I’ve been in contact with a Religious order of Sisters for the last few months and I’ve been keen to join them but lately I’ve felt that this community is not interested in having me. This isn’t to say that they won’t accept me, just that they aren’t particularly interested in what I can bring to them and I feel like I won’t fit in.
There’s no other order I’m interested in since I’ve never found an order I feel strongly about other than the one in question.
I’m confused now. I feel like if religious life isn’t for me then I just have to continue living as I am now in the world but I feel so far from complete and I don’t feel like I’m doing the work God wants.
It’s either Religious life or single life for me.
I feel so lost.
The time spent discerning your vocation is meant for issues like this to be resolved. If you have not actually discussed this with your contact person you are letting your own thoughts and feelings speak for the community. Communicating your feelings just the way you have here to someone who can speak for the order would be a great first step. I will pray for you.
I find the whole process regarding discerning hard. There are so many religious orders that I don’t know where to start looking. I was accepted into the Catholic Church last Easter (2013) and have been advised I have to wait 2 years before I can enter a Convent
It’s really important to pay attention to your gut feelings. If you feel that they won’t be a good fit, don’t try to force a “fit”. It’s also important to have good and open communications with the sisters. Talk to them about what you bring and how that would fit. It’s far better to bring these things out in the open than to keep them bottled or to guess.
Why don’t you feel that you’re doing what God wants you to do right now? Do you feel that living in the world is somehow an inferior way of life and that you can’t be holy?
Gemma, you say throughout that you are confused, but you would also do well to remember who the author of confusion is. It’s good, though, that you are able to put your gut feelings into words. Now you must bring them to your spiritual director and obey his counsels.
This could be a trial for you, or it could be a way of being warned away from this order. I don’t know what or why. In the meantime, though, keep in the state of grace, and frequent the sacraments often. Private acts of abandonment to the will of God are also helpful.
And take cheer. You don’t know what He might have for you around the corner.
Nothing to do with feeling holy or anything, I know there are Sainrs who weren’t In Religious orders such as my patron saint.
What I feel is that I’m not representing God, I have a desire to bring people to know Jesus and just can’t.
My job is caring for the elderly and although that’s nice I don’t work for a Catholic organisation so there’s no way I feel I’m working for God. I’m also finishing off studying and hoping to work more in the social work field.
All I think I can do is wear a crucifix around my neck and do my best and hope people accociate any good works I do with being Catholic.
And there’s one other big issue for me, I live with my mother who was divorced many years ago and I look after her financially and support her emotionally.
I feel like it would be wrong to abandon her to enter Religious life.
At first my mother supported me entering Religious life but after thinking last night I’m not sure if it would be good of me to leave her. I thought about how one of St Therese’s sisters wanted to enter a convent but stayed looking after her sick dad until he died and then she entered.
This is also a big issue!
Aha. This looks like the crux of the issue. Most religious orders will not accept you as a postulant if you have a relation dependent upon your care. So if you have minor children by a deceased spouse, you cannot enter religion. If you are the primary caregiver to an elderly or ill parent, you cannot enter religion, nor should you contract marriage.
You nowhere say that she is invalid or incapable of independent life, so you need to get a sense of how dependent your mother is upon you. You say you look after her financially; is she dependent upon your income? Has she any means of being independent of your income? These are questions to be addressed in calm discussion with her, in prayer, and in your conferences with your spiritual director. It is a good thing to bring up with the vocations director of the order you hope to enter as well. Remember that this is not a job interview; you are not trying to sell yourself. Frankness and honesty with her in your discourses is necessary, just as it is with your spiritual director.
If for some reason you or the vocations director judge that you cannot enter the convent at this time due to your family obligations, it might however be wise to inquire about becoming a lay associate to this order, if it sponsors such a group. Thus, you can then remain close to them, and again able to discern becoming a vowed sister again at some point if your mother’s situation should change.
_Gemma_I don’t work for a Catholic organisation so there’s no way I feel I’m working for God
I think you really do need to have a good talk with your spiritual director. Your spiritual perspective is somewhat off centre. Even though you are not working for a Catholic organisation, you are still definitely working for God. It is not only Catholics who are His beloved creatures, it is the whole of creation - it is every single person we come across and certainly the elderly in need of loving care. As baptised children of God, every single thing we do is done ideally for God and in Him. “In Him we live and move and have our being”. As we follow the Life of Jesus, we see him curing not only Jewish people, but pagans too.