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Author Topic: Vocations/Choosing a wrong one?  (Read 289 times)


Vocations/Choosing a wrong one?
« on: April 11, 2017, 09:33:pm »
I have a question regarding vocations since I recently had a discussion with some friends and there seems to be some confusion regarding what a vocation is and also in regards to what I have heard some priests say in regards to choosing a vocation. I also have a few personal questions regarding Choosing a vocation and state in life in regards to myself (I know that these questions are more suited for spiritual direction) but I can use some honest feedback and suggestions.

My understanding of a vocation is that there are two specific types of vocation. 1) the primary vocation (the universal call to holiness) which we are all called to; living a life in the state of grace and growing in holiness all while doing God's will. 2) The secondary vocation in regards to what God is calling each one of us too. My understanding is also that there are "higher callings" which make one vocation or state in life more conformed to life in heaven. My understanding then is that virginity/celibacy is "higher" than the married state. At the same time this does not mean that marriage is less important. Also there was discussion as to whether the lay single life would be considered a vocation in its traditional meaning.

At the same time I heard two different priests speak of vocation differently than the previous definition. Both priests were Norbertines and one was in Confession and the other gave a homily in a Latin Mass that I had attended. The way that I understood them was that each genuine vocation is a good in of themselves. They said that we should not fret so much about what vocation we choose. They said that a vocation is a choice, a choice for God. They said that as long as we choose a genuine state in life that we desire to glorify God that God is pleased with that choice. Hence the way that they spoke of a vocation was a choice made for God that God in turn is sattisfied as long as we desire to live that chosen vocation to the best of our abilities and that God is pleased that we made a choice.

From what I have read it seems that the Church teaches that God has a specific vocation, namely a secondary vocation that God is calling us to. This seems to make sense to me given the fact that there is such a thing as to discernment. We are always told to pray about our vocation. We are told to discern what God's will is for us in life.

Would you guys agree with the following article in regards to vocation? It seems to make sense to me, given the previous definition (this is not a website I want to promote as it promotes feenyism) but in general it seems to give good info regarding vocations.

Also what if we choose a "wrong vocation?" What if we resist God's will in regards to a particular vocation? The previous article seems to imply that our secondary vocation is tied with our first and that our salvation depends on it. This article makes it seem that it is very difficult, if not virtually impossible  to be saved if one chooses the wrong vocation. Yet another other sources on vocations state that God knows which vocation is most suited for each particular individual. Yet the sources at hand also say that God respects whichever vocation (state in life) we choose and desires to bless it. In other words these sources basically state that God has a vocation for each one of us (which is best suited for our needs and our salvation) but that we can still be saved and please God if we choose differently.
The sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin- His Holiness Pope Pius XII

Walking In The Desert


Re: Vocations/Choosing a wrong one?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2017, 09:34:pm »
Lastly in my own life I have been having a bit of worry and also some confusion about discerning my own vocation. The first few years that I came back to the faith (about 4 years ago) I had discerned the priesthood. I had spent some time in adoration and I felt a desire and calling to discern the priesthood. Also some people told me individually that they could see me as a priest.

During the course of several years I made two come and sees. The first one that I made was to the Norbertines. The second one that I made was to the Fraternity of Saint Peter. During the first come and see the vocation director told me that he believes that God is calling me to interact with the faithful. He did not believe that God was calling me to religious life since who could tell that I had a genuine interest in interacting with the faithful. He told me it would perhaps be better for me to discern with the Fraternity of Saint Peter or with the local diocesan priesthood.

The second and latest come and see that I made was with the FSSP. I also enjoyed this come and see. However I noticed that during both come and sees I felt profoundly home sick in both. Also during my stay at the FSSP I told the vocation director that I suffer from scrupulosity. He told me that it would be good for me to take two years off from discerning the priesthood and focus on overcoming my scrupulosity.

As of right now I am in the middle of my second year from discerning the priesthood. It should be said that during this time I have indeed been trying to overcome my scrupulosity. It was also the advice of a priest in Confession that during this time I don't worry about discerning anything other than working towards my scrupulosity. It should also be said that since my last come and see I have been having more of a desire in regards to discerning marriage or at least the lay single life.

In general I am scared about choosing a wrong vocation. This is especially true since some times when I am in adoration I get thoughts of living a radical life as a religious or at least a priest. Yet I would like to give marriage a try and if that does not work out for any reason at least remaining in the lay single life (especially with my condition of scrupulosity). But I have simply been afraid of choosing a wrong vocation especially when some times I get thoughts in regards to the religous life and or priesthood but I feel like discerning differently.
The sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin- His Holiness Pope Pius XII

Walking In The Desert


Re: Vocations/Choosing a wrong one?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2017, 10:20:pm »
I understand where you are coming from. I'm married and think everyday how things would be different if I was a priest or just gave my life to God as a single person. I believe no one can reject their vocation. It is part of who they are and not something you can check at the door. How you choose to express that and what attitude you take towards it IS your choice however.

For instance, lets say you have great people skills and are meant to help lighten the burden for people. A woman for example could choose to express that by working a "gentleman's club" and thinking her sexuality makes guys feel good and she gets a charge out of seeing them desire her. Clearly, the way in which she expresses her gift is not Godly but she does have a sense of what she should do (work with people). That's an extreme example, but you get the point. I think vocations are general and God leaves the details up to us to fill in. After all, part of having free will is having a say in your life. God values free will above all as He accepted that evil would possible with it.

As the old saying goes, "where there is a will there is a way"
Local anti-feminist.....if you think women deserve special treatment without any accountability for their actions expect to hear from me!

In His Love

Re: Vocations/Choosing a wrong one?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 10:42:pm »
I think one major sign that God is calling you to a particular vocation is a deep peace of mind and soul.

For example, I once discerned a call to religious life. I had emailed an Ursuline sister and, more extensively, had talks with a local Carmelite nun and had a priest as a spiritual director. The Carmelite was in touch with two communities, one of which invited me to a 'come and see' with them. I also viewed a DVD (I believe it was loaned to me by the Carmelite) about contemplative spirituality. I found it all very interesting, but something didn't quite settle into place. There was some degree of unease about it for me personally, as much as I continued to look at it and perhaps tried to make it fit, if that makes sense.

Fast forward to 2015. I met a man who I fell completely, head-over-heels and walking-on-clouds in love with. When we began to first discuss marriage and having a family together, that's when everything fell into place. I knew then, just like I know now, that I want to spend the rest of my life and eternity with him.

I think you should continue to pray often to discern your vocation. Spend a lot of time with the Lord in silence. Perhaps keeping a journal of your experiences in prayer, adoration, etc would help you. Then you would have written evidence which would outline when He would draw your heart to Him and toward which vocation.
"O Jesus, Whose adorable Face ravished my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy Divine Image and to set me on fire with Thy Love, that I may be found worthy to come to the contemplation of Thy glorious Face in Heaven. Amen." - St. Therese of Lisieux


Re: Vocations/Choosing a wrong one?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2017, 12:16:am »
I would offer 2 things to consider. Firstly, God knows exactly why He put you on earth at this time. So trust Him. In fact you can pray that He lead you into whatever vocation He ordained for you before time began. If you pray and trust, things will become clear in His timing. Secondly, ask Him to show you what your mission is. Know that the God of the universe chose you, and has a mission for you THAT ONLY YOU can fulfill.

 I can say that my own discernment for the married life evolved over time and happened as I focused on Him. I have a vocation to the married life and I have a mission to serve the church in evangelization and spiritual warfare. My first mission is my family, contained in my vocation, and my second mission is something I came to discern with the help of priests and by recognizing how God orchestrated my education in spiritual growth over time. When you surrender your self will back to God he will fashion you as He wills.

Scrupulosity is mostly rooted in the  the sin of pride. It is God who makes us holy not ourselves. So pray "God make me a son you can rejoice in" The only worthy thing to do with self will is give it back to the creator. Scruples can be a grace to help steer clear of sin. However it must be tempered with humility and a rejection of self. It might help to rebuke it if it becomes to bothersome. If the constant mental games and worry about sin are bothering you recognize that it is keeping you from focusing on God and you are focusing on yourself. That is how "pitchfork" works, so tell the thoughts to go submit to Mary, the mere creature who crushed it's head.

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