Advice needed...

Hi all,

Ok, my situation is that I am 23 yrs. old and I have been discerning, if that’s what I am doing at all, for about 3-4 yrs. I don’t have a spiritual director or talked to the priests at my parish yet. I have visited the Dominican sisters and the Sisters of Charity before and felt that these two places may not be for me. What I am asking advice on is this:

I came across information on the Carmelite order from Utah and really, really wanted to come and visit them. However, it’s been about 4 months since I got the information. Recently, I met my old confirmation teacher and I kinda mentioned to him that I was looking into becoming a religious and he suggested that I talked to the priest about it. I can’t decide whether I should talk to the priest first or go ahead and contact the Carmelite monastery first. I am giving myself stomach ache just trying to decide what to do. I am not someone who talk to others a lot, especially when it’s about something so life changing. Also, I am very indecisive and hesitant even though it’s something I really want to do. I also tend to talk myself out of things and give my self excuses. So if you can give advice that would be great, or links to other threads with similar problems, or maybe I just need some encouragement. Maybe I am just ranting here.

By the way, I didn’t have any problem with visiting the Dominican Sisters or the Sisters of Charity. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I wasn’t the one initiating the process for those two visit and I will be the one doing it on this time. I am feeling guilty about being hesitant, yet I can’t seem to bring myself to make a decision. In any case, thanks in advance for all of your opinions, advice, encouragement, etc.

I understand your hesitation. I think you and I are in the same boat. I have a difficult time voicing my discernment issues with others because how do you put in to words the desires of your heart? At first, I thought that maybe since I couldn’t talk to others about it, that the call wasn’t real, so I stopped discerning for about 6 months until the desires became so painfully (but beautifully) noticeable that I couldn’t run away from them. It took me a long time to find a spiritual director (and even now, I don’t have one as the one I had, I felt, didn’t understand me very well) but everyone I talked to kept urging me to get one. There is a severe discrepancy of religious and priests in my diocese that understand spiritual direction and have the gifts to do it, however, I have discovered that an orthodox community of active sisters in my diocese are trained in the area of spiritual direction and I plan to call them this week to see if I can get a spiritual director in one of them.

I do not think you need to wait until you have a director before contacting the religious community in Utah. Since it can take a while to discern and/or find a capable spiritual director, it is not harmful to move forward to contact with a religious community. In fact, it could be beneficial as the vocation director could act as a director of sorts until you find one close by! :wink:

I found the easiest way for me to communicate with communities was by email or phone (email being preferable), but not all communities have email (the one I am seriously discerning now does not own a computer). But whatever is preferable to you and is convenient to the community will be determined. God bless! :crossrc:

They have a website and email address so write to them right now. Push yourself. Just tell them a bit of what you wrote here but add more as to why you are interested in them.
carmelslc.org/carmelpg7.htm
carmelsl@xmission.com

I know how you feel but like I said you have to push through the nervousness etc and just write that letter or make that call. Pray to the Holy Spirit for light, direction, and strength, and for a good and holy priest or someone to talk to. In the meantime you can try St Ignatius for spiritual direction. I am a big fan of his but he might not be for everyone here is a sample though.
lafayettecarmelites.org/god_calling.php

If you like that and want to go more in depth go to the EWTN audio library here
ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/intro.asp
and search programs for Gawronski. A list of 14 episodes of an Ignatian retreat are there in order. They are 30 mins long and are meant to be listened to one a day. In this way you can start to self direct until you can find someone to help you.

First though stop reading this and write to that Carmel. :slight_smile:

God bless you on your journey. From my experience, it is very important to have a spiritual director. One should pray God to send you one who will guide you in your discernment. Do not think one can do this alone. Even when he is accepted to enter a community, he still needs to have a spiritual director for further discernment.

Spending time with a spiritual director not only helps one in the discernment, but also other things about himself and his relationship with God and with others. Being opened to the spiritual director is very important.

Thank you all for your advice and encouragements. Sorry, it took a while for replying. Had some internal battling to do and I didn’t want to post until a decision has been made and seen through, especially after reading the advices and encouragements here. In any case, I just want to let you all know that I have contacted them and will be looking forward to visiting them during spring break.

Next stop will be my parish priest and I will try to find a spiritual director.

Thank you all again for replying and helping me take another step toward discerning God’s will in my life. Happy New Year and may God bless you all in this new year.

Hi Wavering,

For your consideration, you might want to try linking to “A Nuns Life Ministry” www.anunslife.org

You can do a variety of things …

·Read a new story each day
·Research various topics
·Listen to podcast at 7PM Easter Time … which includes “Praying with the Sisters” from Monday through Thursday
·Listen (and participate if you wish) to special Friday night segment called "Ask Sister.”
·Send prayer requests and questions on-line or … via private email to the Sisters.

Don’t worry, be happy. :o)
Wishing you peace on your journey,
Kathleen

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy”. Leo Buscaglia

When you are discerning a call to religious life you should do so with the assistance of a spiritual director.

Do you have one? That should always be the first step in vocational discernment.

You should speak to your priest about your discernment.

Please listen to the others and seek a spiritual advisor. This is a big step and you need someone with this specific knowledge to guide you. They will walk you through the process and help ease your anxiety. May our Lord shower you with grace.

Oh good you got in touch with them:thumbsup: If it was by email now comes the hard part of waiting for them to reply lol. Give them at least a week if thats the case. Im writing to two Carmels both of which reply in two or three days and from what other peope have said thats pretty fast. One took a week to reply once and when they did Mother explained that they were on retreat, so keep in mind there might be all kinds of reasons for a delay.

They already contacted me, the same day too. We’ve already set the date for the visiting during spring break. They had another person come and do a live-in experience with them near the end of jan., but I wasn’t able to attend at that same date since school just start then. I can’t wait 'til then, I feel giddy just thinking about it.

I will be talking to my priest tomorrow after mass for spiritual direction, however, I don’t know what I would say. I just hope that the Holy Spirit will help me with that tomorrow.

Thank you all again for all your encouragement and advices.

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