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Signs of a Vocation to Religious Life

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The following is taken from Fr. William Doyle, S.J.'s public domain pamphlet, "Vocations."  His "signs" coincide with our and others' experience.

1. To long for God's glory; to realize something of the value of immortal souls, and to desire to cooperate in their salvation.
 
2. A willingness to be received in any capacity is a proof of a real vocation.
 
3. A longing to sacrifice oneself and abandon all for the love of Jesus Christ and to suffer for His sake.
 
4. The happiness which the thought of religious life brings, its helps, its peace, its merit and reward.
 
5. To desire to atone for one's sins or those of others; and to fly from the temptations which one feels too weak to resist.
 
6. To desire to devote one's whole life to obtain the conversion of one dear to us.
 
7. A fear of sin, into which it is easy to fall, and a longing to flee from the dangers and tempations of the world (Note: the devil will tempt religious in ways different from that of the laity).
 
8. A growing attraction for prayer and holy things in general, together with a longing for a hidden life and a desire to be more closely united to God.
 
9. To have a hatred for things of the world--a conviction of their hollowness and insufficiency to satisfy the soul.  This feeling is generally strongest in the midst of worldly amusement.
 
10. A desire to have a religious vocation, together with the conviction that God is calling one to His service.  This desire is generally most strongly felt when the soul is calm, after Holy Communion, and in time of retreat.
 
11. It is sometimes the sign of a vocation when a person fears that God may call him; 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, though Fr. Lehmkuhl says: "One need not have a natural inclination for the religious life; on the contrary, a Divine vocation is suitable with a natural dislike for that state."  

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Sweet Heart of Jesus, be thou my love! 

"Do not rouse my love until it please to wake."  (Song of Songs)