Discerning troubles


#1

Greetings from Arkansas!
(returning member)

I could really use some advice at the moment considering my idea of becoming a sister one day.
I know what to do during discernment now (I was told I should have a full time job, should volunteer, and pray as often as I can), but I'm already facing a few issues.

  1. I don't know if I should still consider my first choice, The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.
    I read an article about the Sisters of Mercy (though this incident happened with the European part) that was troubling, and gave me doubts about my path.

  2. I feel rather.. well, inadequate.

    That is, I don't think I have any skills or talents to assist the sisters, other than basic cleaning and computer stuff.
    I'd love to be a certified nurses aid, but locally I don't know how or where to get training...

  3. I've felt God tugging at my heart for a long time now, but only recently started acting on it. I just joined my father's Catechist group, and today's the first day in a while I'll actually sit down in mass and listen as well as I can.
    You see, I have attention problems, but I realize it's very important to pray and listen as a sister, so I plan on disciplining myself.
    I feel ashamed that only recently have I started acting devotedly with my faith, and I'm very worried about falling into doubt again thanks to my easily swayed heart and focus issues.

I hope I'm not troubling you all too much...any advice would be wonderful!
God bless, and thank you!


#2

[quote="Belle777, post:1, topic:205783"]
Greetings from Arkansas!
(returning member)

I could really use some advice at the moment considering my idea of becoming a sister one day.
I know what to do during discernment now (I was told I should have a full time job, should volunteer, and pray as often as I can), but I'm already facing a few issues.

  1. I don't know if I should still consider my first choice, The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.
    I read an article about the Sisters of Mercy (though this incident happened with the European part) that was troubling, and gave me doubts about my path.

  2. I feel rather.. well, inadequate.

    That is, I don't think I have any skills or talents to assist the sisters, other than basic cleaning and computer stuff.
    I'd love to be a certified nurses aid, but locally I don't know how or where to get training...

  3. I've felt God tugging at my heart for a long time now, but only recently started acting on it. I just joined my father's Catechist group, and today's the first day in a while I'll actually sit down in mass and listen as well as I can.
    You see, I have attention problems, but I realize it's very important to pray and listen as a sister, so I plan on disciplining myself.
    I feel ashamed that only recently have I started acting devotedly with my faith, and I'm very worried about falling into doubt again thanks to my easily swayed heart and focus issues.

I hope I'm not troubling you all too much...any advice would be wonderful!
God bless, and thank you!

[/quote]

Wow! I think this is wonderful, and I am wondering what you need advice on. You seem to have things well thought out, and you are doing what you need to to do prepare:

  1. Continue to pray for guidance
  2. If you're not sure about Sisters of Mercy, check into other orders, but do you already have a contact with Sisters of Mercy that you can talk to about any concerns you have? If not, find one:)
  3. Continue what you are doing - work and volunteer work, and continue with professional development so that you continue to develop new skills and keep current with skills you already have.
  4. If you don't already have a spiritual advisor, pray for one and begin by going to a priest you trust and tell him all of these things.

I will pray for you. It is wonderful to know of young women who are praying and seeking this vocation!
Gwen


#3

I notice in other threads as well spiritual advisors are brought up.
Should my spiritual advisor be a Sister of Mercy, or a priest at my local church?
Because, when I spoke to a Sister of Mercy about my interest, she said she'd give my e-mail to a Sister stationed near where I live, and I'm thinking perhaps they're setting up a spiritual advisor for me.

EDIT: Oh, I see, you do suggest I see a priest, my bad there.
Okay, so I should talk to a priest at my local church about all of this...


#4

[quote="Belle777, post:1, topic:205783"]
1. I don't know if I should still consider my first choice, The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.
I read an article about the Sisters of Mercy (though this incident happened with the European part) that was troubling, and gave me doubts about my path.

  1. I feel rather.. well, inadequate. That is, I don't think I have any skills or talents to assist the sisters, other than basic cleaning and computer stuff. I'd love to be a certified nurses aid, but locally I don't know how or where to get training... u!

[/quote]

call or write or email the vocations director of your diocese, and of any religious order you wish to learn more about. If there are sisters working in your area whom you admire, simply ask them.

If you feel lacking in skills, finish your education. Call the high school from which you graduated, the adult education department of your local school district to see what they offer, and for information about community colleges and vocational programs in your area that offer the training you want. Ask them for free testing and career counselling as well to help in choosing a program.

But don't choose the nursing program only because you might someday join a nursing order like the Mercy Sisters, or don't choose teaching because you might someday join a teaching order.


#5

My e-mail was given to a Sister of Mercy stationed nearby, so hopefully she'll contact me and I can ask all sorts of questions to her or even on the Mercy chat.

Also, would it be wise for my spiritual advisor to be my father?
He know my limits and is very VERY wise with Catholicism.
Or should I consider someone who isn't directly related to me?


#6

[quote="Belle777, post:5, topic:205783"]
My e-mail was given to a Sister of Mercy stationed nearby, so hopefully she'll contact me and I can ask all sorts of questions to her or even on the Mercy chat.

Also, would it be wise for my spiritual advisor to be my father?
He know my limits and is very VERY wise with Catholicism.
Or should I consider someone who isn't directly related to me?

[/quote]

it is probably best to get a spiritual director who is not related, for the same person you would not want to confess to a close relative who was a priest, or have a near relative as your doctor, the relationship is to close for objectivity.


#7

Ah, I see, thank you for that.
I shall look into finding a spiritual director this week, probably at the local church.


#8

I especially need to ask them if they'd accept me considering the following...
I have to take anti-depressant medication, and I'm even on Medicaid so I can afford it.
I'm starting to worry that this'll be a sign to them that I'm not able to work or something, and I won't be allowed to be a sister anywhere!
I'll understand if God has other plans for me, but I'll be pretty sad for a while if I'm turned down automatically because of my condition.


#9

Do you know of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, MI? They were founded by the same foundress of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas but are more traditional and wear the full habit. They are into the medical apostolate and host doctors, nurses, psychologists, etc. I've heard that they are more understanding of those with mental illnesses who are coping well. Perhaps you should look into them.

rsmofalma.org/

Also, if you are interested in becoming a CNA like me, American Red Cross does have a 6 to 8 week training program in my area and maybe they have the same in yours! I would look up your local chapter and look under the "classes" tab. I hope this helps!:thumbsup:


#10

Thanks for that information about the Sisters of Mercy of Alma, I'll look into it.

Also, there was a chat tonight and I told the Sisters of Mercy about how I have to take anti-depressants.
They said during application phase, I'll have to do a physical and psychological exam.

I'm definitely very stable compared to, say, last year, thanking God for a therapy program I went through that taught me the importance of taking your medicine and learning coping skills.


#11

[quote="Belle777, post:1, topic:205783"]
Greetings from Arkansas!
(returning member)

I could really use some advice at the moment considering my idea of becoming a sister one day.
I know what to do during discernment now (I was told I should have a full time job, should volunteer, and pray as often as I can), but I'm already facing a few issues.

  1. I don't know if I should still consider my first choice, The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.
    I read an article about the Sisters of Mercy (though this incident happened with the European part) that was troubling, and gave me doubts about my path.

  2. I feel rather.. well, inadequate.

    That is, I don't think I have any skills or talents to assist the sisters, other than basic cleaning and computer stuff.
    I'd love to be a certified nurses aid, but locally I don't know how or where to get training...

  3. I've felt God tugging at my heart for a long time now, but only recently started acting on it. I just joined my father's Catechist group, and today's the first day in a while I'll actually sit down in mass and listen as well as I can.
    You see, I have attention problems, but I realize it's very important to pray and listen as a sister, so I plan on disciplining myself.
    I feel ashamed that only recently have I started acting devotedly with my faith, and I'm very worried about falling into doubt again thanks to my easily swayed heart and focus issues.

I hope I'm not troubling you all too much...any advice would be wonderful!
God bless, and thank you!

[/quote]

I too am much in the same position as you. I am trying to discern a religious vocation, but have found that those with chronic medical conditions and illnesses aren't always accepted for the religious vocations for which they want to be a part of. This is a shame really, because there are many people out there who have diseases that do not completely incapacitate them, and are being refused entrance into monistaries, convents, and the such, out of the church's inability to help the aging population of nuns, sisters, priests who have provided service to God's followers for decades of their lives with their own frailties and illnesses. I hope the position of the CC changes as to allowing those with medical illnesses, as long as they are treated medically, for their illness to join in the orders to which they feel drawn.

God Bless you, and may prayer and guidance from a spiritual director help you along your journey of discernment and discovery.
magdelaine1173


#12

Thank you for your kindness, everybody!
Oh oh OH, and a Sister of Mercy is going to call me today!
A sort of 'get to know me' kind of thing!
I'm excited, nervous, happy, and worried! :O
falls over
....
stands back up
Anyways, I'm sad to hear that they're not always understanding of illnesses.
Although, I've been saying this to myself for a while now, if I can't be a sister then that's okay too.
I just hope I'll find a career/lifestyle that suits me AND does good for God's world.

God bless you all <3


#13

[quote="Belle777, post:12, topic:205783"]
Thank you for your kindness, everybody!
Oh oh OH, and a Sister of Mercy is going to call me today!
A sort of 'get to know me' kind of thing!
I'm excited, nervous, happy, and worried! :O
falls over
....
stands back up
Anyways, I'm sad to hear that they're not always understanding of illnesses.
Although, I've been saying this to myself for a while now, if I can't be a sister then that's okay too.
I just hope I'll find a career/lifestyle that suits me AND does good for God's world.

God bless you all <3

[/quote]

Good luck! I am praying for you. :signofcross::gopray:


#14

[quote="magdelaine1173, post:11, topic:205783"]
I too am much in the same position as you. I am trying to discern a religious vocation, but have found that those with chronic medical conditions and illnesses aren't always accepted for the religious vocations for which they want to be a part of. This is a shame really, because there are many people out there who have diseases that do not completely incapacitate them, and are being refused entrance into monistaries, convents, and the such, out of the church's inability to help the aging population of nuns, sisters, priests who have provided service to God's followers for decades of their lives with their own frailties and illnesses. I hope the position of the CC changes as to allowing those with medical illnesses, as long as they are treated medically, for their illness to join in the orders to which they feel drawn.

God Bless you, and may prayer and guidance from a spiritual director help you along your journey of discernment and discovery.
magdelaine1173

[/quote]

Where is your faith Magdelaine? If God wills a vocaion for you, who can stop it? No law, no power or force can ever alter God's will. I humbly implore you to avoid using the word "shame" so freely against your Holy Mother the Church. That itself will cure your illnesses greatly. And who knows? God willing your vocation will find you even before you find it


#15

At this point I'm more worried about how I can't bring much to the Sisters of Mercy in terms of skills...
During that phone conversation, I felt bad having to say that I don't currently have a job (supported work looking for one for me) and I can't afford school.
I'm hoping that by volunteering for PRE at the church will at least get me experience on dealing with children.
And I DO admit, I can probably do the acts of mercy (I think that's what they're called)
Feed the hungry, quench the thirsty, clothe the naked, and so on and so on.


#16

[quote="Belle777, post:15, topic:205783"]
At this point I'm more worried about how I can't bring much to the Sisters of Mercy in terms of skills...
During that phone conversation, I felt bad having to say that I don't currently have a job (supported work looking for one for me) and I can't afford school.
I'm hoping that by volunteering for PRE at the church will at least get me experience on dealing with children.
And I DO admit, I can probably do the acts of mercy (I think that's what they're called)
Feed the hungry, quench the thirsty, clothe the naked, and so on and so on.

[/quote]

Have you thought of the contemplative life? Look at the Poor Claire nuns in Phoenix, AZ:

desertnuns.com/index.htm


#17

[quote="Belle777, post:15, topic:205783"]
At this point I'm more worried about how I can't bring much to the Sisters of Mercy in terms of skills...
During that phone conversation, I felt bad having to say that I don't currently have a job (supported work looking for one for me) and I can't afford school.
I'm hoping that by volunteering for PRE at the church will at least get me experience on dealing with children.
And I DO admit, I can probably do the acts of mercy (I think that's what they're called)
Feed the hungry, quench the thirsty, clothe the naked, and so on and so on.
If your miserable state is the reason for considering religious life, then meditate on this: Is my miserable state actually God's way of drawing me to serve Him as a nun? If yes, then there is no need to worry about your skills, for God does not call the qualified but qualifies the called.

[/quote]


#18

I'm not sure I'd want to be a nun, since they're cloistered, while sisters go out in the community.
Though perhaps I COULD be a nun as long as there is more to do than just pray (I obviously have nothing against praying, I just prefer prayer through action rather than words alone) and no vows of silence.


#19

[quote="Pitcharan, post:17, topic:205783"]
If your miserable state is the reason for considering religious life, then meditate on this: Is my miserable state actually God's way of drawing me to serve Him as a nun? If yes, then there is no need to worry about your skills, for God does not call the qualified but qualifies the called.

[/quote]

After reading that and looking at the link, I'm starting to agree...
Looking at the nuns' schedule made my little heart go "Nifty, I can do that!"
I used to think nuns were strict and did nothing but pray, but they also support each other with daily duties, as well as recreation.... I'm impressed.
I must consider this...


#20

[quote="Belle777, post:18, topic:205783"]
I'm not sure I'd want to be a nun, since they're cloistered, while sisters go out in the community.
Though perhaps I COULD be a nun as long as there is more to do than just pray (I obviously have nothing against praying, I just prefer prayer through action rather than words alone) and no vows of silence.

[/quote]

vocations.com/religious/index.htm

On the left side of the page click on "Directory of Women's Communities".

Hope this helps.

Pax†


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