Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Negotiating with God (part 1)


[Originally written on June 16]

One of my goals this summer has been to pray about my vocation. It was something I was aware I needed to work on. For a time, I found a temporary vocation in becoming Catholic, and focusing on that. But now it is time to get serious about my options, which are:

a) married life: Marriage is really the default vocation. I call it that because so many chose it out of social expectations. The house, the husband, the kids. I admit it’s probably what I would want, but I only want to pursue it if I’m truly called. The biggest con of marriage as a vocation, however, is that it relies on another person: finding him, entering the vocation mutually, working on getting him and the subsequent children into heaven. That’s a lot for me, who really likes to be alone.

b) religious life: I deeply admire religious life. I always want to be a hermit that writes about God all day, so there is probably an order out there that would fit that desire. The vows of poverty and chastity seem reasonable to me, but I would really need extra grace for the obedience part. I like having my schedule and my space. And while the job security is attractive, I need to be flexible and available to care for my parents as they age.

c) consecrated life: On the surface, consecrated singlehood looks like my favorite possibility, but I think it’s the worst. One commits to being single and devoting one’s lay life to one’s occupation for the glory of God. It has the markings of religious life, but without the job security or community. It has the flexibility of lay life, but without a marriage partner. While I do like to be alone a lot, I do want some sort of family or community for support. I think it can be falsely treated as a temporary vocation, a way to live until the right order or man comes along. But temporary vocations are not true vocations; a vocation is a life commitment. 

So there are my options as I see them, not that I get to choose; I have to see which I’m called to. And I fear that a fallen world and my own distractions might keep me from my path. So I’ve been tossing up prayers, waiting for direction.

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