In my freshman year in college I started getting really into my faith, and it was that spring that I first started thinking about being a nun (really a sister as I don't feel called to the cloister, but I'll be saying "nun" in this post because that's how I usually talk about it). Most of that summer when I would think about it I would just feel this intense irresistible draw towards it. However, dropping out of school was not an option - I didn't even bring it up as it's just not done in my family. Even though I was keeping this secret, that summer was the best spiritual summer of my life; I recieved a lot of consolations. I was also set to transfer from my school to a Catholic school, and so had a lot of hope for that.
The first semester of that year was the best socially that I'd had so far (out of a year and a half, so not that long), but I still went to the Catholic school in january. My spiritual life was still doing quite well even with the demands of school. Then at the Catholic school, I was for a while very very lonely, then it got better, but then my closest friends there were pushing away from me. I finished that year the lowest I had been since high school. That summer was an agonizing back-and-forth of whether to stay or go back, and I went back to my first college which is not Catholic. It was definitely the right decision as I can see now. Though I suffered a lot that summer, my faith had stayed strong due to the availability of the Eucharist at the Catholic college.
Fall of this past year, I started a little rocky but it got better. Quickly, though, I got stressed out and between the presence of roomates and schoolwork, I wasn't able to pray as much. At the beginning of my "journey" when I was receiving consolations I was able to pray on the way to class and stay well focused but I just couldn't do this anymore. This past spring semester was very hard. My best friend was going through a rough time and I didn't hear from her for a month, finally she sent an email, but we didn't get to talk tilshe got back. This is the longest we had gone in 13 years of friendship without talking, and I was distraught, as I hadn't done anything wrong. Everything's good again, she was getting depressed and so I don't blame her for doing strange things like that, but the point of relating this story is that I could not be calm for this whole time because of being worried about it. I still tried to pray and did ok once in a while. Also I had over fifty pages to write within four or five weeks.
Now finally it is this summer. Next year I will be a senior and I am trying to figure out what I'm going to do with my life. I promised myself, when I decided not to leave school to enter, that I would not lose my vocation. I do not feel anything though. Now I'mnot one of those people who leaves a church based on feelings; that's silly, and the Catholic Church is my life. The problem is that I can't find a religious community that I could see myself in. I've only researched on the internet- too scared to make contact. I love the Latin Mass and would like a community with it. I also just cannot enter somehwere with a contemporary designed chapel. This might sound petty, but modern "art" annoys me, and does not raise my mind to God. If I'm going to spend the rest of my life praying in this chapel, it's going to have to not be ugly. I also love the Passionist charism. Meditation on the Passion has been my strongest tie to God - even when I feel nothing it is the only thing that makes me feel a little. I also want to do orphanage work. I can't be cloistered - I can tell you from my days at the Catholic school that I would die of loneliness. I like hugs, and you can't hug your family through a grille.
(continued next post)