Am I being called?

The Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung noted that “Vocation acts like a law of God from which there is no escape.  Anyone with a vocation hears the voice of the inner man: he is called.”  The critical factor in any vocation, and particularly in a religious vocation, is the existence of a call—a call that comes from God:  “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.”

Jesus is a hidden treasure which few souls can find
for it is hidden and the world loves what sparkles.

St. Therese of Lisieux

Other seekers share their moments of discernment:

  • “When I walked into the chapel, I felt at home in the silence.  My vocation was a response to love, to being loved.  I knew that in some way I could touch more lives through prayer than I could on a one-to-one basis while at the same time giving myself to God in love.”
  • “From the moment I stepped into the Monastery, I knew this was where God wanted me to be.  The greatest influence on my vocation was Our Blessed Mother, to become like her, hidden and empty of self.”
  • “It was Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament drawing me to Himself.”
  • “I read the life of St. Teresa; I wanted to be united forever with Jesus in a life of prayer—as a Carmelite.”
  • “I was so convinced that God was asking this of me that natural repugnance turned to willing acceptance and eventually, to joyful anticipation.”
  • “I had a deep longing to put God first in my life, and entering Carmel made that possible.”
  • “I kept getting better jobs yet finding less and less satisfaction.  I wanted something more.”
  • “I always felt this deep draw to the religious life, particularly a life of prayer.  My family could not accept that I had a vocation, and for many years I denied that inner call.  Finally, God gave me the grace and the strength to answer his call to Carmel.  My life has never been richer, and I’m still in peaceful relationship with the family.”

Formation in Carmel

A vocation to Carmel is a gift from God.  A woman who enters Carmel goes through a stage of initial formation which lasts for nine years.  This time of discernment for both her and the community will help them to see if she can live within a cloistered, contemplative Order.  Formation, however, does not end with Solemn Profession; it is a life long process. Our life is a daily saying 'yes' to God and our prayer time makes us sensitive to the voice of God within us.  

Aspirancy: The aspirant and the community discern her Carmelite vocation together.  The aspirant continues her life in the world, but she is invited to experience life in the cloister, sometimes for extended periods of time.  The aspirancy process usually lasts for one year.
Postulancy: The candidate gets both practical experience of and instruction in the religious life and moves gradually from the life of the world to that of the novitiate. This period lasts for one year. 
Novitiate: Membership in the Order begins with the novitiate. Its chief purpose is to enable the novice to have first hand knowledge and personal experience of the essential requirements of the following of Christ in the way of life proper to our Carmelite and Teresian calling. This period lasts for two years.
Simple Profession: By her public profession the novice pledges to live according to the vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience and is consecrated to God for a period of three years.  She renews her vows for two more years, for a total of five years before making solemn vows. The simply professed sister will continue her instruction in Teresian spirituality and live it on a practical level.
Solemn Profession: The religious pronounces her vows forever and becomes a permanent member of the community and the Carmelite Order. Throughout her life she will continue to keep her eyes fixed on Christ by means of ongoing formation which will help her deepen her knowledge of God and the Church.

However softly we speak, He is near enough to hear us.  Neither is there any need for wings to go to find Him.
All one need do is to go into solitude
and look at Him within oneself.
St. Teresa of Avila


  • you believe that God is calling you to Carmel,
  • have good health
  • have at least two years of college or work experience

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In the measure you desire Him, you will find Him.
St. Teresa of Avila