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Nissa wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • How do I find out, for sure, what God's intended vocation for me is?
  • What do you recommend?

I'm a 25-year-old female and have always believed and desired marriage as my vocation.

I'm drawn to it for many reasons:

  1. I can't think of a better way to spend my life than loving and sacrificing myself for a husband and children. Raising children in the faith and helping my spouse grow in virtue would be a great blessing, not to mention sharing my life with others. I love kids and would rather be a humble, stay-at-home, mom than a successful career woman. My picture of success is having a large Catholic family that sticks together and supports each other
    in hard times and in good times.

    The Catholic family seems like a more and more rare thing in today's world but it's so foundational to our society, culture, and lives. Both sides of my family have Catholic roots, but, to date, divorces and vices including alcoholism have led to a split and loss of faith among some. These divorces have long lasting, generational affects, even on my parent's lives.

  2. I think one of the greatest gifts I could give my parents, that would also bring them much happiness, is marrying and having grandchildren for them to enjoy. I could offer them the family that they never had.

    In addition, I would be proud and driven to be the one person in my family to marry a Catholic man and form a Catholic family with him, letting the family grow with as many children as God blesses us with.

  3. Lastly, I believe I have skills that mesh with being a wife and mother.

    • Nevertheless, what if these desires and thoughts are not in tune with what God has planned for me?
    • Surely He wouldn't give me these desires if he didn't intend marriage for me . . . right?

I've found it hard to meet other like-minded Catholic men, much less Catholic men at all.
I'm already 25, and many people are already married or getting married. The pool of available men is shrinking! (ha, ha, ha.) My only real and longest relationship was about 11 months; I thought
I could marry this guy but the circumstances were not in our favor.

I've joined Catholic groups and have tried to be as active as possible in my parish, in order to meet friends and possibly new dates. I try to pray about it often and visit the Blessed Sacrament to seek help in my vocation.

  • Could my desire for a vocation to the married life be something that our modern society has put into my head?
  • All the romantic songs and chick flicks make me believe this is my calling, but what if,
    in fact, marriage is not what God has planned for me?
  • Could the circumstances of my life:
    • no Catholic family
    • no large circle of Catholic friends, and
    • a lack of dating history

    be a sign that marriage is not for me?

When a nun found out I wasn't married, she asked me what I'm doing with my life.
She subsequently invited me to a meeting at her convent though I didn't go.

  • Is this how God could be communicating his plan for me?
  • How can I know for sure?

Thanks!

Nissa

  { Although I feel called to the married life, how do I find out, for sure, God's real vocation for me? }

Mary Ann replied:

Dear Nissa,

The Church teaches that grace builds on nature. Usually God draws us by the heart, so that your good desires are an indication of your vocation.

Of course, we should always pray for guidance and offer our plans and desires to the Lord.

Don't worry, God will lead you.

Mary Ann

Mike replied:

Hi, Nissa —

I would concur with my colleague Mary Ann. Prayer is the best way to discern a calling.

If the Lord is calling you to a married life with a Catholic man, he will provide one if you persist in your petition to bring the right man into your life.

Also check out my Single Catholics page.

I know societal pressures can be hard as a single Catholic woman (or man), who wishes to marry, grows older, but I would strive to have faith. (Read Genesis, Chapters 17 to 21!)

Finally, maybe the Lord is calling you to be a single, practicing Catholic woman. There are so many woman in the Church who have difficulty accepting some of the Church's basic teachings.

For that reason, you may have a calling to be a role model, maybe as a female Catholic apologist {one who defends the teachings of the Catholic faith). Having done this for a few years, I can say with confidence, there are a few things that are required, including:

  • having a daily prayer life
  • living a sacramental life in the Church
  • knowing the teachings of our Faith; knowing the Catechism is a good start
  • being humble enough to accept correction when you are proven wrong by a colleague
  • being courageous enough to stand up for the teachings of the Church when everyone else is rejecting them.
  • when answering questions:
    • listen first
    • ask clarifying questions, if needed
    • being patient
    • try to understand where the questioner is coming from, and
    • be as charitable as possible while sticking to the teachings of the Church

Whatever vocation you choose, the Lord will always respect it and assist you in your vocation if it is founded on Catholic Christian principles.

My advice to very young Catholic visitors reading this is the same as I told my niece and nephews. Find a vocation based on Christian values that you:

  • really like, and
  • can do

Again, prayer is the best and only way to truly discern your vocation.

Hope this helps,

Mike

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