Doubts, fears and anxieties


#1

Hey!

I'm looking at entering a religious community in 2012. I know its Gods will but I'm having all these fears, worries and anxieties. Is this normal?


#2

[quote="LJWTHOM, post:1, topic:267490"]
Hey!

I'm looking at entering a religious community in 2012. I know its Gods will but I'm having all these fears, worries and anxieties. Is this normal?

[/quote]

Yes. I had a discussion last week with my vocations director on doubts, fears, and anxieties. He said that it was Satan's way of deterring us. The last thing he wants is another nun or priest. He said that God also allows these things to happen so that we can grow deeper in the faith, and this is definately what has happened with me. Through this I have read the Early Church Fathers, gone to confession a lot, and continued to try to live a good, Catholic life. He said something along the lines of that the Lord is trying to mature me more into the faith. He said the "spoon-feeding" session is over. :D

The Lord works in mysterious ways, but it's all worth it in the end.


#3

[quote="CatholicZ09, post:2, topic:267490"]
Yes. I had a discussion last week with my vocations director on doubts, fears, and anxieties. He said that it was Satan's way of deterring us. The last thing he wants is another nun or priest. He said that God also allows these things to happen so that we can grow deeper in the faith, and this is definately what has happened with me. Through this I have read the Early Church Fathers, gone to confession a lot, and continued to try to live a good, Catholic life. He said something along the lines of that the Lord is trying to mature me more into the faith. He said the "spoon-feeding" session is over. :D

The Lord works in mysterious ways, but it's all worth it in the end.

[/quote]

Beautifully said. Thank you so much for sharing.


#4

I think you should feel great peace about your decision.

I don’t think you should just ignore or repress these fears, worries, and anxieties. That is not normal, in my view. Those emotions are a result of conflicts in your thinking about your future, about what you want. I think you need to resolve all this before you make such a big change of life.

Sometimes we suppress our thoughts, because we think of them as forbidden or unholy. But look inside you. What ARE you thinking about all this?

You know of course that no Catholic is required to live in a religious community in order to be holy or attain eternal salvation. It is an option, nothing more. It is one path. It is a good path for the right people. But it is not right for the vast majority of Catholics. You must see and feel if it is right for you. The aspiration to be holy and to serve God is always right and good. But living in a religious community is not necessary for that, as the Church has said.

So, I would go with what feels right to you and for you. Whatever you do, you will be cutting off all other paths for this life of yours in this world. We cannot walk all the paths in this one life. But maybe it doesn’t really even matter. In the final analysis, we Christians all really have the same basic, fundamental vocation and the same calling to eternal life.

You wrote “all these fears…” That word “all” in that sentence worries me. That sounds like a LOT to me. You need to to achieve peace about what you are planning to do.

Yet, to not a make a decision is a decision too. So, make a decision. But maybe don’t see it as so crucial that you make the one right decision. After all, all that really matters is that you keep the Faith, love God, and love neighbor.

Peace!


#5

Thank you everyone. I appreciate your words of wisdom and hopefully your prayers too!

Your right that you can only be free in making a choice. The Lord will either bless the choice or not bless the choice. Either way His holy will be done!

After I wrote this post earlier today I was thinking to myself “Sarah, what possessed you to do that?” You don’t need to whine to a bunch of strangers about your worries. But just hearing the encouragement has reminded me that God is sovereign. He holds all things in His hands and I need not worry! :thumbsup:


#6

Sarah! We aren’t strangers, we are your brothers and sisters in Christ! We hope you will come back and share your journey with us, not just for yourself or us, but for the next person who asks the same question and can read your thread and say, “Hey! I’m not the only one!”


#7

It indeed helps when you talk to someone about them. I know that if I hadn’t talked about them, I would’ve kept them bottled up and gone crazy. Blessings to you on your discernment! Merry Christmas!


#8

Merry Christmas!


#9

The doubts and fears are natural, at first. But when you have finally discerned your charisma, and your vocation, and you properly match them with either your diocese or a religious order, and God approves, then you will feel peace, like the breath of the Holy Spirit washing away your fears, doubts, and anxieties. At least that was my experience.

If you want a Scripture reference, read Acts of the Apostles.


#10

[quote="CatholicZ09, post:2, topic:267490"]
Yes. I had a discussion last week with my vocations director on doubts, fears, and anxieties. He said that it was Satan's way of deterring us.

[/quote]

From what I know, a good spiritual director will never tell another person that certain feelings, concerns or thoughts are the voice of Satan.

Rather, a good spiritual director will teach the other person to develop their own ability to distinguish the three voices or inspirations one might feel or hear: the voice of God; the voice of Satan; your own human self's voice.

Satan wants you to do what is egoistic, since that will keep you the farthest from the love of God. If you think about it, I am sure you will agree that joining a religious community could be done out of pure egoism.

Therefore, this decision of yours is not a simple matter. You cannot assume that joining this or any religious community is necessarily the Godly path for you. It all depends on your intentions, and also on what vocation God is calling you to. This matter is all a matter for YOU to discern.

This discernment is the task (vocation, work, opus) that God is calling you to right NOW. No one else can tell you what God is calling you to, or what Satan is tempting you to. They do NOT know. You cannot assume that a vocation director is speaking for God. The vocation director may be speaking just for themselves, or their own ego. There are holy vocation directors, and unholy ones, and it may be very difficult in your position to make such a distinction.

When you have your answer, you will feel peace. Yes, feelings and emotions go up and down. Yet, regarding such a major decision as joining a religious community, you will feel a special time of divine peace when you know what is the right thing to do.

Don't let anyone tell you that the Christian life has nothing to do with feelings or emotions, that is all a matter of reason, logic, will, dtry theology and philosophy, and obedience. Just read the Gospels and look at all the expressions of feelings and emotions of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He was fully God and fully human. Read the Old Testament to see all the expressions of feelings and emotions of God the Father.

Peace of God be with you and us all.


#11

[quote="Bartolome_Casas, post:10, topic:267490"]

When you have your answer, you will feel peace. Yes, feelings and emotions go up and down. Yet, regarding such a major decision as joining a religious community, you will feel a special time of divine peace when you know what is the right thing to do. .

[/quote]

I think this was an excellent post. I do want to add that this feeling of peace, sometimes doesn't show up until after one has been in a community for a while, or is even in their 2nd community.


#12

I will post this in capital letters so that you may remember this. I write this as someone who may have once had a calling.

DOUBTS ARE NORMAL, BUT SO ARE REGRETS!

Try your vocation, then at least you won’t regret not ever trying.


#13

Time is but a shadow, a dream; already God sees us in glory and takes joy in our eternal beatitude. How this thought helps my soul! I understand then why He lets us suffer... - St. Therese of Liseux

Yes, it is normal. We all go through our insecurities. Yet, that is what God is there for. Even when things are scary or cause anxiety, if we open our hearts to him we can hear him. We can feel his love for us. Trust in that, trust in his love for you and what he wants you to do. As God has set you on this path, do not your worries tempt you away. Let the Lord lead you, he can not lead you astray.


#14

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