Consecrated virginity and being a bad Catholic


#1

I do, ultimately, want to pursue consecrated virginity. At the moment though, I’m kind of feeling like there’s a lot of here and now that I’m failing at. I often intend to pray, but frequently forget. (This is rather exacerbated by the number of other things I forget, like meals.) I’ve been trying to set a phone alarm but that does sometimes fail on me.

I haven’t been much involved with Catholic life, other than this forum and weekly Mass attendance. There is very little scheduled outside my working hours and not super-early in the morning (2nd shift) - really the only regular offering for adults is the Alpha course that I went to for a little bit and didn’t find terribly useful. Changing shifts have also made me reluctant to commit to anything.

A lot of times it can feel like just living takes up all your time and energy. Not in a depressed sense, but that by the time you’ve managed to go to work and come home and make sure there’s clean clothing and meals to eat and the dishes are done, just trying to keep life running keeps you pretty busy.

I have a chance to make a lot of changes soon. New job, normal hours, a chance to move somewhere that has more available to the working adult, an actual paycheck with money left over after bills. It’s going to be a long journey.

I don’t really know where people are supposed to be before embarking on a vocation. I feel like I’ll never be ready. Good Catholic singles aren’t supposed to forget their holy days and lose their rosaries.

I’m not really sure where to start, other than “something more.”


#2

God is working with you, try not to look at your failings but at your journey towards heaven and a vocation. The Saints had the same feelings as you. I have just found formed.org from a recommendation on here to look at the Symbolin (I think that’s how you spell it) series on faith and life.


#3

The Church is full of sinners; if it was already brimming with saints, we wouldn’t have much of a purpose anymore. Even those in consecrated life feel as you do to some degree from time to time - “I did this, I’m here, but is it enough? Now what?” That’s an invitation first and foremost to pray. Seek out a good spiritual director; it doesn’t need to be a priest (although that helps). Trust their guidance. Trust that your ‘community’ here online is praying for you, too.


#4

I’m not sure you actually are “supposed” to be anywhere to start a vocation.

Would a retreat help?
It would kind of be like a giant reset button.

Otherwise, just take each day as it comes.


#5

It’s fairly normal to spend an entire work day just trying to keep life running with meals and laundry. It is hard to make time for prayer when prayer is not your main job of the day. Just keep plugging away. I pray a lot in the car running errands as that is when I have time.


#6

I heard a Priest today on EWTN radio saying ‘dedicate a half hour a day to prayer’ -
I had to laugh - as I drove along the early morning highway to work ( 4:15 am )
The third paragraph - I can relate to -

Another Priest says - the golden years - when people retire - if their lucky enough to do so…
is called golden - because they can finally enjoy a little something of life - lol


#7

Heaven knows I don’t have any real recommendations, but a Saint comes to mind: St. Therese of Lisieux.

Therese translated “the little way” in terms of a commitment to the tasks and to the people we meet in our everyday lives. She took her assignments in the convent of Lisieux as ways of manifesting her love for God and for others. She worked as a sacristan by taking care of the altar and the chapel; she served in the refectory and in the laundry room; she wrote plays for the entertainment of the community. Above all, she tried to show a love for all the nuns in the community. She played no favorites; she gave of herself even to the difficult members. Her life sounds so routine and ordinary, but it was steeped in a loving commitment that knew no breakdown. It is called a little way precisely by being simple, direct, yet calling for amazing fortitude and commitment.

https://www.littleflower.org/therese/reflections/st-therese-and-her-little-way/

https://www.amazon.com/Walking-Little-Way-Therese-Lisieux/dp/1593252056/ref=pd_aw_sim_14_of_10?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=WZPXZXY3W1SH7DSRZ75J


#8

I would encourage you to set up a rule of life for yourself, meaning having regular times for meals, prayers, recreation, work, etc. Do the same thing every day at each hour of every day. Schedule everything and stick to it, then your prayer life will blossom.


#9

I do try but it doesn’t always work well, and it easily ends in frustration when one thing runs over schedule and then the whole day collapses, or when I get to the end of the day and I’m tired and forcing food down my throat again because I didn’t have the energy that day. I’m usually better at getting tasks done in bursts; trying to schedule everything often ends in spending a lot of time and energy to no gain.

It’s also been influenced over the years by my work schedule not being stable. That’s why mentioned not being able to commit to things, because you never know if next month they’ll change your hours. And you get your schedule for the day itself when you show up; it’s not something you get to set.


#10

This sounds a bit like prayer life, only the food is Christ. I work weekends but I do reserve at least one in every seven days to God. Can you do this?


#11

Do you have a spiritual director? That can be very helpful.


#12

Good heavens do I understand and relate to that!

I think, though, that consecrated virgins do make a promise to live according to a rule.

Have you talked to your diocese vocations director? Can he put you in touch with either a CV in your diocese or a nearby diocese?

Can you contact someone from this association so that you can talk to a CV about their experiences?

https://consecratedvirgins.org

@Cloisters


#13

“I would encourage you to set up a rule of life for yourself,
meaning having regular times for meals, prayers, recreation, work, etc.
Do the same thing every day at each hour of every day.
Schedule everything and stick to it, then your prayer life will blossom.”

Try NOT to be robotic though - lol - that’s the worst !


#14

God meets you where you are.

Just ask St. Paul on his journey to Damascus.

I am the same as you where living and taking care of things take the vast majority of my time. I just try to live each day as they come, taking it a day at a time which can be difficult since I am a worrier.

As my parish priest told me, whereever you are right now, if you are sincere in seeking God, is the path to sainthood. Just trust God in the present moment.


#15

The main difficulty would be dealing with tasks that need to be done every day. One still has to fix and eat meals (I have some interesting medical stuff around that that so far has mostly resulted in a giant medical shrug, but that can make the actual eating process something of a chore), make sure the dishes are at least clean enough they’re not attracting bugs, ensure the litterbox is clean, all that sort of things.

I’d probably do better with a half a day, to be honest. Like if Mass is at 10, reserving until 2 or 3 or so (with my current shift that’s around where my normal lunch hour falls). That would still allow some time for more normal activities.

This may be related, but I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was younger and then sort of undiagnosed, and I’ve had noises from later professionals that the first diagnosis may have been right. I try not to take meds unless I really can’t manage without them, but it might be worth it to get a proper screening when I can afford one.

Not really. I admit to being somewhat confused about getting one. I am also somewhat waiting to see if I end up in the same diocese after moving or not. (I’m very close to the washington/baltimore diocesean border.)


#16

I honestly didn’t realize that “vocations director” was a thing. I’m an adult convert, so sometimes I find random gaps in my knowledge of how the church works.

I may have a connection to talk to someone through a friend soon.


#17

I personally take “Adult B-Centered” by MegaFoods. I know we’re not supposed to offer advice, but I found that it helped my own severe, inattentive (96 on scale of 100) ADD better than any Rx.

As for CV, one must be a physically intact virgin – or chaste rape victim – to receive the Rite of the Consecration of Virgins.

The CV website offers assistance to bishops and recommends a formation program. You’d be developing your own Personal Prayer Rule, which will involve adding daily Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours to your work schedule.

What I would do right now is concentrate on chastity, and see what happens with the new job. Give yourself 14 weeks to make adjustments, then contact the vocations director in whichever diocese you’ve landed in. You’d also need a spiritual director (local preferred).

If you wish to PM me, I can forward your email to my organization’s CV cooperator.

Blessings,
Mrs Cloisters OP
Lay Dominican
http://cloisters.tripod.com/
http://cloisters.tripod.com/charity/
http://cloisters.tripod.com/holyangels/id9.html/


#18

It is perfectly normal to prepare food and do small chores of cleaning. When I reserve a day for God its more my ideal and direction of mind that is important… Hence shopping or big social events are too distracting… A peaceful walk is always good for ones health.

I’m a hyperactive and can’t sit still for too long but I can whip up a nice sponge cake and my floors are always swept.


#19

That would definitely be mostly a work schedule issue. Right now daily Mass is simply not held around here at hours that are compatible with my work schedule. I’m including early morning Masses in that because I work second shift and I really cannot either skip meals or short my sleep to attend. Getting home at 9pm and then leaving the house at 6:15 AM to make Mass doesn’t

I wouldn’t concern too much with me and chastity; I have my sins but that’s one area I have been blessed with a fair freedom from trouble. Also I kinda feel like if I made it this far it can’t be getting any worse. I’m more concerned right now with managing and developing my prayer life and general involvement in my parish. Some active ministry would be good too.

Speaking of, does anyone know of a good recording of liturgy of the hours, preferably sung? My phone is one of the few things I don’t lose, and I’ve found I have enough time on my lunch break for a few prayers.

Yeah, I have been finding lately that walking prayers are often better for me than sitting prayers. I’m pretty weather resistant, although perhaps not to this awful heat. Sitting still though, now, that’s harder.

I should mention new job requires a ton of government processing. It took them over a week just to manage to process my drug test. There’s a bunch of stuff that basically amounts to them verifying that I’m not lying to them, all of which adds up to that start dates 2 or 3 months after the offer are standard - and then it’ll likely be after that that I move, so I would expect to be settled into the new area maybe in time for next lent.


#20

Whether it’s marriage/parenthood or religious vocation— we are never “ready”. You can always put it off until you have more X, Y, or Z. (Maturity, money, time, etc).

The old saying that God doesn’t call the prepared, he prepares the called is appropriate here.

I suggest your next step be discernment with a vocations or spiritual director in your diocese.


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