Articles of the Month
What do you do when you think that you might have a calling to the religious life or to the priesthood?
Many single Catholics have thought about becoming a religious sister, nun or priest at some time in their lives. It takes time to decide whether this "feeling" is a true calling to the religious life. It is a blessing to dedicate one's life to God and to Our Lord Jesus. If a person feels a strong urgency to find out more about this type of vocation, the best thing to do is to speak with a sister, nun or priest first to find out what the vocation would entail. Many times, speaking with a person who is already in the religious life can help by answering questions concerning the religious life and can lead you to the appropriate places that you need to go to in order to get more information on the type of qualifications and education you will need to become a religious.
Another thing to do if you're on the fence on deciding whether to pursue the religious life or the priesthood is to go on a Catholic retreat for men or women. The quiet time will pull you away from all the world's distractions and you can pray and ask God to help lead you in the right direction for your life. You can also find out if you truly want to become a sister, nun or priest by volunteering to help sisters, nuns, or priests where they work. You will have the benefit of finding out exactly what the religious and priests do and you can ask them many questions of whether they enjoy their vocation, is the work difficult, etc. You can then decide whether you want to do the same kinds of things they do.
You can also join a religious order as a lay person living in the world such as in the Franciscans, Benedictines, Carmelites, and Dominicans. These religious orders have 3rd order lay associations which take some type of vow but you can still work and live on your own. For more information on these types of associations, just search "third Order Franciscans, third order Dominicans, etc... on the computer and you will be given their information. As I said before, dedicating your life to the Lord is a wonderful thing and it is a blessing but it should not be taken lightly. It is also a sacrifice. Like marriage and single life, it also has its ups and downs. So, it is imperative that everyone who is considering the religious life or priesthood take it seriously and not rush into making any decisions. It takes time to discern the "calling" to find out if it is really what you want. It is a life-time commitment.
There are also many DVD's on priests and nuns living in communities such as in the Benedictines in Monastery and sisters in the Carmelites. These DVD's show what the religious life and priesthood is about and also shows their day to day functions and responsibilities. Many religious sisters and priests are now becoming involved in evangelizing in the media. When you go to a religious community, you will usually be asked what you will want to do when you become a sister or priest. Many times, the communities will allow you to work in the specific type of work that you request to work in but you must ask them before you decide to join that community.
Whether you choose to become a sister, nun or priest, you are the one who needs to decide. Ask others to pray for you as you make your decisions for your life. May God bless you in all the decisions of your life. Take care.
Can I dedicate my sufferings, penances and sacrifices to the Lord and to