Hoping Someone Can Give Some Advice


#1

Ok, this is probably going to sound really odd so I’ll start at the beginning (trying to give a shortened version of a very long story).
I was Baptized Catholic as a baby but not raised Catholic. I didn’t know anything about what Catholics believed or anything growing up. 5 years ago I was married, not in the Church. When I realized by a very supernatural conversion that I was supposed to be Catholic and went through RCIA and found my marriage wasn’t valid we began living as brother/sister. We did this for months.
During this time I started feeling very strongly like I should be a nun or something. I don’t know how to explain this feeling other than this very strong, nagging type feeling that wouldn’t go away no matter what. Even my husband said I should go be a nun. Ok, so we discussed separating before the convalidation also because of this.
Well, about a week before the convalidation I got this strong feeling that I am supposed to be married after praying and praying about this, so we ended up going through with the convalidation.
Here’s my problem… this nagging feeling of wanting to be a nun or sister will not go away… even after the convalidation. What does this mean? Why is this happening to me?


#2

I don’t have any expertise on your specific situation, regarding religios life, that is. But I know a very helpful saying that I think applies: “You won’t miss out on God’s will. Our God is not a one-shot God.”

When it was truly time to make the decision, you were reasonably sure of your call to valid marriage. Whether or not you were hearing God clearly, that is your state until death do you part, and you have an opportuinity to serve God and love your family. God is gracious enough to call you to sainthood within your marriage, even if you were going to be a saint as a sister.

Let me say that I admire you and your husband’s commitment to the Church and Her teachings, and for taking this matter so seriously. I don’t know you, but I know me, and I am very indecisive, suffering from second-guessing myself, and a “grass is always greener on the other side” syndrome.

I pray for your peace in this matter.


#3

I think that it is not uncommon to wonder if ‘the grass is greener on the other side’! And it is temptation quite often to want to be somewhere else than where God has put you now. You are a married woman and are vowed to this state in life. Live it well! And you can join a Third Order as a lay person to help with your need for a deeper spiritual life. Holy lay people are very much needed in the world. How can you be of service?

Don’t let this temptation keep bugging you! As my first spiritual director pointed out to me at the outset: you were called to marriage, not the convent.


#4

It sounds like you were honestly trying to discern God’s will before convalidating your marriage. I think, if God wanted you to be a nun He would have told you then, before you made vows.


#5

bluntly, if you are married, your vocation is marriage, feelings and emotions aside. You would not have been allowed to convalidate if your relationaship was not sound and healthy (or should not have been) so focus your new found fervor on love on being the best wife and mother you can be. Your strong feelings and need to identify more closely with Christ and to serve him can be equally well directed toward your primary vocation as wife and mother, and toward you baptismal call to evangelize and serve Christ in His Church. Start investigating what ministry or apostolate you can do within your current situation.


#6

Perhaps I wasn’t clear in my initial posting because it seems that some of the replies have a hint of a judgmental tone to them.
I know I’m married, I know that it is my vocation, I know that marriage is forever. My question had more to do with why am I still feeling this way, should I be doing something else as a married person, if so, what?
Just FYI, my marriage was less than perfect (to put it mildly) before the convalidation and continues to be less than perfect. I literally had a bunch of people begging me NOT to convalidate the marriage and I almost listened to them, but instead I prayed, and I prayed A LOT until I felt that I knew God was calling me to convalidate the marriage. My wish is to follow God’s will, not my own.


#7

#8

I’m not exactly sure.
Here are the specific feelings I’m getting, maybe this will help.
I feel like praying ALL THE TIME.
I feel like setting myself apart from the world for God.
I feel like helping people.
I feel like doing whatever God wants me to do, no matter what that means.
I have a nagging need to cover my head at all times out of respect for God (but this seems to be looked down upon by a lot of people, even in Church-not sure why?)
I feel like working with others that feel like me.
Out of curiosity I took a religious vocation test just to see what it would say and my score was 659 and here is the scoring:
Strong potential : 500+
Moderate potential : 400-499
Slight potential : 399 and less
I don’t know if that means that I feel like I’m specifically supposed to be a nun or sister, but I know that if I weren’t married, I would be talking seriously looking into it.

Temptation or not, I won’t go against my vows or vocation. I’m just trying to figure out why this is happening to me.
Do you know if there are any secular third Orders that would fit what I’m feeling (above)?


#9

Rachel I think it is great that you have a desire to serve God. But, you are married. Seek out your priest for coucil. Sister, you can still serve God without devorcing your husband. Seek out opportunities in your community like maybe a food bank where you can serve others and be a positive influnce on others for God.


#10

Joining a Third Order may very well be your answer.

All of us, whether married or single, are called to holiness. Those in Third Orders have felt called to be in such a community because it aids them in the call to holiness that all Christians have. There are different third orders with slightly different charisms. There are married and single people, men and women, in third orders.

I was married with eight children when I first learned of and joined the Third Order of Carmel. It changed my life and helped me very much spiritually. I am 73 now and still attend monthly meetings, and benefit by our studies, yearly retreats, and learning more of the teachings on spirituality of the Carmelite saints.

You can read about the various third orders on-line, and also find out from the Chancery office what third orders meet regularly in a parish near you. Then you can contact the director and ask if you can attend a meeting to discern about that order. Some potential members take a year or more to discern if they want to aspire to a particular order, others know right away and can’t wait to get started.

Blessings to you,


#11

[quote="Big_Dummy, post:9, topic:196621"]
Rachel I think it is great that you have a desire to serve God. But, you are married. Seek out your priest for coucil. Sister, you can still serve God without devorcing your husband. Seek out opportunities in your community like maybe a food bank where you can serve others and be a positive influnce on others for God.

[/quote]

LOL I'm not planning on divorcing my husband silly :)


#12

Thank you Dorothy. I’m trying to learn more about Third Orders and stuff. I’ve been searching the net for the last day on them… it’s hard to figure out what is what though with all of them.


#13

[quote="Rachel, post:12, topic:196621"]
Thank you Dorothy. I'm trying to learn more about Third Orders and stuff. I've been searching the net for the last day on them.. it's hard to figure out what is what though with all of them.

[/quote]

That is why it is good to find out what is available in your area, attend a meeting or several meetings to discern, and get an idea of the spirit of that particular order.


#14

I think that your desires would be compatable with almost any state of life. Probably any of the Third Orders would suit, and other groups as well. The third orders and other groups will vary a great deal from place to place as far as personalities and communities go. You’ll want to meet the members, go to meetings and what not to see what might be for you. You could ask your spiritual director, parish priest or your local daily Mass goers for recommendations. (on which groups might suit you I mean)

Those ministry quizzes can be a bit misleading. They are probably better at indicating whether a person is feeling drawn to greater service to the Church rather than whether they are specifically called to religious life. In many cases, it may be a call to religious life, but it could also be a call to other vocations in the Church.


closed #15

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