Is a vocation a bad thing to consider?
#1
So, I joined the Church in April, so this is not too serious a question at the moment.

Basically, my family is very against my being Catholic and is very against the idea of the priesthood or the religious life.

For a while I've been thinking of a possible vocation to either FSSP or the Dominicans and have talked to the OP vocations director. Obviously I'd have to wait 3 years before actually joining. The thing is, I have worked very hard at school and got into a really good school to pursue a vocation, and it would feel like all that work would have gone to nothing if I decided not to join the OP or something like that where academics actually matters. The idea of working for the Church in such a way of evangelization is why I've tried hard in school and continue to do so, but if that ceased to be a possibility, I'd still work hard but I wouldn't have my heart in it.

I think I might have a vocation, but my mother wants grandchildren and wants me to get married, should I give it up to fulfill that wish? It would definitely be a penance and a path for humility, but it would be a constant thing to always regret. I don't want to deprive my mother of grandchildren, and I don't want her to be unhappy.

Is it worth it to abandon the thoughts for a vocation to make family happy?

Sorry to ask one of those long block of text personal questions. :/
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#2
(05-14-2017, 10:01 PM)GoodKingWenceslas Wrote: Is it worth it to abandon the thoughts for a vocation to make family happy?
Not if they're persistent and you genuinely believe God is calling you to the priesthood.

A lady told me the other day that she thought God was calling me to the religious life, which I thought was very sweet (and I had considered it at one point), but I told her that I was in a relationship. We had a conversation about vocations for a bit and she paraphrased something she heard on EWTN: "If you have a vocation, the thought never leaves you."

If the thought keeps coming up gently and sweetly, please follow that inspiration. We need holy priests.

There are quite a few accounts of Saints where their family (at least certain members of it) were vehemently against their vocation: St. Francis, St. Clare, St. Aloysius, etc. You have to follow God first.
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#3
(05-14-2017, 10:19 PM)In His Love Wrote:
(05-14-2017, 10:01 PM)GoodKingWenceslas Wrote: Is it worth it to abandon the thoughts for a vocation to make family happy?
Not if they're persistent and you genuinely believe God is calling you to the priesthood.

A lady told me the other day that she thought God was calling me to the religious life, which I thought was very sweet (and I had considered it at one point), but I told her that I was in a relationship. We had a conversation about vocations for a bit and she paraphrased something she heard on EWTN: "If you have a vocation, the thought never leaves you."

If the thought keeps coming up gently and sweetly, please follow that inspiration. We need holy priests.

There are quite a few accounts of Saints where their family (at least certain members of it) were vehemently against their vocation: St. Francis, St. Clare, St. Aloysius, etc. You have to follow God first.
Thanks!

I remember it was pretty dramatic for Saint Thomas in his situation. haha I do doubt there are many saints who declined a vocation from peer pressure.
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#4
Your family's concerns should not prevent you from considering whether you might have a vocation. Your mother, father or siblings don't determine whether you have a vocation, only you and God do that.

There three signs of a possible vocation : freedom to pursue the vocation, aptitude, desire/inclination.

If you are free : that means unmarried, not the sole support for another person, no non-adult children, financially unburdened, no other similar obligations (e.g. military service, jail time)

If you have the aptitude : Are you psychologically able to handle the rigors of the life chosen, are study habits and intelligence sufficient (at least capable of learning the minimum necessary)

If you have the desire/inclination : No apparitions necessary. Simply interest is fine, but there will eventually need to be some supernatural motive

If someone with those signs shows up at a seminary or novitiate, he is capable of entering. In the seminary or novitiate is where the vocation is tested slowly by the professors in the external arena and by the spiritual director in the confessional and internal realm. It is the candidate with his director, and with the approval of the professors/rector/bishop, who asks for ordination or profession. When the hands or imposed or the vows taken, then one can be sure of a vocation.

Still, given your recent conversion, you'd need to wait for several years first, before you'd be accepted by any traditional group or order. You've just jumped into the pool, and it's not yet time to start training to be a lifeguard. First you need to swim a bit and develop a normal, balanced Catholic life that a young man should have.

God often does, however, call converts.

In the meantime :
— Pray and make sacrifices for your family,
—Get a priest with whom you can speak about this on a more regular basis (a spiritual director) who help you evaluate your situation and help you decide what God is calling you to.
—Don't be antagonistic with the family, and don't let them bother you about this. Offer the annoyances the cross Christ chose for you.

And remember too, that if your mother understood what a vocation was, she would certainly want you to pursue it and live it.
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#5
Spend some time living the sacramental life of the Church.  It is common for new converts to be zealous about the faith, and to think they have a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life because of it.  Sometimes, the vocation is authentic, but it needs to be tested with a bit of time.  I know of two priests who were recent converts when they were admitted to the seminary.  One of them is, today, an excellent priest.  He is holy, reverent, humble, pious, and everything one could want in a young priest.  The other announced one day that he couldn't handle priestly celibacy and was leaving.  He entered into an invalid marriage, and caused tremendous pain.
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#6
(05-14-2017, 10:01 PM)GoodKingWenceslas Wrote: So, I joined the Church in April, so this is not too serious a question at the moment.

Basically, my family is very against my being Catholic and is very against the idea of the priesthood or the religious life.

For a while I've been thinking of a possible vocation to either FSSP or the Dominicans and have talked to the OP vocations director. Obviously I'd have to wait 3 years before actually joining. The thing is, I have worked very hard at school and got into a really good school to pursue a vocation, and it would feel like all that work would have gone to nothing if I decided not to join the OP or something like that where academics actually matters. The idea of working for the Church in such a way of evangelization is why I've tried hard in school and continue to do so, but if that ceased to be a possibility, I'd still work hard but I wouldn't have my heart in it.

I think I might have a vocation, but my mother wants grandchildren and wants me to get married, should I give it up to fulfill that wish? It would definitely be a penance and a path for humility, but it would be a constant thing to always regret. I don't want to deprive my mother of grandchildren, and I don't want her to be unhappy.

Is it worth it to abandon the thoughts for a vocation to make family happy?

Sorry to ask one of those long block of text personal questions. :/

Welcome to the Church brother!

I don't think it is a bad idea to look into these organisations and make yourself a known entity to the priory/seminary you are interested in. You need to explain your situation to them and just ask that you can stay in the loop while you settle in to your new identity as a Catholic. I think there is a good reason why religious orders and organisations in general are hesitant to take on novices who have not been Catholic for at least a couple or several years because there is a depressingly high drop off rate among adult converts. And a lot of us who remain faithful go through a period of lukewarmness and estrangement from the Church for a while and then return. I was like you and was very interested in FSSP, SSPX and the Dominicans after I was baptized Catholic a couple of years ago. I attended a "come and see" vocations weekend at a Dominican priory. I don't regret doing this. But after my confirmation I entered this period of lukewarmness and eventually began to get distracted by my career and life in general, and I was a pretty bad Catholic for a while (still sort of am). And then I got distracted again by questions I hadn't resolved about Eastern Orthodoxy, and that has led to where I am now. One thing that is holding me back from taking the next step in the Dominicans is the thought of being completely at the mercy of a hierarchy of modernist or liberal Bishops and clergyman (plus I have serious theological questions about Eastern Orthodoxy which I haven't resolved yet). I'm now actually thinking of joining the military. But if that doesn't work out I will probably end up a religious monk or priest of some sort.
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