What is a nun’s vocation? (How to know if God called you to be a nun)

I spent a significant time in theology school studying the devotion of religious sisters. I was especially intrigued by the nuns in various Christian denominations. A few months ago, I visited a nunnery and heard the stories of their calling from them and their mother superior. Last week, when I held an online discussion on religious callings, one attendee asked me to explain nun’s vocation. She was curious to know if every nun had a calling or if it was just a random personal decision. Based on what the nuns had told me and the research I had conducted, I was pleased to answer her question. So, what is a nun’s vocation?

A nun’s vocation is a call to have a closer relationship with Christ by dedicating oneself to Him through pledging chastity, obedience, and poverty. According to nuns of the Roman Catholic Church, the consecration is specific to every individual.

In this article, I invite you to join me as we delve into the various types of vocations, the purpose of Catholic vocation, and how one can know if it is their calling to be a nun. Read along to find answers to these and more questions.

How many types of vocations are there?

According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, there are four types of vocations: marriage, single life, priesthood, and religious life. A marriage involves each partner building the other up to grow spiritually. Religious life is a call to serve God and contribute to His Kingdom. In religious life, men can be ordained to serve and lead God’s people in prayer through the priesthood. The single life involves men and women choosing to detach themselves from marital attachments and use the freedom they acquire from that to serve God.

What is the purpose of the Catholic vocation?

What is a nun’s vocation?
What is the purpose of the Catholic vocation? Image source: Pixabay

The purpose of vocation revolves around the beliefs and teachings of the Catholic Church, but it depends on the different types. The purpose of the priesthood is to serve the people and be mediators between the community and God. Those in religious life, including nuns, have a role to play in serving God and humanity through prayers and works of charity. The purpose of marriage is to uplift each other in Christ, procreate, and raise the children in faith, while the purpose of single life is to preserve oneself to serve God.

How do I know being a nun is my calling?

A sister at the nunnery I visited simply said, Follow your intuition. The call is different for everyone. The common agreement was that it starts as a vague thought that keeps returning and slowly becomes clear. A Nun’s Life Ministry notes that the calling will be in a voice you recognize. You will probably feel it in what you do, and your daily activities may gravitate toward it. According to Isaiah 30:20-21, God will not hide from you; rather, his voice will sound in your ears.

How do you know if it is God who called you to be a nun?

Matthew 19:26 says that what is impossible to man is possible to God. The calling might happen so mysteriously that you might be curious to know if it is from God. Truly, there is no certain way of knowing other than faith and prayer. If the urge is unshakable, you might want to consider praying about it so that God can show you a clear path.

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