Our Lord has created persons for all states in life, and in all of them we see people who who achieved sanctity by fulfilling their obligations well.
-St. Anthony Mary Claret
Diocese of Honolulu Prayer for Vocations
Prayer for Vocations
your divine Son taught us
to pray to the Lord of the harvest
to send laborers into His vineyard.
We earnestly beg you
to bless our Diocese and our world
with many priests and religious
who will love you fervently and gladly
and courageously spend their lives
in service to your Son's Church,
especially the poor and the needy.
Bless our families and our children,
and choose from our homes those who you desire for this holy work.
Teach them to respond generously
and keep them ever faithful
in following your Son Jesus Christ,
that under the guidance of the Holy
and with the inspiration of
Blessed Damien and Blessed Marianne
the Good News of redemption
may be brought to all.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Diocese of Honolulu - Office of Vocations
In searching for words from saints on discerning a vocation to either religious life or the priesthood, I came across this marvelous site which is a wealth of inspiration for those of you discerning your vocation in life.
According To The Saints
The Saints offer us additional insight, namely; that the consecrated life is the surest path to God for a soul that loves God, and the most efficacious means for the salvation of the world (principally through a life of prayer and mortification). It is thus that the soul of a religious is better equipped to rise, without distraction, to the highest degrees of union with God;
They [religious] live more purely, they fall more rarely, they rise more speedily, they are aided more powerfully, they live more peacefully, they die more securely, and they are rewarded more abundantly."
"Today, the Lord gave me knowledge of His anger toward mankind which deserves to have its days shortened because of its sins. But I learned that the world's existence is maintained by chosen souls; that is, the religious orders. Woe to the world when there will be a lack of religious orders!" - diary, Dec. 1937 ¶.1434
"[The] Child Jesus said to me, 'Look at the sky.' And when I looked at the sky I saw the stars and the moon shining. Then the child asked me, 'Do you see this moon and these stars?' When I said yes, he spoke these words to me, 'These stars are the souls of faithful Christians, and the moon is the souls of religious. Do you see how great the difference is between the light of the moon and the light of the stars? Such is the difference in heaven between the soul of a religious and the soul of a faithful Christian'." - diary, May 12, 1935 ¶.424
Saint Ignatius, founder of the Jesuit order
"If a person thinks of embracing a secular life, he should ask and desire more evident signs that God calls him to a secular life than if there were question of embracing the evangelical counsels; for Our Lord Himself has clearly exhorted us to embrace His counsels."
Saint Cyprian of Carthage, A.D. 258 †
"But chastity maintains the first rank in virgins, the second in those who are continent (celibate), the third in the case of wedlock." [...] "While laws are prescribed to matrons ... virginity and continency are beyond all law; there is nothing in the laws of matrimony which pertains to virginity; for by its loftiness it transcends them all."
Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, A.D. 373 †
"Now if a man choose the way of the world, namely marriage, he is not indeed to blame; yet he will not receive such great gifts as the other. For he will receive, since he too brings forth fruit, namely thirtyfold. But if a man embraces the holy and unearthly way, even though as compared with the former it be rugged and hard to accomplish, nonetheless it has the more wonderful gifts: for it grows the perfect fruit, namely a hundredfold."
Ven. Mary of Agreda, "Mystical City of God", Book II, Chp. I
[Words of the Queen] "My daughter, the greatest happiness, which can befall any soul in this mortal life, is that the Almighty call her to his house consecrated to his service. For by this benefit He rescues the soul from a dangerous slavery and relieves her of the vile servitude of the world, where, deprived of true liberty, she eats her bread in the sweat of her brow. Who is so dull and insipid as not to know the dangers of the worldly life, which is hampered by all the abominable and most wicked laws and customs introduced by the astuteness of the devil and the perversity of men?
The better part is religious life and retirement; in it is found security, outside is a torment and a stormy sea, full of sorrow and unhappiness. Through the hardness of their heart and the total forgetfulness of themselves men do not know this truth and are not attracted by its blessings. But thou, 0 soul, be not deaf to the voice of the Most High, attend and correspond to it in thy actions: I wish to remind thee, that one of the greatest snares of the demon is to counteract the call of the Lord, whenever he seeks to attract and incline the soul to a life of perfection in his service. Even by itself, the public and sacred act of receiving the habit and entering religion, although it is not always performed with proper fervor and purity of intention, is enough to rouse the wrath and fury of the infernal dragon and his demons; for they know that this act tends not only to the glory of the Lord and the joy of the holy angels, but that religious life will bring the soul to holiness and perfection. It very often happens, that they who have received the habit with earthly and human motives, are afterwards visited by divine grace, which perfects them and sets all things aright. If this is possible even when the beginning was without a good intention, how much more powerful and efficacious will be the light and influence of grace and the discipline of religious life, when the soul enters under the influence of divine love and with a sincere and earnest desire of finding God, and of serving and loving Him?