A pestering Vocation


#1

Hi, I have had a vocation since I was 15 years old, now I am 25. I joined an apostolic community when I was 20 and it didn’t work out, I left five months later thinking that that must not be the right place for me. after that, still feeling called, I researched more communities online. One was the Capuchin sisters of Nazareth. They seemed like the perfect community to join, they were new, contemplative and full of young people. But when I contacted them they basically told me (in so many words) that I didn’t have a vocation and even went so far as to tell me not to go to their retreat. then, they gave me the number of their sister order, the Franciscan sisters of the renewal, which rejected me because I was a postulant in another community previously. I pretty much gave up after that. Then, a couple years later, I never felt more called in my whole and when I was 23 I discovered there was a monastic Benedictine Priory in the San Juan Islands in Washington State where I live. I visited there a couple times before deciding that I wanted to give it a shot.The day I got there for what was going to be a three month pre-postulancy I ended up getting really bad hey fever and spraining my ankle and I was forced to leave. I decided shortly after that that I wanted to take steps to leave the catholic faith because I felt that that was going to be the only way for me to suppress this call that I have. But the call is still there. I cannot get rid of it, and I don’t know what to do about it. I have so many conflicting questions that I keep asking myself. One is obvious, Is god calling me? and if so, why has it been so difficult for me to find a community that’s right for me? Why do religious sister and nuns think that they can tell me whether or not I have a vocation and one or two conversations over the phone seems to be an adequate enough deal breaker for whether or not I am right for their community? Why to communities with younger vocations seem to reject me? I’m TWENTY-FIVE years old.:confused::mad::(:shrug:


#2

Each Order has it own spirituality focus. Perhaps Orders that you apply to may have some concern as to the particular focus of you own as you have tried several differing Order with differing traditions. Could it be helpful to go to sources and read the particular spirituality of the founders before seeking admission to an Order?

I did myself believe for much of my childhood that I was called to be a Carmelite nun. It sadly wasn't to be so. My son spend two years with the Capuchins, having believed he was called to be a Capuchin priest from age 11. It was only during his novitiate that he was informed that his vocation was elsewhere.

These things are not always clear however deep our desire to commit to spiritual life.
In any case, all are called to spiritual life whether in congregations, as singles, or as married persons. In none of these lives do things run smoothly always, in none of them do we not find some personality difficulties and challenges, but within each of these vocations we can grow to deeper faith in God and ever to a life of holiness, prayerfulness, and charity.

I hope and pray that you will find the Order/the vocation to which you are called, and will grow in holiness and ministry within it.

May our dear Lord guide you to all that He desires for, in, and through you.
God's most loving blessings to you.
:)


#3

[quote="Nunzilla, post:1, topic:292571"]
Hi, I have had a vocation since I was 15 years old, now I am 25. I joined an apostolic community when I was 20 and it didn't work out, I left five months later thinking that that must not be the right place for me. after that, still feeling called, I researched more communities online. One was the Capuchin sisters of Nazareth. They seemed like the perfect community to join, they were new, contemplative and full of young people. But when I contacted them they basically told me (in so many words) that I didn't have a vocation and even went so far as to tell me not to go to their retreat. then, they gave me the number of their sister order, the Franciscan sisters of the renewal, which rejected me because I was a postulant in another community previously. I pretty much gave up after that. Then, a couple years later, I never felt more called in my whole and when I was 23 I discovered there was a monastic Benedictine Priory in the San Juan Islands in Washington State where I live. I visited there a couple times before deciding that I wanted to give it a shot.The day I got there for what was going to be a three month pre-postulancy I ended up getting really bad hey fever and spraining my ankle and I was forced to leave. I decided shortly after that that I wanted to take steps to leave the catholic faith because I felt that that was going to be the only way for me to suppress this call that I have. But the call is still there. I cannot get rid of it, and I don't know what to do about it. I have so many conflicting questions that I keep asking myself. One is obvious, Is god calling me? and if so, why has it been so difficult for me to find a community that's right for me? Why do religious sister and nuns think that they can tell me whether or not I have a vocation and one or two conversations over the phone seems to be an adequate enough deal breaker for whether or not I am right for their community? Why to communities with younger vocations seem to reject me? I'm TWENTY-FIVE years old.:confused::mad::(:shrug:

[/quote]

Just think to yourself the Lord does not give a Hearts desire without the means to fulfill it.
I dont know why you would want to leave the Catholic Church if you say you Love the Lord and want to serve Him and be His Bride, is this a clue that there is something going on spiritually in your life, that some of the Orders detect when you talk to them, that for instance you give up easily ie. your already talking about renouncing the One True Religion because you have not found the Order yet. Go deeper into your prayer life, get a priest as your Spiritual Director , as what you Love you dont think of changing or giving up.
The Superior's of these Orders know how to spot a vocation the Lord has given them special Graces to spot a vocation, its not a case of as you say " Who are they whether or not I have a vocation " here lies your problem sorry for saying it but obedience seems to be a big problem with you. Dont despair, get a Spiritual Director see what the priest says, and then accept God's Will for you, you can be a great Catholic in the world, that is if you are going to stay a Catholic- Dont put the Lord to the test. Just pray and Love him more , ask Him what He wants for you, do you pray for an hour in front of the Eucharist, step up your prayer Life, and who knows what might happen. Walk with God in the Catholic Church never think of just me, but God put first. He will tell you what you want, if YOU ARE FAITHFULL.:nun1:


#4

[quote="Nunzilla, post:1, topic:292571"]
Hi, I have had a vocation since I was 15 years old, now I am 25. I joined an apostolic community when I was 20 and it didn't work out, I left five months later thinking that that must not be the right place for me. after that, still feeling called, I researched more communities online. One was the Capuchin sisters of Nazareth. They seemed like the perfect community to join, they were new, contemplative and full of young people. But when I contacted them they basically told me (in so many words) that I didn't have a vocation and even went so far as to tell me not to go to their retreat. then, they gave me the number of their sister order, the Franciscan sisters of the renewal, which rejected me because I was a postulant in another community previously. I pretty much gave up after that. Then, a couple years later, I never felt more called in my whole and when I was 23 I discovered there was a monastic Benedictine Priory in the San Juan Islands in Washington State where I live. I visited there a couple times before deciding that I wanted to give it a shot.The day I got there for what was going to be a three month pre-postulancy I ended up getting really bad hey fever and spraining my ankle and I was forced to leave. I decided shortly after that that I wanted to take steps to leave the catholic faith because I felt that that was going to be the only way for me to suppress this call that I have. But the call is still there. I cannot get rid of it, and I don't know what to do about it. I have so many conflicting questions that I keep asking myself. One is obvious, Is god calling me? and if so, why has it been so difficult for me to find a community that's right for me? Why do religious sister and nuns think that they can tell me whether or not I have a vocation and one or two conversations over the phone seems to be an adequate enough deal breaker for whether or not I am right for their community? Why to communities with younger vocations seem to reject me? I'm TWENTY-FIVE years old.:confused::mad::(:shrug:

[/quote]

Thank you for responding to grace! He wants your heart for Himself!

Try seeing it the other way around--you're not supposed to be there, and God knows you would be miserable in those settings. Ask the Holy Ghost to purify your intentions. Keep looking locally first. Check your diocesan website and see which communities are represented.

There is a Poor Clare who posts on these boards who, I believe, is in your area. Her group would be more than happy to work with you on this discernment.

There are many spiritualities out there, so don't despair. You've tried the Franciscans and the Benedictines. Read the rules, and the lives of the founders. There's the Rule of St. Augustine, and the Albertine rule which the Carmelites use, etc.

Teresa's writings are for everyone, and they apply to everyone's spiritual life. Being attracted to them doesn't necessarily mean one has a vocation to Carmel. St. Therese said she would spend her Heaven doing good upon the Earth. Attracting hearts to the cloister seems to be part of her work. The "Little Flower Phenomenon" is real. You wouldn't believe how many converts--young and old--want to become another St Therese in the context of a 1990 Constitutions Carmel. They are usually romanticizing.

If He is the one calling you, He is the one responsible for leading you. And it may be a "convoluted" way. Just go to the source, and study your attractions while at adoration:
savior.org/

If "new" is part of the attraction, there are many communities which are new and/or emerging.

Since you had been in a convent previously, that may "taint" you to some communities. I have a yahoo support group for ex-sisters: groups.yahoo.com/group/nearly_nun_club/

Some of the ladies on the group are forming a lay association, but membership in that isn't required. They are calling themselves "auxiliary brides," and expect a fuller title and governing statutes eventually. Membership in that isn't required, though, as I stated previously. Some may think that joining the "auxiliary brides" is required, but it isn't.

HTH

Blessings,
Cloisters
cloisters.tripod.com/


#5

Thank you all for responding! Now that I have read the responses, I do realize now that I have more trouble with my vocation when I am thinking of only myself, which I have a bad habit of doing. I stop going to church and I stop praying praying. But then I always find my way back and stronger than before.I kind of grew up doing things i shouldn't be doing, I have, if you will, street smarts. But like I said, my vocation has been with me forever, It does not go away, and it doesn't dim

One of the biggest reason why I am so confused about my vocation is because most other women I met who have a vocation are so sure about it. They zero in on one order, join it, and stay for years or for their whole lives. Like that community was tailor made for them. Sometimes I think about just taking private vows, but I need a community, I need people around me to teach me and I need to be able to use my gift.

anyway, Your responses really have helped me, GOD BLESS!:):D:thumbsup:


#6

Hun, I sympathize with you and I'm going to put this in the most delicate way as possible. I've been where you are and I am still discerning religious life. I'm currently in the aspirancy stage for a missionary order after 4 years of searching and I was turned away many times because I have chronic depression which I must stay on medication for.

As for your current situation, I strongly urge you to not leave the Catholic faith. We go through many turbulent times in our relationship with God, but it's a test or measure of your endurance and perseverance. Even if you never enter a religious order, God can teach you some pretty miraculous things during your discernment that you would have never learned otherwise. I've learned patience and compassion throughout this process.

Regarding your discernment, I know what it is like to have the call come back all time when you thought you had forgotten about it and moved on with your life. If it brings you peace, then it is most likely from God, but if it brings you great anxiety and despair, then you most likely do not have a vocation. God wants our happiness. He doesn't inspire unrealizable desires as St. Therese of Lisieux said. There has to be a reason why this call keeps coming back.

Don't let a few bad situations mess this up. When God closes one door, He opens a window and it may just be that you were not called to these 4 communities. There could still be one out there that He thinks would suit your strengths and weaknesses better. You just haven't found it yet.

The most important thing to remember in the midst of all this is that you cannot be 100% sure you have a vocation until you make final vows to a community. Discernment is a 2-way street and both you and the community have to agree that you belong. Even so, before final vows (and sometimes, after, though rare), God could call you somewhere else or out of religious life altogether. We won't know why some things happen until we get to heaven.

For now, get yourself a spiritual director whom you can confide in. Discernment doesn't have to be difficult and it's much easier when you have someone to help you decipher the call in this busy world. I also recommend these three books:

Abandonment to Divine Providence

I Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat based on the Teaching of St. Therese of Lisieux

Religious Vocation: An Unnecessary Mystery

You will figure this out sooner or later (hopefully, sooner)! You have my prayers! :thumbsup:


#7

[quote="Nunzilla, post:1, topic:292571"]
Hi, I have had a vocation since I was 15 years old, now I am 25. I joined an apostolic community when I was 20 and it didn't work out, I left five months later thinking that that must not be the right place for me. after that, still feeling called, I researched more communities online. One was the Capuchin sisters of Nazareth. They seemed like the perfect community to join, they were new, contemplative and full of young people. But when I contacted them they basically told me (in so many words) that I didn't have a vocation and even went so far as to tell me not to go to their retreat. then, they gave me the number of their sister order, the Franciscan sisters of the renewal, which rejected me because I was a postulant in another community previously. I pretty much gave up after that. Then, a couple years later, I never felt more called in my whole and when I was 23 I discovered there was a monastic Benedictine Priory in the San Juan Islands in Washington State where I live. I visited there a couple times before deciding that I wanted to give it a shot.The day I got there for what was going to be a three month pre-postulancy I ended up getting really bad hey fever and spraining my ankle and I was forced to leave. I decided shortly after that that I wanted to take steps to leave the catholic faith because I felt that that was going to be the only way for me to suppress this call that I have. But the call is still there. I cannot get rid of it, and I don't know what to do about it. I have so many conflicting questions that I keep asking myself. One is obvious, Is god calling me? and if so, why has it been so difficult for me to find a community that's right for me? Why do religious sister and nuns think that they can tell me whether or not I have a vocation and one or two conversations over the phone seems to be an adequate enough deal breaker for whether or not I am right for their community? Why to communities with younger vocations seem to reject me? I'm TWENTY-FIVE years old.:confused::mad::(:shrug:

[/quote]

I have been in the same community you mention in the San Juan Islands so we have more than one thing in common. I have been actively discerning religious life for the past five years (although the initial call came quite early and I tried when I was in my 20s too), and I have had many major setbacks. My advice to you is not to despair, to trust in God for ALL things and to be patient while He works on you. Most people who feel the call to religious life have at some point in time offered themselves to God with what I call 'the blank cheque (check)' meaning that we proclaim to God that we trust him with our lives, but then we complain when things don't go our way immediately. Remember Abraham and Sarah - they didn't always trust God completely, despite Abraham's great sacrifice of his son Isaac later in life. Remember how he and Sarah first tried to do things their own way by conceiving a child through Hagar?? Sarah never thought she would conceive and give Abraham the son that he was promised - they had to wait 10 years, a lifetime to us poor mortals, but less than a blink of the eye for God.

You might find some of the things I have written in my discernment blog helpful. This first post is here ... At Any Age.

If you would like to email me privately, I would be happy to discuss things with you, but I am going on a 4 day visit to Colwich Abbey this Thursday so might not be able to reply immediately. You have my prayers. sponsajesus at gmail dot com.


#8

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