Dear brothers and sisters,
First of all, a merry Christmas to you all.
Secondly, I would like to share my experiences regarding my vocation to religious life.
When I was 18, a friend invited me to a feast in a monastery.
At the very first moment I saw the sisters I had a very deep experience, I new in the deepest of my soul that God was calling me to join this specefic order.
6 years later, after doing the spiritual exercises of Ignatius, I made a formal request to enter.
After that I stayed over in the monastery for a week. The romantic feelings I had 6 years ago weren't there anymore.
I have not a very strong health. I was physically exausted, had a lack of sleep. the contact with the sisters was difficult: I am calm, serious, introvert.
They are my opposite. We are from another country you see.
The superior told me I had to give myself more time.
This year I also met consecrated laywomen. I loved their Charisma, they made a lot impression on me. I can not enter them because I know I have a calling to the monastery.
That sometimes frustrates me.
My priest told me we should consider our vocation as an invitation. If one rejects it, there will be a pain, from both God and our side. However God will find us something else.
Does anyone recordnise my situation?
Dear brothers and sisters,
Happy Christmas to you
It may just take you time to find the right vocation. It may take a life time even. You are not rejecting it but embracing what God may have in store for you. I had a closer look at something this summer. I quickly found out this was not me. I don't hold the view point that rejecting but finding out what it is really are being called for. For me, it is simplicity and I understand those who say there is simplicity in following rules as like in an Order. That was far too complicated for me. It hurt for a time because I wanted to be a part of something thus. But it would have hurt more to have pursued it. May be what you think of as rejecting and what your priest is telling you about rejecting are different. He is saying may be rejecting calling in that you to find out what your calling is. You think he may be saying rejecting a calling for that specific monestary. It would be hard and impossible almost to reject Gods' calling. But it doesn't necessarily mean that his calling is to that Order. You will honestly know what is right, when it happens. I was unhappy at my visit to the Monestary. I was only looking at becoming a like a 'friend' to the monestary. But it wasn't meant to be. I am glad I explored. But even just as a friend per se, it not how I am with God. I am at peace with that exploration. You will in time will be too if you have sincerly explored and are able to be open about your decision. I am feeling unsure about what you think your priest means and what he may be actually be meaning. Go back to him and really talk it through and be open. Your calling may be what you are as of now. That could be your calling and you cannot reject it because it would be too strong and you be unhappy. It could be on those kind of lines he means. Please talk to him and ask him for help in exploring. Your vocation is what you are doing and that in itself be hard to reject. Please talk with your priest more :thumbsup:
peace be with you and have a holy and happy Christmas
Unfortunately, I don’t have experience in your area of need therefore all I can share is my own experience in terms of discernment. It has been my experience that sometimes we need to take a step of faith and try it out. One never knows until they have tried. Then as we explore, new doors open some that we never expected and we learn more about ourselves which helps us to discern even more deeply where God wants us to be.
Since you feel your calling is the monastery perhaps you need to try it out there and see what happens. I think it is important to ask yourself why didn’t the place that you felt the calling, feel like home. This will require time and it would be a good idea to bring that question in front of the altar, during adoration and seriously seek God in this. This will take some time. It might be a good idea to bring a prayer journal with you to note your ideas and reflections. Seeking active spiritual direction will also be important. You might realize that there might be aspects that you love, and others you dislike. You can focus on both and then see where God is calling you to be. Maybe you won’t be called to the original monastery forever which is ok. We all need to have a safe place where God speaks to us and whispers his plans for us. God has used several safe places such as monasteries, churches and other christian groups to whisper his plans. Once we hear the call, we can begin to listen and discover God’s plans. Therefore the first monastery, you may not be called to remain there forever because God has bigger plans. Sometimes we are called to be in one area for a while that will prepare us for the next step in life He has chosen. Maybe in your case, it could be a different monastery or maybe down the road, a lay connection. I don’t know what God has planned but if your priest believes you have a deep vocation, it is certainly worth while trying it out and see what happens. I know of one nun who tried one order and for reasons she never explained, didn’t work so she tried another where she has remained ever since. For example she started out with the Benedictine sisters and later went to the Fraternity of Jerusalem where she felt at home.
I’ve noticed that there are many orders our there and God knows where you are being called to be. I have included several links for the Fraternity of Jerusalem. They have a monastery in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I have visited them on a few occasions and they are amazing caring people. I have a lot of respect for them. If it speaks to you, and you realize that they have a strong French connection and you don’t speak french, please don’t let that detour you, the people I know, do speak English and if this is where God calls you, you will pick up the language very quickly by living in the community, interacting with people and by taking language courses. Montreal has a ton of french courses, many of which are free.
Here is their official website
I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please send me a line.
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2013.
SG, Could you tell us more about the Fraternite of Jerusalem in Quebec? I am very interested in this order. I saw a short article about them in Vision magazine.
Thank you for the courage to share your situation. You need to answer 3 questions for yourself to have clarity about your vocation:
*]Can this community help me to become a saint? (Are they faithful to the Magisterium, using an appropriate formation process, obedient to rule, etc.?)
*]Will this community help me grow in holiness? (Are the members committed to prayer, community life, apostolate according to the rule?)
*]Is this home for me? (personalities, relationships, culture, way of life, etc.)
Of course the cross is involved in any vocation, but the cross is lived with love because there is a deep abiding sense that this is where God wants me to be. If you answered "yes" to each of those questions, then it is simply a matter of working through things during this time of transition and formation. If you answered "no" to one or more of the questions, then it may be time to move on to the home God has in store for you.
Fr. Scott, AVI
Apostles of the Interior Life
Thank you very much to you all for sharing your experience with me and for your advice.
I remember that when the superior told me to wait a bit longer, I felt that it was good. I knew that God speaks through the superior. Perhaps I should take one step at a time and accept that at this very moment, God needs me in this world. I am a convert and I have read that the Church advices to wait 2 years after baptism before entering a religious community.