Could you become a Benedictine nun?

And what does the Spirit say? Come and listen to me...  Rule of Benedict

If you've ever wondered how – or if – you could fit into religious life, know you don't have to be perfect. Not by a long shot! Here are some important traits, though.

1. You can get along with others

Look at your relationships – at work, in the community, and at home – for clues. If they are healthy, you could fit in.

In general, religious communities look for stability and maturity in candidates. You have to be able to work both independently and with others.

You have to be able to relate to a variety of people.

The range of personalities within a religious community run the gamut from extrovert to introvert, and fun-loving to somber. To be able to get along with everyone requires maturity, a quality vocation directors look for from the start.

2. You have age-appropriate maturity

Life is full of ups and downs, and how we handle those events shows how balanced we are.

If you feel someone has insulted you, for instance, how do you react? Do you try to hurt back? Do you sulk for days?

Do you communicate your feelings to the person you believe insulted you?

Or do you let it go?

A young woman might not be able to handle conflict in a mature manner yet. But, by 40, if she reacts to a perceived insult with the cold-shoulder treatment, that's a bit immature.

In communities of dozens – and sometimes hundreds – of people, lifestyle skills are key.

You'll be affected by many other people in community. You need good problem-solving and communication skills.

You need a good understanding of who you are, as well!

3. You have the right motivation

Who you are helps enflame your desire to explore religious life in the first place, of course. But take a close look at your motivation.

The call to religious life can sometimes be confused with wanting to escape from secular life.

The desire to live in community is based on a call from God.

You must feel called to seek God together with others, using prayer as your cornerstone. You don't enter religious life to escape issues or avoid problems.

Contact the vocation director of a Catholic Sisters' community

You need a level of faith maturity to hear and respond to God's call, which takes time and patience.

A vocation director can't tell you that religious life is absolutely for you, but she can identify the skills and God-centeredness that are crucial to religious life.

Giving your life to God in this way is a deeply joyful experience for those who are called!

Take this short quiz to see what type of community you might best fit into.

Or contact Benedictine vocation director Sister Stefanie MacDonald for help in your discernment: or (309) 283-2300