Dad has problem with cloister vocation


#1

Hi everyone, I am in need of advice and prayers! I am a 21 year old college senior, and I will graduate this semester. I have been discerning a call to a Carmelite vocation for a long time (I wanted to be a nun when I was 4 until junior high, then I ran from it until college when I started praying again and it came roaring back:D) I believe I am being called to a cloistered carmelite vocation, and I recently visited with the nuns in Lincoln NE and would like to pursue entering that monastary.

Here is my problem: My mom is very supportive of my vocation. My dad is tentivley ok with me joining an active order, like the Carmelites of the Divine Heart of Jesus, but does not want me to be cloistered. He thinks he'd never see me again, and said I would be "wasting my talent" in a cloister. (I disagree- my talents are strangely suited to cloistered life: making things from scratch, writing, cooking and baking for large numbers of people, but I digress:D)
I'm not sure what I can do to help him understand the cloistered vocation. I'm a little surprised, because he was always the one encouraging me to "spread my wings" and figure my own path out. I won't be able to enter for at least 2 more years while I pay back my student loans. I know my dad is hoping I like "being in the world" while I work so I forget about my vocation. He is Catholic, but he thinks the family's religious life is "mom's job" and he doesn't see the value of prayer as an objective thing, as opposed to an apostolate like caring for the sick or educating children.
I intend to pray a lot about this, but does anyone have any advice? (resources? past experience?)
Thanks!


#2

Maybe right a daily journal of your thoughts on the subject over the next two years and then present it to him so that he can see how much discernment went into it and how much joy you get out of your decision.


#3

What Joandarc2008 said and also try having a cloistered nun or monk talk to him about what the life is like and how it won't take you completely from him. Just give him some resources to look into and maybe that will change his mind.

God Bless you and good luck with your dad,
Kimmy


#4

What about something like watching a movie together some time that happens to have the theme of cloistered contemplative life … like the new one (made in 1996 I believe) from Ignatius Press, Edith Stein. She certainly had a lot of talents that one might think she wasted by entering cloistered religious life. I got it for Christmas, but have yet to see it - or also The Nun (which I also have yet to see)

Also, I think you may appreciate this story in this thread on phatmass - All American Girl :thumbsup: (and perhaps your dad could read it too)

picasaweb.google.com/111883073319518457118


#5

The above advice is all very good, let me just add something very important.

It is very important that you reach out to your father and try to help him understand. At the same time, don't let this weigh too heavily on you. I'm a diocesan seminarian still open to anything God has planned, married life, religious life, whatever He asks. No matter what I end up being called to, some people close to me will be disappointed, and will not understand. What your father said, that you would be "wasting your talents" is something I am very familiar with hearing. At the end of the day, this is YOUR vocation from God, and to be honest, it really is not anyone else's business to approve. If God is calling you to the cloistered Carmelite life, He will work out the details with your loved ones. As my spiritual director recently said to me, "Your vocation doesn't need your mother's or your pastor's approval."

May God bless you with openness and trust in your discernment. Please pray for me, I will pray for you and all fellow young people discerning God's call :)

In Christ and Mary,
Frank


#6

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