give them a sign, by taking one of two necessary outcomes as a sign one way or the other.

The general problem that arises when looking for a sign from God is that we expect such a sign to be quite certain. Many people say that when one has found his vocation, he will be completely sure, and no doubt will remain in his mind. This is not always a realistic expectation, as can be seen by reflecting on other major decisions in life. Should I What is a religious vocation this job offer? Should we move to another state?

These are prudential decisions. Unlike mathematical questions such as, what is five plus six, or physical questions such as, how much oxygen does it take to burn so much carbon, they do not admit of complete certainty. We cannot always be absolutely sure that we are doing the right thing rather than the wrong thing, and much less can we be sure that we are doing the best thing rather than second best.

We should do what is most reasonable, and not expect anything like scientific certitude. Sometimes young people, seeking that kind of certitude, will look at one religious group after another, unable to settle on one. It is certainly praiseworthy of them to desire to join the group where they can best serve God and the Church; however, it is not possible to have absolute certainty about such matters.

We must accept this uncertainty as part of our human condition. Another way people look to find their vocation is in feelings. Sometimes this is linked to the idea that attraction to some way of life is a sign from God that one should choose it. But whether or not it is connected with the idea of a sign, many people do think that God calls people by their feelings, that someone should choose the way of life to which he feels most attracted, rather than the one he determines to be best for him.

Sometimes, if they are not attracted to religious life, they will never seriously consider it. Other times, they may consider it, and may even want to enter, but not do so because they do not have this attraction.

Or they may be unable to decide whether they have this attraction; and spend long periods looking with themselves to discern just where their attractions lie. Their search is not focused outwards, on how they can best serve God and the Church, but on their own selves. This way can also have difficulty in the decision. What if I have only a slight attraction? Or if I am attracted at times, but not all the time? The theory of attraction takes away some of the vagueness from vocation, yet still leaves it something quite mysterious.

But in reality, it is not necessary to have an attraction to religious life. In fact, in many ways it is better to enter religious life only because it is more perfect, and not to have an attraction to it. Teresa of Avila also speaks of the happiness God gives to such people.

John A. Hardon, S.J. SRV...

Though I could not incline my will to being a nun, I saw that this was the best and safest state, and so, little by little, I determined to force myself to embrace it When I took the habit, the Lord at once showed me how great are his favors to those who use force with themselves in His service. Still others think that only extraordinarily virtuous and holy people are What is a religious vocation to religious life, only they are able to live it.

Few people, of course, would presume that they are extraordinarily virtuous and holy, and thus this is an obstacle to choosing religious life, or deciding they have a vocation to it. However, while it is difficult, we look to God for the strength we need.


In connection with this or with the attraction theory, some people think that a true vocation must exclude attraction to persons of the opposite sex, e. Any anxiety or worry thus arising from difficulty in "What is a religious vocation" on a vocation is not allayed by What is a religious vocation of the teachings about the choice of vocation: These are some of the current ideas about vocations. The traditional ideas were quite different.

In past times, someone who wanted to enter religious life might have been given advice like this: The question of a vocation to religious life might not even be brought up. If it were brought up, it would only be in order to give a reason why someone in the aforesaid situation should enter religious life.

It was understood that when one sincerely intends to serve God in the religious life, and has no prohibitive impediments, it is a sufficient sign of his vocation, and he need not fear being deceived about it.

Long deliberation before entering religious life, or a sensible attraction to the life, are unnecessary. How singular a thing it is, when there is question of entering religion i.

The saints, however, do not talk thus. Thomas says that if the vocation to religion should even come from the devil, we should nevertheless follow it, as a good counsel, though coming from an enemy. John Chrysostom, as quoted by the same St.

Thomas, says that God, when he gives such vocations, wills that we should not defer even a moment to follow them. Christ requires from us such an obedience that we should not delay an instant… [It is not necessary to deliberate for a long time.

Let us also hear what St. Francis de Sales writes in his works on religious vocation, because the whole of it will go to confirm what has already been said, and what will be said hereafter: And therefore we must not judge that a vocation is not a true one, if the individual thus called, before putting it in execution, does not feel any longer those sensible movements which he felt in the beginning.

It is enough that the will remains constant in not abandoning the divine call, and also that there remains some affection [4] for this call. To know whether God will have one become a religious, one ought not to expect that God himself should speak or send to one an angel from heaven to signify his will.

And as little necessary is it that ten or twelve Doctors should examine whether the vocation is to be followed or not. But it is necessary to correspond with the first movement of the inspiration, and to cultivate it, and then not to grow weary if disgust or coldness should come on; for if one acts thus, God will not fail to make all succeed in his glory. Nor ought we to care What is a religious vocation from what quarter the first movement comes. The Lord has many means to call his servants.

Sometimes he makes use of a sermon, at other times of the reading of good books. Francis, have been called by hearing the words of the Gospel; others by means of afflictions and troubles that came upon them in the world, and which suggested to them the motive for leaving it. Signs of a Religious Vocation. By Fr. Martin Pable, Order of Friars Minor - Capuchin.

How to know that you have a vocation to the Religious Life. I was asked to. Every religious has a vocation story. Some knew they were called at a young ageothers discovered their calling through their favorite band (seriously!).

In this. Religious Vocation Job Description, Career as a Religious Vocation, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training.

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