A reader recently left a comment on either my personal blog, Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook asking if I have any advice for Catholic teens. Well that's strange, I thought. How can I possibly be old enough to offer such insight? And truth be told, I never actually replied to the comment (or, at least, nothing substantial). I've thought and prayed a lot about that comment, though, and have come to the conclusion that it deserves a reply. Perhaps I'm not the most likely source to turn to for answers and inspiration (I'll be the first to admit that one), but I do hope that you can glean some encouragement from these words.
When I was about 17, I asked a friend (who is now a priest; then -- a Deacon) for some very similar advice. I've still not forgotten his words: "Pray, pray, and more pray. Also, be a good person. Don't grow up too fast, but enjoy life as God brings it to you. If you focus on being the best and holiest woman of God you can be -- your vocation will become pretty clear." I'll second that for the purpose of this post, but add to it another thought (or, rather, expand on a thought). In the words of Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta:
"The more you pray, the more you will love to pray;
and the more you love to pray, the more you will pray."
Simple as that! *smiles and winks*
My favorite prayer has always been the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I began attending Mass periodically throughout the week with my homeschooled family before I ever received my First Holy Communion. Once I had received my first Communion, I began attending Mass daily. I've naturally gone through periods of time when I did not want to attend daily Mass (the last time I missed a Sunday Mass I think my absence was due to the flu. But the part I felt worse about was the fact that it happened -- of all Sundays of the year -- on Easter). I was in the 9th grade when I made the firm resolution to attend daily Mass unless circumstances prevented it.
Attending daily Mass has, among many other things, given me a much deeper appreciation and respect for my body. During my childhood and into my early teens, dressing modestly was not necessarily a personal priority. But I did because my parents held me to their standards (thanks be to God!). Once in high school and I was attending daily Mass more purposefully, I began to think of it this way: when we receive the precious Body and Blood of Our Lord, we are living tabernacles of Christ the King (just as Our Lady was the very first tabernacle, having carried Christ in her womb for 9 months). When we go to Catholic Churches today, we see the tabernacles decked out in gold to honor the Precious Treasure they are bearing. I'm probably not going to approach the altar adorned in gold with a diadem placed upon my head, but dressing modestly and appropriately for the Holy Sacrifice is certainly the next best thing. *smiles*
My devotion to daily Mass is purely a choice. My choice. My parents aren't making me; they never have and I'm doubtful that they ever will. I simply believe with all my heart that Jesus Christ -- Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity -- is present in the Eucharist. What further reason do I need to want to attend daily Mass?
In a nutshell, my advice is to attend Mass and Adoration as frequently as is possible. Masstimes.org is a great place to start to locate Churches and Mass times in your area (at least, in the United States). Regular attendance of both Mass and Adoration is also very fruitful along the path of discernment toward one's vocation. If you simply cannot wait to grow up and be of age for more serious discernment of your vocation: ask Our Lady now to protect your vocation. The rosary is a great prayer for that purpose and Adoration is a great place to pray.
God bless you!