Discernment and seeking Spiritual Director

Hello,

So I basically put two questions in this one thread:

  1. Ever since I was 11 (I’m 14 now), I’ve been thinking about becoming a nun but am not sure if that’s God’s will for me. I’ve talked to one priest about it after confession and he advised me to discern. How exactly do you discern other than praying and “waiting for an answer”? I haven’t talked to y parents or any family members about this. Should I tell them? How?

  2. As I mentioned above that I’ve been thinking about becoming a nun, I’ve also been looking for a good spiritual director. I’ve read the other threads about finding a good spiritual director and I think I’ve found one priest but I don’t get to see him that often to talk to him. How do I go about that? I’m kind of “church hopping” because I serve at different parishes so it’s very hard to meet with one priest often.

Please pray for me!

-7discerning7

P.S. Feel free to send me a message!

You might want to find one church to go to, and leave it at that. That way you can get to know the priest there and then ask his advice about finding a spiritual director. You’re a little young to be too worried about being a nun. Not to discourage you, but just be prayerful about it. If you can find a spiritual director, or a priest who can help you out, then you can work through it and decide when, or if, to tell your parents. It’s a huge decision to be a nun. Are you willing to give up everything for God? Even the prospect of marrying? Think it through. And make sure it’s what you and God both want.

Unless they are openly hostile to the consecrated life, you should definitely tell your family. Their feedback is actually part of the discernment process (EDIT: even if they say your shouldn’t, it may be part of a process that leads you to consecrated life - just ask for their patience as you seek what God is calling you to). You could also see about making a spiritual retreat. Some religious orders host these every weekend. Due to your age, it might be necessary to find a “mother/daughter” retreat you could attend with your mother, aunt or grandmother (they aren’t that strict on who qualifies as a mother).

On finding a spiritual director, your priest or the RE director of your parish would likely be the best persons to recommend someone. If no director is available, you still have your confessor.

Books by St. John of the Cross will help you in the exercise of discernment. A person who
wishes to practice this should become familiar with quiet meditation and contemplation, that prayerful frame of mind and elevated state where communication with the Holy Spirit becomes possible. One needs to find a place of seclusion, his own quiet Garden of Gethsemane to reflect and permits an undisturbed one of one with Him.

It could be a grotto of our Blessed Mother sometimes found in some cities, or a city park with a private area, or like myself a special spot in my back pasture in a cluster of jack pines which has a brook running through it. It could be simply in front of a small shrine in a spare room set aside for it.

While you are doing this, some convents may allow for initiates to visit on occasion. You will probably come to know some with common interests, and they most likely share with you a discussion on the life of St. Theresa Avila who in her books has helpful information in this area also.

Hope you all the success in your endeavors.

Hello!

Thanks for your response!

We used to only be at one parish but ever since priests from other parishes heard about me (I play the piano), they asked me to serve at their parishes (it’s about 4 right now) so it’s kinda hard to go back to our parish.

Yes, I suppose I am a little young. Thank you for asking those questions. I’ve been praying a lot about it but the answer still isn’t too clear.

-7discerning7

Hi!

Thanks for your reply!

I’m am reluctant to break it to my family because I don’t know how they will take it. My mom and brother teased me about it wên a friend told them that he wouldn’t be surprised if I became a nun. They said,"You know, if she had her own congregation, her vows and rules of the house would be super strict! I would be sad if I was a girl and wanted to join her congregation!

I will take your advice!

I welcome any more advice others can give. :slight_smile:

A statement like that could mean they already recognize a vocation in you. It is unfortunate that they express it in a teasing way but they probably don’t know how to open the subject with you. It is your right to choose your vocation and they don’t want to impose their will, even if they do think you should enter consecrated life.

You might begin by telling them your reluctance because you fear to be teased. That kind of thing can sober the mood sufficiently for the conversation (alas, it won’t completely prevent later teasing but it makes it easier to remind them later that you prefer to not jest about it).

I will pray for however you decide to handle it.

Better a Religious Sister as director than a man ie priest

Hi John!

Thanks again for your input!

How do you think I should bring it up the topic to them? :confused:

Thanks for your prayers.

-7discerning7

I’ve been in your shoes! St Therese entered Carmel at 15.

You’re a musician whose talents are sought after. Give it to God and ask St Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians, for her prayers.

Everything spiritual must be done in the context of your Daily Duty, which right now is being a good daughter and student. From the moment you awake, give your day to God for Our Lady’s intentions of converting the world. When you retire for the night, offer the pure heartbeats of sleep for the same intentions. Try to remember the Angelus at 6am, 12 noon, and 6pm. Recognize the Divine Mercy at 3pm.

Our days as Catholics are supposed to revolve around God and giving Him honor. We no longer belong to ourselves.

The most weighty thing you can do right now is practice obedience and keep your mouth shut when teachers and/or parents reprimand you. This is different from “turning the other cheek,” which actually means defend yourself. In Our Lord’s time, to turn the other cheek was to ask to be smacked with the back of the hand to be dignified as a human being.

As St Therese advised–go off your first impression vocationally. The Holy Ghost works on attraction. While Carmel attracts many, Teresa and John are for everyone. Carmel means “interior garden” and the Church always returns to Carmel for advice on prayer.

HTH

Blessings,
Cloisters

Hi,
I’m 14 and discerning also (for priesthood)
My spiritual director is a retired priest, he is really influential in my decision making.
I would advise sticking with one church also, to get to know the clergy good and hopefully find a good advisor.
If you don’t want a priest you could ask about different sister orders around.

I forgot that Bl Dina Belanger & St Elizabeth of the Trinity (“Sabeth”) both were pianists. You could ask their intercession as well.

Blessings,
Cloisters

That is up to you. As I wrote, the only suggestion I have is to start be asking them to not tease you about it because you are afraid of being teased.

Hello!

Yes, I try to obey but I often get tempted to do other things. Is there a formula prayer to help resist temptations throughout the whole day?

You know, I never thought of offering up my heartbeats. I normally offer my physical pains. Thanks for your suggestions!

What do you mean by “go off our first impression vocationally”?

Thanks again!
7discerning7

Hi!
That’s great! I’ll keep you in my prayers! We do need more priests!

I used to also talk to a retired priest at my home parish but he passed on to his House in Heaven about a year ago (miss him very much) so in kinda not sure who to talk to now. :confused:

Thanks for your suggestions!

God bless,
7discerning7

I pray for vocations to the priesthood or religious life. I’m encouraged to read the interest young people are having.

I know of one way you can “explore” this question. Find an abbey or monastery that you find drawn to and ask them about their order. Many of them have frequent discernment programs.

I was recently on a Benedictine retreat at an Abbey that was hosting a male candidate for their oblate program.

Hello,

I haven’t told my parents or any family members about my discerning to possibly be a nun and I don’t know how to bring up attending a discernment program to them. :frowning:

God bles,
7discerning7

Just tell them you’re going on a retreat. That’s basically what it is. I wouldn’t tell them until you were fairly certain that this is what God is calling you to. In the meantime, let them know you’ll still be loving and obedient. You’re “recharging your sweetness batteries.”

Blessings,
cloisters

I see that someone has already given you the best answer. I would simply add that for yourself, keep praying and asking the Lord for direction. Ask the help of Our Mother. Prayers are a powerful tool that we tend to underestimate. Pray to them and ask them for guidance and help. I promise you, they will not say no to you.

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