The Most Common Objections to Entering Religious Life

By pintswaquinas April 16, 2024

We still await a renewal of religious life in the Church, as the number of men and women entering religious communities remains historically low.

It’s likely that some of you reading this have a call to religious life. But there may be things standing in the way of discerning your call.

Here are a few of the most common objections people make to becoming a religious sister or brother.

Locals Pints With Aquinas Cartoon

1. I can’t commit to something for the rest of my life.
We live in an age of broken promises. The high divorce rate has destroyed many people’s faith in life-long commitments, including religious life. Plus, our modern world offers us seemingly limitless alternatives to whatever vocation we are considering.

When you join a religious order, you don’t immediately promise to stay there for life. You go through a period of discernment where you’ll test your call. Don’t let fear of commitment keep you from trying religious life. If it’s not meant for you, God and your superiors will make that clear.

Time spent in a religious order is never wasted. You’ll grow in ways that will help you in the future, no matter what vocation you ultimately choose.

2. I have a strong desire for marriage.
Good! Then you’ll make a great sister or brother. Here’s the thing: The vocation to marriage is written in our human nature. Even those called to the priesthood or religious life may feel the tug toward marriage at some point.

Religious life doesn’t destroy our marital instincts, it elevates them. Every religious is called to be a spouse of the eternal Bridegroom and a spiritual mother or father to the people they encounter.

Religious life is simply a different way to be a spouse and parent.

3. There are difficult people in the community I’m thinking about entering.
Religious life isn’t easy. Those of us on the outside are tempted to look in and see nothing but brothers or sisters living in eternal peace and harmony. But becoming a religious doesn’t automatically purge us of annoying habits. In fact, one way that religious life sanctifies you is by teaching you to continue loving even difficult brothers or sisters. Frankly, that’s not much different than marriage, where spouses have to learn to put up with each other’s faults.

If you’ve thought about religious life and still aren’t sure about your vocation, talk to a priest or a spiritual director. Religious life is a very fulfilling vocation that will do much to help you reach heaven.


Become part of the Pints With Aquinas community by supporting the show on Locals. Depending on the amount of your monthly gift, you’ll get access to some pretty awesome perks, from the “Morning Coffee” podcast to monthly spiritual direction videos from Fr. Gregory Pine!



Find this mug, apparel, books and more on the official Pints with Aquinas online store.