Are you experiencing the uncertainty of your vocation? Among the perhaps unexpected struggles that faithful single Catholics often face may be the inability to know for several what God wants these to do with their lives.
A large amount of us tend to have the idea that, eventually, we'll just know that God is calling us to marriage, in order to a spiritual or priestly vocation. But this certain knowing doesn't always happen. Father Mike Schmitz made an interesting video with Ascension Presents for those of us who aren’t absolutely clear on God’s calling with regards to our vocation.
In this video, he says a great deal interesting things for all those in this predicament of lacking clarity about their vocation. Here are the main takeaways he offers, if your vocation isn't becoming clear to you.
You can say for certain some things for certain
If you're struggling to understand which vocation God is calling you to definitely, it may be a good idea to start by looking at things you can know for several. Father Mike states that the obvious thing we can always know for several about God's vision for our life is he wants us to become saints.
It's kind of a given. Yet it can be simple to forget this as we struggle through the discernment process and then try to figure out additional information of God's arrange for us. But starting with an emphasis on this call to become a saint might help us to develop in ways that people have to grow before we can hear God's call more clearly, or before we will be prepared to faithfully live this call.
Concretely, Father Mike says that this call to become a saint always begins with becoming somebody that says yes to God in all things. That means we say yes to following God's commandments, likely to confession when we sin, and serving those around us. A good place to start about this road to knowing our vocation can in fact be to work on becoming a person who is in the practice of tallying to God, whatever it may be that he is calling us to every day or perhaps in each moment.
Saying no to obvious “no”s
Another point Father Mike speaks on is the have to say no to things that are obvious “no”s for the lives, as we work on discernment in our vocations. This can mean different things for various people.
If you’ve struggled with repeated sin, you need to work on saying “no” to people things so you can say “yes” to God better. For other people, this saying “no” might actually be ruling out vocational choices that we understand are poor fits for all of us. For example, it's definitely easy to know that some subset of religious life is not right for us, even when we're not sure about religious life generally.
You could even take this saying “no” idea into your Catholic internet dating experience. Knowing that you would struggle to remain strong in your faith while dating someone who didn't share your faith, there are some potential dates you should probably say “no” to, or create accounts only on Catholic dating platforms.
Chose an area to work on
Another practical tip Father Mike gives for anyone on this discernment journey would be to pick one area of your life to operate on every week, a treadmill virtue to shoot for. While you spend your week striving to develop within the practice of the particular virtue, you'll start growing nearer to God's vision for your life.
This is a practice that can extend far past your vocational discernment years and can help you to become a holier person in general. It can also be a very helpful tool to create into a Catholic dating relationship, to strive for holiness as a couple, if you begin down that path.
Make small decisions first
One very poignant truth Father Mike points out is something that he heard from someone else about Catholics who are within this discernment phase of the lives: “Since discernment became popular, no one makes a decision.”
We wait for clarity, because we want be certain of what God is calling us to complete. We delay making these decisions until we “know.” Suddenly, it is now time when we need to make a large, pressure-filled decision. This scenario sounds type of terrible, especially for people who choose this concept of certainty and tend to find control over every aspect of our lives.
A much better plan, Father Mike says, would be to begin with a small decision. What does this mean concretely? Perhaps it means that, instead of telling yourself, “I have to decide whether or not to become a priest,” it is a decision of if you should enter the seminary. Or an even smaller decision could be whether or not to obtain a spiritual director who can help you discern if you should enter the seminary.
If your discernment seems like it might be headed toward marriage, you don't need to immediately result in the firm decision to get married. A more practical small decision to make may be to begin online dating. Doing some casual online dating on the Catholic dating app could help lead you to finding the person God is calling you to marry, but beginning it's not some huge, unalterable decision by any means.
Father Mike states that the advantage of making smaller decisions first is the fact that, besides how much less intimidating they're, we are able to alter our course and make adjustments as needed on such a path of small decisions. If we make a small decision and can turn out to be the poor choice, we are able to just make another small decision to get back into the right direction.
What will your discernment look like?
Discernment doesn't need to be intimidating. Even if it seems like the solution to our vocation real question is a long way away from us, there is still a lot we can do to start progressing on the right path.
Are you ready to go ahead and take next small key to discern if God is looking you to definitely the vocation of marriage? Finding someone who shares your Catholic faith and values with an internet dating app shouldn’t seem like looking for a spouse. We want to help single Catholics stop shopping and start discerning, and that’s why we’re not only a dating app. We’re a discernment app.
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