Discerning ans struggling

I’m seriously discerning consecrated life and am facing very strong opposition from my mother. She’s suffering so much :frowning: but I am having much trouble dealing with it. I get so stressed that I think its been affecting my health too. I live in another city and currently visiting my parents. Almost every day, this topic comes up directly or indirectly. I’m having much difficulty staying calm, hopeful or joyful, and that’s making it even worse for my mom.

She also believes I’m being influenced into the type of life I’m living, which she sees isn’t leading towards marriage. I can’t convince her or communicate to her the joy I had in responding to God with my discernment. I am hoping to attend a retreat but as the situation is getting progressively worse, I don’t know how to bring it up. If I just go, it might provoke an intense reaction and I’m worried for my mom’s health, as at times she had symptoms similar to a stroke. :frowning: if I ask her about the retreat, she would get very upset and forbid me, which happened before. But I feel I am not being generous with God if I don’t try to go. I even had the idea to visit the place with my family while going on a vacation, to calm them about the retreat, but this vacation isn’t even being planned - and we may not have the money.

The reason for this post is that I have an SD but he is far away, and I have no one to speak to about this. I’m feeling overwhelmed and don’t know how to deal with it. I need to write a letter to the Mother Superior but.I don’t know what to say. I don’t know if I’m called to this community or not, I just want to visit a good community.

There are other complications like me being an only child, the only Catholic at home, I also have loans to pay before I could enter… I often get doubts if I’m actually called by God just because of my situation. My parents don’t have anyone else to support them in old age, and if I’ll.be a religious I’d have to work out with the community how they could be taken care of, as that is my responsibility. My family doesnt have a lot of money and my parents will be getting a very small pension, so i’d also need to make sure they would have enough to live on, or this would be an obstacle to religious life. If I’ll be some sort of consecrated person in the world, I could do this more easily, but I’m scared to live with my mom as she would struggle constantly seeing me living this life. I’m worried I would give up under pressure. I don’t know if that is selfish, I hope not, as I want to do God’s Will… But what if it would be necessary to live with my family? Then it would be His Will. Either way I’m very seriously discerning some sort of consecrated life, and I’ve already committed myself to that.

I love them very much and it hurts me a lot to hurt them in this way. I can’t imagine what my mom is going through, and she sees me as heading towards misery. She doesn’t believe this could be a happy life. I’d also never give them grandkids. But my discernment has really deepened this year and I can’t just decide to marry. I’ve been praying about this for around 7 years and its never changed.

I’d just be very thankful for prayers or advice on.what I could even do. And how to deal with this. I’m sure others here have gone through it. I’m trying to not be bitter and have hope, but its hard. I get tempted to bitterness over my situation but I need to remember God placed me here and surrender to His Will… These things were permitted by Him and its not an accident I’m in this situation…

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom in your discernment.

Mother Angelica had a similar issue with her mother not wanting her to become a religious.
I believe as the years went on, her mother wound up becoming a religious in the same order and in the same convent.

I believe this is the book: amazon.com/Mother-Angelica-Remarkable-Network-Miracles/dp/0385510934

I never did finish it, since it was the audio version of the book and I had it out on loan from the parish library, and needed to return it.

I think I have responded to you before, but am not sure if I remember correctly. If you are the one considering the LSP they will see that your parents always have a home in one of their homes. Contact the order you are interested in and explain your situation just as you have here. In the meantime pay off all your debts as it is always good to be debt free, whatever the reason. Take on a second job if necessary and that will also help your mother be less emotionally dependent on you. If you are working at least part-time at another job, then your mother should be more accepting of your absence in her daily life. Depending on your age you should not need to account for every moment of your time esp. if you are working. We owe our parents honor and respect, not our life’s blood.
Prayers and peace.

Thank you for the replies! Mary, I think you are thinking of someone else. :slight_smile:

I should clarify, I don’t live with my parents. I live separately in another city because I work there. I’m currently visiting for the summer… We have no other family here and its lonely for my mom. But so far its just been a very emotional visit for us both.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to.approach the retreat? Should I describe the situation briefly to Mother Superior and ask for advice? I get really scared and distrustful of God which is wrong. I don’t want to.give up on this. But even as I try to trust I have this question - practically, how do I approach this? I tried asking my mom before and she had a panic attack and heart problems :frowning: I don’t know if I can go secretly because my mom phones me during the week. I just can’t figure out the “how” part, but I dont want fear to overtake me.

Monica, it is so hard to advise anyone long distance. Perhaps you could offer to take your mother on a “private retreat” or mini vacation with you, where you could just go to Mass or to the times of liturgy, if you chose, or just enjoy the day…time…together. Just a thought. In the end, every decision will be up to you to make or take. I wish you well and prayers.

Do you mean to the monastery? That’s actually an idea I had. But much prayer will be needed for it to happen. I know the way to do this is a decision I need to make but my mind is so blank, lol. I’ll keep praying, and I’d be very grateful for any prayers for God to guide me :slight_smile: thank you!

Praying for you! :console: It is lovely that you are so open to God’s Will! You sound like a loving daughter!

You could do a private retreat at a monastery, but there are active orders that also offer private retreats. I am thinking of an “open retreat” where you could possibly go shopping, out to eat, sightseeing-something of a mini-vacation that your mother might enjoy. The idea or a religious vocation for you might just “sneak” up on her. Not knowing where you live the thought of Saint Mienred’s Monastery in Southern Indiana comes to mind. But look around, you may find something you like better. Please forgive my spelling. You and your mother have my prayers. Mary Estelle.

I think I’d be working on getting your mom (where’s your dad?) into some kind of assisted living where she’s surrounded by new friends. You’ve not stated your location, which would be helpful for all of us reading this thread.

She’s reacting to the thought of never seeing you again. Under canon law, you do have the responsibility for her welfare.

Moms have intuition. Even if you said, “I’m going on retreat to clear my mind,” she probably would still jump to conclusions. Roll with the punches.

There are going to be fireworks. Only a soul totally dependent upon Divine Providence would not put up a fight.

I will send this thread to our Cooperators and Affiliated New Foundations for the sake of prayer support. If you want a private forum in which to vent, we have that, as well. Just let me know.


Thank you. My dad is living with my mom. But there isn’t anyone else who could take care of them besides me. I understand that is my obligation as their child. Of course I want them to be safe and happy in old age, and I worry leaving them lonely without me or grandchildren. I’ve sort of wondered - would this disobeying the Commandment? Is God truly calling me? Would any community take me? If they would, then maybe a way could be worked out for my parents to live somewhere safe. To answer your question, I live in Canada.

Could you please comment more on the part about Divine Providence and not putting up a fight? Do you mean being calm with my mom as during our discussions? I am trying to do this, at times failing, but it makes much sense to me that relying on Divine Providence would help there. I think I distrust God too much and need to rely on His plan :slight_smile:

Thank you once more!

Only a parent like Sts Louis and Zelie Martin wouldn’t put up a fight if their son or daughter wanted to enter religious life. Most have the attitude of “not my son or daughter.” A very pitiful state-of-soul, if you ask me.

Does the Canadian system have assisted living? Will you need to work to support them in their golden age? Develop the cloister of the heart, and learn servitude before looking at entering anywhere. These last years with your parents may be a gold mine of opportunity, should you prove to have a vocation.

My organization considered sponsoring an assisted living facility for vocations with older parents. We’re now looking at developing a clearinghouse page for institutions such as these conducted by religious orders.

Are you looking at cloistered or active life? The cloister would be more skeptical about admitting you until both parents were deceased.


I think Canada may have assisted living but I’m not sure… I’ve also heard of communities offering a place for the parent. I guess it really depends on the community.

My parents would not be receiving a full pension, so the options are either I live with them and help to pay for the property we have, or they sell the property and live off that. So I’m not sure…

I see what you mean about cloister of the heart… I don’t think I do that enough. I’ve felt a desire for religious life for so long that sometimes its hard to keep waiting, but I have no choice as I have to pay off my student loans too. My only option right now is to live in the world, and develop the virtues I need, and also look at consecrated life in the world perhaps. That’s great advice about loving and serving my family during these years in the world.

To be honest, the whole time I’ve felt drawn to contemplative life. Have any “only children” become contemplative religious? I don’t know if this would be possible or why I an so drawn to this. Maybe I’d discover an active order and feel called there, I don’t know :slight_smile:

I’m sure the only child has entered religious life. I personally don’t know of any, though.

See what you can find on diocesan websites. Discuss this with your parents, as this could be your mom’s point of contention. Develop that cloister of the heart. See if you can visit some local communities, just to see how it feels when you step on the property.


I don’t know if this will help, but here goes…



DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.