I have been in the discernment mode for a vocation in the church for many years now. After countless rejections and not being qualified for almost any vocation, i.e. married, religious, secular institutes. I finally decided to start my own group of consecrated women, The Oblate Sisters of Mary Magdalene. I had been associated to Good Shepherds as a vowed Companion, but they were too liberal for my tastes and not even a secular institute (which on its face would sound like the perfect fit) considered a woman who already had children and had been married could live the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. All this to say I feel quite defeated much of the time.
I have a Yahoo! group for members and the horarium is posted each day. I have stuck to my prayer life, strive to live the vows everyday (we have Rosary bracelets to remind us to pray 5 decades of the Rosary each day) and desperately try to keep in touch with the others. I am even in the process of putting on a Rescued & Adopted Pet Show to Celebrate Life, which will benefit no-kill pet shelters, an advocacy organization for parents of special needs children and the pro-life Pregnancy Decision Health Center here in Central Ohio. It's quite an undertaking, but I am committed to call attention to every single life's importance. We will have participation & support from the Dave Thomas Adoption Foundation through Franklin County Children Services. I am excited for it.
Still, I have to admit, I have, very often, felt the hint of the feeling I had when I was younger, that I am just not good enough to be considered a consecrated lay woman. I obviously will never marry again. I am past my child rearing years and don't know if I will ever be a grandmother. I have been rejected by every religious group for which I appear to qualify. Then, there is the scrutiny I have endured by local clergy & religious. I have been forced to look up to them as they look down their noses at me. This doesn't make me feel overwhelmingly sad, as one might think, but I am getting tired. I really question if God has anything special in mind for me at all. I'm not trying to be pathetic, but honest.
There... now that it's off my chest, does anyone else identify with my Catch-22? Anything helpful is welcome.