Author Topic: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”  (Read 721 times)

Offline Geremia

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Offline Daniel

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Re: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2020, 07:46:06 AM »
Nice story.

4:32 - Is this sort of thing common? I had never heard of an "extern nun", but that sounds like a job more fitting for a non-religious (layperson) than a cloistered nun.

But anyway, I really do wish people would stop calling the religious state a "vocation". Because it's not a vocation, and neither is the priestly state a vocation for that matter. God historically has "called" certain people (such as St. Paul, St. Matthew, and some of the old testament prophets), but this ordinarily does not happen. If people would just be honest, and stop making these things out to be "vocations", I'd bet many more young people would not hesitate to pursue the priestly or religious states. Take me for example. The primary reason that I never went to seminary and never became a religious is because I was duped into thinking that you had to be "called". And now that I know the truth, it's nearly too late for me.
 

Offline christulsa

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Re: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2020, 08:09:31 AM »
Because it's not a vocation, and neither is the priestly state a vocation for that matter.

Source?
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2020, 10:00:13 AM »
Because it's not a vocation, and neither is the priestly state a vocation for that matter.

Source?

Source for the religious state not being a vocation: a book called Religious Vocation: An Unnecessary Mystery by Fr. Richard Butler, O.P. (I do not remember whether the author is ok with the word "vocation" or not, but he describes it as more of an "invitation". God doesn't call us to the religious state; rather, God invites us to the religious state. This invitation is open to more or less everyone who doesn't suffer from an impediment. If you want to become a monk, and if you're able to do, then it's your choice. Do it if you want; don't do it if you don't want. Which to me is not a "vocation". A vocation is not an open invitation to everyone and anyone. A vocation is an exclusive calling. God appoints you (and only you) for some particular task, and you don't have a choice. You either joyfully do what God says because He's God, or else you sin by not doing it.)

Source for the priestly state not being a vocation: various SSPX priests, including the vocations director at one of their seminaries, have told me this. (What the priest said is that any unimpeded young man, motivated by holy desires, is free to enter the seminary. It's a personal choice on his part. If you want to go to seminary, do it (no need to be called); and if you don't want to, then don't. But if you do decide to do it, and if you make it all the way through seminary (which doesn't always happen), then the Church will "call" you to be ordained. (A different priest told me that it is the bishop who "calls" you to ordination.) Which I guess is technically a "calling" (and perhaps sometimes comes from God in a remote sense)... but to me this all just sounds like equivocation on the word "vocation". This is radically different from the notion of "God calls you to become a priest; you respond by entering seminary".)

This I think all makes perfect sense, and so I can only conclude that "vocations" generally don't exist. But this important information should be available to young people when they are still in high school. Catholics need to know that it's ok to choose to become a priest or religious. We don't all have to go to college and get married.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 10:10:53 AM by Daniel »
 

Offline christulsa

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Re: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2020, 10:48:58 AM »
Except the term is traditionally used by the Church, and still today, however inaccurate you think it is.  But yes, a priestly or religious vocation isn’t typically something mysteriously or mystically received like Moses in the OT called to lead the Jews out of captivity.  But it is a sacred call from God for a few, hence the sacredness of the word.

https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15498a.htm
 
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Offline revival2029

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Re: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2020, 12:04:34 PM »
Nice story.

4:32 - Is this sort of thing common? I had never heard of an "extern nun", but that sounds like a job more fitting for a non-religious (layperson) than a cloistered nun.

But anyway, I really do wish people would stop calling the religious state a "vocation". Because it's not a vocation, and neither is the priestly state a vocation for that matter. God historically has "called" certain people (such as St. Paul, St. Matthew, and some of the old testament prophets), but this ordinarily does not happen. If people would just be honest, and stop making these things out to be "vocations", I'd bet many more young people would not hesitate to pursue the priestly or religious states. Take me for example. The primary reason that I never went to seminary and never became a religious is because I was duped into thinking that you had to be "called". And now that I know the truth, it's nearly too late for me.

yes, babtism is the vocation and all stems from that
and furthermore celibacy stems from the babtism vocation and preistly celibacy is simply a continuation
to break celibacy one must get married
at least thats what people are starting to say
 

Offline Miriam_M

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Re: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2020, 01:43:28 PM »
The term vocation continues to be used by every trad priest I know.  A call is an invitation.  It is not a demand, because God always respects our free will to reject his invitations.  The fact that the Latin verb, vocare, means to call, does not signify that the call is always mystical, although sometimes it is.  It signifies that the attraction is persistent and internal, rather than fleeting and external.  I was raised trad, and we were taught to think of it as "a voice" (also from the same root, of course) -- a voice deep within us.  All that was meant merely to help us realize that sensitivity to our interior life is important, and without that sensitivity we can miss a "call,' precisely because one does not always, when pursuing a religious attraction, experience a dramatic mystical experience that is unmistakable and "overpowering," if you will.  We were taught that it is or can be subtle, so when I hear of laypeople or clergy writing books like this, I return to this undeniable fact:  Either the author was insufficiently educated in Catholic spirituality, or he is writing a book for those poorly catechized.
 
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2020, 06:09:23 PM »
.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 07:09:42 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline Geremia

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Re: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2020, 08:20:42 PM »
Source for the religious state not being a vocation: a book called Religious Vocation: An Unnecessary Mystery by Fr. Richard Butler, O.P.
Fr. Butler isn't against the notion of vocation; he argues against the "attraction theory" of vocation. Pope St. Pius X's 1910 norms "denied the necessity of a feeling of attraction as the decisive factor in the recognition of a religious vocation."
St. Alphonsus, the "Doctor of Vocations," uses the term "vocation" his Vocation to the Religious State.
Vocations Explained discusses the 4 vocations of: "Matrimony, Virginity, Religious State, and Priesthood".
 
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Offline Geremia

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Re: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2020, 08:33:54 PM »
the attraction is persistent and internal
But the Church can't judge the internal forum.
All that's necessary for a religious vocation is
(1) calling (signs of this are actual graces, not "mind reading" some "inner call"),
(2) aptitude (physical, moral, intellectual, proper intention, lack of canonical impediments),
(3) admission by a legitimate superior.
(source: La Vida Religiosa pp. 147-64)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 08:40:24 PM by Geremia »
 
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Offline Geremia

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Re: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2020, 08:34:52 PM »
celibacy stems from the babtism vocation
Yes, virginity is living the baptismal vocation to its fullest.

Offline Geremia

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Re: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2020, 08:36:25 PM »
I had never heard of an "extern nun", but that sounds like a job more fitting for a non-religious (layperson) than a cloistered nun.
Yeah, I didn't think externs could also be choir nuns (she said she prayers the divine office with the others).
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 08:40:53 PM by Geremia »
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2020, 09:43:47 PM »
Source for the religious state not being a vocation: a book called Religious Vocation: An Unnecessary Mystery by Fr. Richard Butler, O.P.
Fr. Butler isn't against the notion of vocation; he argues against the "attraction theory" of vocation.

Thanks for the correction. It's been a while since I read Fr. Butler's book, so I may just be remembering wrong (or maybe I misread it). But I thought he basically said that anyone who desires to become a religious is free to become a religious? He even cited examples of children being raised in monasteries, whom I don't believe possibly could have given it much reflection. Seems to me that there's no need to be "called" (whatever that even means)... all you really need is some holy desire for the religious state, no impediment, and a religious community who lets you join them. I'm kind of wondering if part of this could just be a semantic issue.

What exactly is the "attraction theory"? Maybe I'd have understood better if I knew what it was that Fr. Butler was arguing against.

All I know is that whatever he said seemed to make perfect sense at the time.

(1) calling (signs of this are actual graces, not "mind reading" some "inner call"),

But here's what I don't get. How broadly do we define "calling"?

Obviously nobody can with good intention desire the religious state, without being moved to do so by grace. But this grace/desire in itself (which I'm sure the vast majority of Catholics have) hardly seems like a "call" as we ordinarily use the word.

Vocations Explained discusses the 4 vocations of: "Matrimony, Virginity, Religious State, and Priesthood".

More confusion, unfortunately. Because many priests who do not deny the existence of vocations would nevertheless deny that the married state is a vocation. They say the married state is just a sort of default state that you fall into if don't have a vocation (or if you fail to pursue your vocation).

(Anyway, I'm now beginning to wonder if that SSPX priest was even correct. He basically said that nobody has a vocation, so there's no need to worry about pursuing the wrong vocation or failing to pursue your vocation. This does contradict what I had heard from somewhere else (forget who) which said that if you pursue the wrong state/vocation then you'll be damned or at least have a much more difficult time being saved. This latter view would agree with my intuition.)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 10:07:13 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline Geremia

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Re: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2020, 04:29:35 PM »
What exactly is the "attraction theory"?
It's basically a sentiment/feeling. Fr. Butler: "'L'attrait,' they called it, and described it as an instinctive and even sensible propulsion, an internal compulsion that makes itself known, a mystical phenomenon—even 'a sweet impulse,' a 'secret voice.'"
Fr. Will Doyle's Vocations's sign #5 (of 12) for having a religious vocation:
Quote
It is sometimes the sign of a vocation when a person fears that God may call them; when he prays not to have it and cannot banish the thought from his mind.  If the vocation is sound, it will soon give place to an attraction, through Father Lehmkulhl says: “One need not have a natural inclination for the religious life; on the contrary, a divine vocation is compatible with a natural repugnance for the state.”

How broadly do we define "calling"?
I think it's during the ordination ceremony where the bishop literally calls the seminarian.

many priests who do not deny the existence of vocations would nevertheless deny that the married state is a vocation. They say the married state is just a sort of default state that you fall into if don't have a vocation (or if you fail to pursue your vocation).
God actively wills some people to marry:
Quote from: Gen. 24:44
let the same [Rebecca, Isaac's wife] be the woman, whom the Lord hath prepared for my master's son.
St. Paul, speaking in the context of marrying / not marrying and not divorcing, says:
Quote from: 1 Cor. 7:17,20
But as the Lord hath distributed [graces] to every one, as God hath called every one: so let him walk. […] Let every man abide in the same calling [marriage or celibacy] in which he was called.

nobody has a vocation, so there's no need to worry about pursuing the wrong vocation or failing to pursue your vocation.
In this life we can never know with metaphysical certainty what God's will and consequently what our vocation is:
Quote from: Fr. Butler
God's will cannot be known directly, in itself. For God is utterly simple; that is, divisible only analogously and necessarily by the finite human mind probing divinity. God and His will are identified. So to know God's will directly is to know God directly. This kind of knowledge is possible only in the beatific vision, and when that is attained the problematic choices of this life are over.
Only moral certitude is necessary.

if you pursue the wrong state/vocation then you'll be damned or at least have a much more difficult time being saved.
Vocation to the Religious State:
Quote from: St. Alphonsus
God wills that all men should be saved but not in the same way. As in heaven He has distinguished different degrees of glory, so on earth He has established different states of life, as so many different ways of gaining heaven. To enter into any state of life, a divine vocation is necessary; for without such a vocation it is, if not impossible, at least most difficult to fulfill the obligation of our state, and obtain salvation. The reason of this is evident; for it is God Who in the order of His Providence assigns to each one of us his state of life, and afterwards provides us with the graces and the help suitable to the state to which He calls us.
Also, his "Answer to a Young Man who asks Counsel on the Choice of a State of Life":
Quote
The greatest number of those who are damned, are damned for not having corresponded to the call of God.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 04:46:28 PM by Geremia »
 
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Religious cloistered vocation is “a beautiful gift from God”
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2020, 06:45:35 PM »
Looks like St. Alphonsus just raised the stakes.


So the "attraction" theory is the one that says that God calls us and shows us our vocation, whereas Fr. Butler and Fr. Doyle are saying that God calls us but does not let us know we've been called?

What kind of throws me off is Fr. Doyle's section 3. It seems he's saying we should be looking for signs, and he is thereby admitting that God does in fact show us what our vocation is. So how is that much different than the "attraction" theory? The one difference I do notice is that Fr. Doyle's signs all seem to be internal/emotional/volitional, whereas the signs that I've followed in the past (which completely backfired) were mostly external (and, in hindsight, were probably from the devil).

But I don't know... I'm kind of skeptical of Fr. Doyle's section 3. If the signs are all internal, how do we know that they're coming from God and that it's not just wishful thinking on our part--or worse, a prompting of the devil? Most good Catholics (and not-so-good Catholics, and perhaps even some non-Catholics) would probably answer yes to most of the questions in section 3, but are we really to believe that all such persons have a vocation?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 06:53:11 PM by Daniel »