I am 21 now, although my birthday is in June. I have been a devoutly religious person all my life, seeking the truth passionately, and discovered Catholicism in my teens. I found it lined up perfectly with what I already believed. I was finally confirmed earlier this month, although I have been Catholic in my heart for quite some time.
I love to go to Mass and to pray. It is in my nature to live deliberately, or intensely, although I am an introvert. I believe God is communicating to me, through the nature with which I was born, to enter into a Holy Order. I want to live a disciplined lifestyle, to learn from people who are selfless, deeply kind, and wise, and to study humility and to pursue it. And of course to give myself totally to God without a lot of distractions.
I have done a fair amount of research on different orders and I like especially the Order of St. Clare, but am open to the Carmelites and the Benedictines also. It is difficult to decide, but I am confident that going for retreats and frequent prayer will lead me well.
Although Jesus gave authority to the Church, and the Church seems to praise austere, contemplative orders, I am concerned that the lifestyle, although very attractive to me for the reasons listed above, is contradictory to the way Jesus seems to want us to live. “I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.” What does Jesus think of my entering into an enclosed monastery? I feel drawn to the Poor Clares, but I feel conflicted. I am thinking of making an appointment with my priest to express my concerns, but I thought I would make this topic first to see what other people thought of the matter.