Discerning troubles


#21

Belle,

You keep praying and meditating. Our Blessed Mother always had an open ear for her children. Belle, you sound delightful! :love:

I will remember you in my prayers. I have my wonderful hour at our Adoration Chapel tonight. I will add your name to the prayer basket.

God bless you! :signofcross::gopray2:


#22

Thank you, guys!
I think the plan for now will be to continue to aim for the Sisters of Mercy.
I feel odd having 'back up plans' for spiritual vocations in case the Sisters of Mercy don't accept me...
Mind you, I'll figure it out eventually if I'm just not meant to be a nun or sister, but I'll keep trying until that hits me!


#23

Well, then, I will pray for you! :)


#24

Dear Belle,

Remember, one can not make a vocation, nor make one 'fit' just because they will accept you. A vocation is an invitation from God, freely given by Him. It is for us to accept or not.

Pray to know His calling for you and the reasons why your will may not be the same as His. Pray to know His Will alone, for that is all that matters and He can make that happen.

Try not to focus on what you don't have to give or what may stand in your way. Those are for others to discern with you. It is true that some places can not take a person for certain reasons. They have a calling to meet, it may not be beneficial for you to be there.

Focus now on simply what draws your heart, where may God be calling you, just as you are today. God's timing is always perfect. His time is always NOW, don't stop doing His Will daily because you have your will set on something in the future that may never come to pass.

Trust in Him to lead you. Don't be tempted to jump into a round hole if you are a square peg, just because you can squeeze in somehow.

Remember that a vocation to some degree of religious life carries with it a Charism in most cases. If you are not drawn to the Charism of the order or the rule of life of the order, it's not a good fit.

There are Secular Orders and Third Orders that accept one in most cases right in the thick of their lives... as is! There is much work to be done as a Secular Sister, in the midst of life in the world.

Again, one must first discern if one is called, and to what might one be called to do? This can begin by simply praying, "Take me and use me according to Thy Will"

Look for the little clues, do things you like to do to serve others, doors will open as our feet approach on the path. Not many vocations happen if we are in idle mode.

Never cease to pray, again... not for your will to be known or followed, but His. There must be silence after the petition, time to listen to His answer.

Pray the Litany of Humility... Humility is the secret of the Saints!

Begin by blooming where you are planted... He will provide the soil and water!

May your seeking be answered, may your gifts be many, may your service be blessed.

The Fruit of Faith is Love, the Fruit of Love is Service - Bl. Teresa of Calcutta


#25

That really helps, thank you.
I'll just pray that God guides me to where I need to be, vocation or not, Sister of Mercy or not.


#26

[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]

Good for you regarding your devotion and determination.

If I might, I'll suggest the Little Sisters of the Poor.
This community is devoted to reverence and to the care of the sick and elderly poor.
Please look into their community and their work, even on-line.
Eventually you might wish to contact them with questions.

littlesistersofthepoor.org/

God bless you.

PS - you are not troubling me at all. Far from it.


#27

I agree with those above who have said that you must continue to pray. It is important to pray daily. For me, it helps to have a set time, and that time is morning. When I get up and go to daily Mass, I have 20 minutes to spend in the Adoration chapel until I need to leave for work (and there are no excuses because I can't go him in that time). If I argue with myself and don't get up early because I can go to an evening Mass, then I find that distractions take over and after Mass I go straight home to cook dinner, and I don't get my face time with
Jesus.

Not that it is easy. I feel almost hypocritical writing the above paragraph because I have only recently been serious about my prayer life and made the commitment to go to Mass daily and not just whenever I felt it. I've been discerning for a while now and my prayer life ebbs and flows, but when I persevere and put in the time, it is definitely fruitful.

I also think that you should get a spiritual director. Our diocese has a vocations office that will make suggestions, but I went to one of my parish priests and now we chat about monthly. It has helped tremendously.

Also, when it comes to discernment, it is helpful to look at the orders, but focus first on Jesus and your relationship with Him. Then He will lead you where you need to be. I have a friend who had her heart set on a particular order and they turned her down due to health issues and in just a few weeks she will become a novice in another order! She was still dealing with the first order turning her down when she visited the second order, but things just fell into place and God made it known that she was meant to be there.

So don't worry about what you can or cannot do, but work on who you are in relation to Christ. If He is calling you to be His bride, then He will show you and help you become all you are meant to be.

I'll be praying for you!


#28

Dear Belle,

When I was younger, had I been a Catholic at the time, I may have chosen the religious life as I was always attracted to it. I did become a Catholic! I married and had a family. I was happy and content.

Years later with the kids grown and the grandchildren coming along... I was called to leave my teaching job that I loved to care for a grandchild or two, then to care for my mother with Alzheimer's.

Life brings many callings that we can scarcely plan for. God must have known my servant's heart, after all He gave it to me and He placed me in positions to serve others.

I still care for my mother, am still married... the grandkids are teens now... time opened up for me... I had been reading books on Mother Teresa, so much more there than the media coverage of her! Again that yearning came to me, I would have loved to have joined her Order. Could I? Could I be a lay MC? I looked into it... not likely as I live thousands of miles from the nearest Community.

The thoughts didn't go away however. I realized that each Order has it's own Charism... what was it I wanted to do, felt called to do, really and truly? Serve! I have always served! And who did I wish to serve? I prayed... a lot!

I was greatly called by Our Blessed Mother. She interceded for me in a very profound way after praying for her help. How could I serve Our Lady and Jesus and others? The next events are rather mystical, I'm not sure how to explain. One loses track of where one's own thoughts go and where God's intersect!

Somehow I found myself writing to the Servite Order in Chicago. The next thing I knew there was a phone call from a lady in my own town (small town) from my own parish and she was the Prioress of the Order of Secular Servants of Mary... and they were part of the entire family of Servites... the Friars, the Monastery and the Sanctuary, the meeting place... the entire thing was only 30 minutes from my home!

You could have knocked me over with a feather! How did I live here all these years and not even notice what Order was so nearby? Because the time was not right. When it was right, the door opened before me!

To make a long story shorter, I am now a Secular Servite Sister. Was it easy? No! I thought this would be a breeze seeing as how it almost leapt into my lap! Again, I had no way of knowing what I would be called for... I just said to God, 'use me as You will' and He is doing that even now.

I found there are challenges like everywhere else. There are grouchy people to deal with, different styles of doing things... What is the real meaning of Obedience? Witness to Poverty? Chastity in one's station of life? Can I do what tasks are given, not what I prefer? Humility? What does that really mean? Can I chose the peaceful path if it means I give up being 'right' in a situation? Can I keep silent, not voice a complaint if it were to hurt another? Can I live in Community with others? All are challenges of this sort of life. In the case of a Secular Order, we have all those 'family' issues and still live in the world with our own 'family' issues!

And yet each day I am so very grateful to face those challenges, knowing that I was called and the Voices who called are there to back me up. It's like marriage, not easy but if you are in it for the long haul (married 1972) you rely upon God's graces, prayer, faith, hope, love... and the rewards are not at all what you imagined when you began the journey, they are deeper than your imagination could have created on it's own! It's the same with the vocation. It continues to unfold in ways I never could have dreamed. It's blended into my entire life so that now everything I am is as a Servite. It's a state of being more than the doing. It's brought Grace and Faith to all the other areas of my life.

God found a way for me to serve Him in many areas. Each day I pray the same, Today grant me the mind to know Your will for me, grant me the grace and charity to carry it out, thank you for all You have blessed me with.

Pray to Our Blessed Mother to arrange the details of your life, to put you in service to her Son. She wants nothing more than to answer that prayer for you. Trust in her.

May Our Beautiful Mother grow a garden of roses in your heart, may she stand by your side and point the way to her Son.

Blessings,
Mary Teresa, OSSM


#29

That story was very helpful, thank you for sharing it with me. :D

Oh, and I found out today about how long discernment needs to last for the Sisters of Mercy.

At least one year.

So, I've got lots of time to be in contact with them, while holding a job (God bless supported work programs!) to decide if it's what God calls me to be.

Prayer, research, charity, and experience is the way to go!


#30

Belle,

Yes, there usually is an inquiry period, say several months... where one just has a look-see to get the feel of that Order's ways. Then one usually makes some sort of formal entry, we have a Rite of Admission that is done in conjunction with a Mass. Then one normally enters a novitiate period, one or more years, depending... after which formal vows or promises are made according to each Order's ways again. Some vow/promise each year, some for several years, then on to a life time vow... in our case we make a life time promise after the novitiate year or so. We promise rather than vow as we are lay persons mostly... but can be clergy... anyway, many of us are married, hence we've made one vow for life... a promise does not hold the 'pain of mortal sin' if broken... however we do have to be dispensed from our promise if we wish to leave the Order. Just some more tid bits for you. I'm keeping you in my prayers and just know you are going to find a wonderful way to serve in your life.:)


#31

Here's a another suggestion: go to vocation-network.org/ and click on "Vocation Match". It's a little "quiz" of sorts to help match religious communities to your particular talents, desires and personality. At the end, it gives you an opportunity to send your results to one or more communities, if you wish to do so. When they receive your results, they will contact you.

I'm not a sister, but I work in the New Membership/Ministry office of a local convent, and we receive inquiries from this site all the time.

Hope this is helpful to you.
:)


#32

[quote="Pitcharan, post:14, topic:205783"]
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

[/quote]

Oh Pitcharan! I've found out wonderful news from Fr. Serpa! He directed me to a link that is to his best knowledge one that does not disallow those with health problems to enter!!:D I am so elated, I could cry, but instead I will smile, for God is indeed calling me to be His through the CC ! I took a survey on discernment a ''test'' to see if I would qualify. I have very good scores! Alleluia!! And I will try not to say too many things about the CC that are not good!! Thank YOU Jesus!!
the link religiouslife.com/VocationHome.html
God Bless!


#33

[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]

I stand corrected Belle, there are positions for most people with medical conditions in the religious orders! Yay! FINALLY, something that I can be proud to do...with utmost humility of course!! Ask Fr. Serpa for links to vocation locations in your area! He posted this one for me religiouslife.com/VocationHome.html

God Bless you and keep you Belle!


#34

Praises be to Our Loving, All-Knowing God! He's hard at work here! You go girl!! :thumbsup:


#35

[quote="MaryTeresa2, post:34, topic:205783"]
Praises be to Our Loving, All-Knowing God! He's hard at work here! You go girl!! :thumbsup:

[/quote]

And get this Mary Teresa2 ! The novitative that is just up the road from me can answer any more of the questions I have!! Wow I didn't even know there WAS a novitative up the road from me! Thank You Lord!!!

:extrahappy:


#36

[quote="magdelaine1173, post:35, topic:205783"]
And get this Mary Teresa2 ! The novitative that is just up the road from me can answer any more of the questions I have!! Wow I didn't even know there WAS a novitative up the road from me! Thank You Lord!!!

:extrahappy:

[/quote]

Praises! Just like my story! Years and years of visiting The Grotto, Portland, OR The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother... lovely place! I had NO clue as to what Order resides there. Fast forward to my re-conversion and I get a clear call from guess who? Our Blessed Mother! I want to serve her... how? where? Serve... Mother...
It's the Servants of Mary who reside at The Grotto! DUH! And now I R 1.........
Nothing God does is by coincidence, it only looks that way to us!

Blessings to you Dear and keep us posted! May Our Holy Mother be by your side always!


#37

[quote="Pitcharan, post:14, topic:205783"]
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

[/quote]

I meant to say that it is disheartening, not that the CC is a shame to me. That some convents do not...or at least I THOUGHT did not accept persons with diabetes. I asked Fr. Serpa, and he corrected my misgivings and wrong thoughts about the religious life. But I would NEVER say that the CC is something to be ashamed of, or disrespect the CC in ANY way!

So you see, I was corrected by the priests here at CAF! :D very happy am I.

God Bless!!


#38

[quote="magdelaine1173, post:37, topic:205783"]
I meant to say that it is disheartening, not that the CC is a shame to me. That some convents do not...or at least I THOUGHT did not accept persons with diabetes. I asked Fr. Serpa, and he corrected my misgivings and wrong thoughts about the religious life. But I would NEVER say that the CC is something to be ashamed of, or disrespect the CC in ANY way!

So you see, I was corrected by the priests here at CAF! :D very happy am I.

God Bless!!

[/quote]

Forget the past and just tell me this: are you experiencing the power of the HS moving you now?
God bless you.
Pitcharan


#39

[quote="Pitcharan, post:38, topic:205783"]
Forget the past and just tell me this: are you experiencing the power of the HS moving you now?
God bless you.
Pitcharan

[/quote]

Yes I DO feel the power of the HS moving me toward this decision. I want to be someone who helps others in religious vocations with prayer, obedience, chastity, contemplation of Christ and His message to His brothers and sisters in Him, and to help others see the true goodness of God in their lives.

God Bless
Magdelaine1173


#40

Guess what? I finally worked up the courage today to phone my diocesian office secretary for the consecrated life, and I told her I was interested in becoming a nun. She was so sweet, she gave me the number for the Benedictine Sisters in Baldwin/Brentwood section of Pittsburgh. And had sent an email to the Delegate for the religious, in my diocese. At 2:06 this afternoon I got an email from the Delegate for religious, Sr.Geraldine M. Wodarczyk CSFN. I was stunned to hear she was emailing from ROME ! She is at her general chapter thereon business, [could be seeing the Pope, or Cardinals for instructions or receiving instructions from Archbishops …who knows] for the upcoming school year calander year for the education of the next group of sisters who join orders at the monastery.
She is interested in talking to me when she gets back to town.:extrahappy: Yay, now I just need to wait until she gets back from Rome to talk to her, and learn more about the process of becoming a nun or sister out in te community. :yup: I am so glad that my body is healing itself and that I found you all! You all have helped me so much in my times of trouble. I will always pray for you and your needs. It was all in what God had planned for me. He has been tugging at my heart since I was about 2 yrs old. I knew very early on that God was with me, and is with me. I have fallen into doubt at times, but God has kept me alive for SOME reason…and being a nun is that reason. So that I might contemplate the passion of Christ on the cross, and be of service to others as they have been of service to me…
God bless you all :heart::love:


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