Ten Misconceptions About Discernment & Religious Life

The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Wichita have a list on their website of the top ten misconceptions about discernment and religious life that was one of the most perceptive and at the same time the most obvious set of points I have ever read. They likened the discernment process that a young women goes through before marrying to the discernment process a young woman goes through before choosing a community.

For example, #1: You are called to a particular Community

If you are called to Religious Life, you are called to a particular Community.  When a young woman feels called to marriage, she doesn’t say, “I am called to get married.  Any man will do, as long as I follow my vocation.  I’ll marry the first one I meet.”  Just as in marriage God has a plan for your partner, He has a plan for the right Community for you.

Example #9:  How do you choose from so many Communities?

Some young women say, “But there are SOOO many religious Communities out there.  I give up before I even start because I don’t know where to start.”  Well, there are a lot more men in the world than religious communities.  Why hasn’t this stopped women from getting married?  Because it only takes ONE man, the RIGHT one.  When you meet him, you stop looking.  Take it one at a time and trust God to lead the right one to you, or to place him in front of you.  The same applies to Convents.

All of the examples cited on this Top Ten list are equally perceptive and instructive. It really takes the mystery out of the discernment process when you liken it to choosing a spouse. If God is calling you to religious life, then He will lead you to that right community where your vocation can blossom and be fruitful.

The IHM Sisters are an IRL Affiliate Community with a Carmelite spirituality and an emphasis on Eucharistic and Marian devotion. The sisters engage in the works of Catholic education on all levels, including spiritual retreats. In union with Mary, the sisters pray for the Church, especially for the conversion of sinners and the sanctification of priests.



3 thoughts on “Ten Misconceptions About Discernment & Religious Life”

  1. It’s not only ‘young women’ who have problems with figuring out what their vocation in life is going to be.

    We ‘older’ ones have them too!

    I’m on ‘the other side’ of 55, and I sure as heck don’t know what God wants of me!

    So it’s not just the province of the young!

    1. I agree with Barb! I too am on the edge of 55 and NOW find myself extremely drawn to NUNS/SISTERS and Catholic religious life and communities! Yet..I too am CONFUSED as to what direction God is NOW pulling me!

      1. Dear Bev, There are communities that accept older vocations. You can go to our website – http://www.religiouslife.com – and go to vocations/advanced search and click “Consider older vocations.” There is also a community (new) in New Hampshire called Companions of Clare. They accept women 62 or OLDER! Younger vocations are considered. Feel free to call us if you have any questions (847)573-8975.

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