I need a guide


#1

Okay, this is going to sound weird. You know how God sometimes calls the most unlikely people to do His work? I am a Protestant single mother, whose husband is in prison for three lifetime sentences. And I think God’s preparing me to join a convent when my son turns 18…

Growing up, my family was Protestant, and when I was a teenager, I used to dream of becoming a nun. But, my father wouldn’t hear of it, and proceeded to tell me all the reasons Catholicism was evil. All my life religion has been very important, but I’ve always been frustrated by the double standards and lack of structured rules I found in the churches I attended. Add to that my confusion concerning my mother (who is a homosexual), and I eventually left the Christian faith altogether and practiced Wicca (a form of paganism) for almost a decade. That was when I met my husband, and we were together seven years before I finally had a child. And within a week of having our son, he was no longer allowed to live with us, within 6 months he was found guilty and sentenced to prison for three lifetime sentences. When everything looked to be at its darkest for me, I turned back to God again. But here I was with the same problem I had before… church just didn’t seem to make sense, and I’m the kind of person who will actually follow the set of rules I’m given, not just follow the ones I like.

I was surprised God would even give me the time of day, but for the past year and a half, He has been leading me to Catholic church. I’m not Catholic, you have to go to RCIA classes, and I’m a single mom, so I’m usually working when they have the classes. But I cling to Him like a lifeline, and He guides me more and more in ways that I can’t understand. I’ve been praying with the rosary for a while now, and have been studying the Catholic bible and the Catechism, been reading books on Catholicism to better understand it. I’m not talking about once in a while, or even once a week… He’s pulling me closer to Him, every moment of every day He brings something new to my mind. It’s like a fire inside me, insistent, and I ignored Him once, I refuse to do it again. I haven’t spoken to my husband since I learned he really did what he was accused of, which was years ago, but every time I try to divorce him, He stops me. God doesn’t want me to start another relationship (believe me, I’ve tried… :blush:), and even if my husband dies in prison, I don’t think I’m ever to have a relationship again. That’s a given, right, because I’m still married, but the same seems to go for my job… there is always this off feeling whenever I think about going back to school or getting a house or planning for the future. The only thing I have any peace about is getting an RV, because I can go where He sends me, and I think it’s for my son when he’s older. I have this deep desire to serve others, and thought about ways I can do it, but when I think of how I’ll support myself, He just gives me this sense that He’s going to take care of me, and I’m not supposed to worry about it. I would normally be antsy about not planning for my family’s financial future, but all I have is this sense of peace that everything will be okay, but that I’m not supposed to get comfortable anywhere.

Now, I’m human, and God knows I’ve been wrong about a lot of things, and I know His ways are not like our ways, and they are by definition mysterious. I also know that you cannot join a convent if you are married, and if you have children, they must be grown. There are about a thousand reasons out there why I should roll my eyes and say it’s a silly idea. But there is a burning fire in my heart that tells me that nothing is impossible for God.

I need a guide. I need someone to pray for me that I can better understand His will, someone who knows the customs of this world I’ve found myself pulled to, who can tell me what I need to do or where I need to go for encouragement. I guess I kind of need a friend who won’t laugh at me and tell me why what I think is stupid… :confused:


#2

Well, you can post a prayer request in the prayer intentions subforum to have people pray for you. That will help.

Also, you really should find a priest who can help you. If RCIA is not feasible for you, then a priest may be able to instruct you privately.

You might think of getting in contact with a community of religious sisters to see if you can’t find a spiritual director by that route. That may depend on where you live.

Jesus Bless You!


#3

I was raised Catholic but fell from the wagon years ago when I was 19. I left my family and moved to Toronto with a friend. I was pregnant less than a year later. My common law husband (his father) is a strict atheist- wants nothing to do with religion. I’ve felt a pull for many years to return to the church and only started a few months ago with my now 14 year old son. I’ve also started reciting the rosary several times a week (trying to keep on it daily). All I can tell you is keep up with your rosaries. The way to God, is through Jesus- and the easiest way to reach him is through his mother. She was the gateway for Jesus to come to earth and give us salvation. She is also our best advocate to reach him more deeply- thus also acting as our gateway to heaven. God is pure love, pure perfection. We can’t hope to reach him without believing in Jesus and giving ourselves to him fully. Give your worries and your prayers to our blessed virgin Mary, so that she can complete and perfect them for you so that they will please her loving son more greatly.
Your mission as a Catholic is to become a saint. Your way to getting there is ridding yourself of everything that will hinder that goal. I started out by giving up my cell phone games, then tapering off the amount of tv that i watch. I eventually started a 54 day novena and to fast- I have given up Facebook for 60 days. The harder the struggle you face giving something up, the more graces you’ll earn. Give our blessed mother your suffering and worries and she will offer them up to her son as prayers.
I can’t tell you how different I feel now. My heart is more calm than it ever was. I find myself pulled more and more to my bible than I ever have been. I experienced a miracle 7 days into my novena and I have been TOUCHED by the holy spirit 3 times- one of them happened last week as i was sleeping. I half woke up as the feeling of pure bliss started and it grew so intensely that my body felt electrified… I then felt myself floating out of my bed and flying through a vividly coloured world. It was going to HIM, and every fiber of my being knew it. As I grew near, I saw his image. Not clearly- but as if I was looking at a picture from a book. Then I started floating back- my incessant begging did nothing to stop my return back to my bed. I woke up expecting to feel scared- but I wasn’ t. My house was the picture of calmness. I got up, grabbed my rosary and started to pray.
I can’t begin to tell you what I experienced- I will NEVER be able to put it into words that do it justice… and believe me- i know how far fetched it all sounds. I know that the pure ecstasy and electrifying sensation that I felt came from him.

Pray to Jesus, but ask Mary to intercede and perfect your prayers. She will help you!

If you ever need a non laughing ear- I’m here.

God Bless you and your family!


#4

The Holy Spirit is calling you into the Catholic Church; He will be your guide. Get in touch with your nearest Catholic Church and ask about joining their RCIA program this year. Before you can join a convent, you must be Catholic of course, the program will start you off in the right direction. Welcome Home! :grouphug:


#5

Hi Rimera,
Is there a convent or order close to where you live. I am a shift worker and couldn’t attend RCIA classes like yourself but I attended the local church and a Sister at the convent said she would meet with me and teach the the catechism. In the process she became my friend and sponsor and was able to answer questions that I had and helped me through the tough times.
My prayers and hopes are with you.
Rob


#6

I have no advise, but just wish to congratulate you on telling your story, which may have
Been difficult, it’s been my experience , that God gives you a trail of breadcrumbs to follow ,
Keep following , your on the right track,


#7

Rimera, the vocations director in your diocese may be able to help you. Just run a search for Catholic diocese of _______ , call and ask for the vocations director. You may be able to navigate the diocesan site for that offce’s information.

Rimira and Joelle,
Each of you is very inspiring! Welcome to CAF!


#8

I won’t laugh at you. I was divorced, twice, had 2 annulments, and after that, I thought I wanted to become a nun. For a number of years I began going to daily mass, and then I had a dream, which I thought was telling me to go into religious life and to lead a life of poverty.

I really couldn’t go into an order…for a bunch of reasons…my age, that I have a disability. So, for 2 years, I lived like a nun, on my own, even so.

I tried to live a humble life, poverty. Okay…I was living in a 2-bedroom place. So, when my lease was to expire, I talked to the owner. In fact, I got him to let me out of my lease for other reasons, health reasons.

So, I rented a room downtown, here in Mexico. Anyway, it was SO rough that I didn’t even last a month! I was totally miserable!

I left there, tried one more time to rent a room somewhere else, and there seemed to be both prostitution AND drugs there! There were men coming and going day and night! I did report this to the owner, who was sort of absentee, and after I left, he shut the place down, said he’d look into doing it differently to prevent that from happening again.

Finally, I leveled with myself…said I really can’t live completely an impoverished life for practical considerations.

I was once almost kidnapped here in Mexico…another time almost raped. I need to be able to live in a safe neighborhood, because I’m a target. Where I live also has a tourist warning out to Americans about the kidnappings of Americans and other things.

In part, for my own safety, and also to meet my disability needs, I have spent more money to find a safe, wheelchair accessible place.

Secondly, I think I was trying to flee from my sexuality at that time, pretending I didn’t have those needs, when I do. I realize some people are able to get this to work, but I realize I seem to not be one of them.

I have one brother who went into the seminary for 3 years, left.

So, religious life is quite hard, not for everyone.

Since you’re married, unless you can get an annulment for some reason, I don’t know if they’d allow you to enter an order. I don’t think they would. That would need to be done first.

Now…you might be able to get an annulment due to the circumstances. Perhaps, when you married, he may not have done a full disclosure of everything, for instance, and that can be grounds for annulment, for example.

There is a spectrum of issues, really. One can serve God in all kinds of ways. One can serve God as a married person, with children…one way.

One can serve God in religious life…another option.

One can serve God, in say, a third order.

What I have finally done is that I have decided to serve God as a volunteer. I volunteer at 2 places. One is a secular place, a blind association. I work with blind and low-vision folks and LOVE it, feel such a sense of purpose there.

The second place is San Felipe, which is religious, and I do a wider variety of work, since they have all kinds of disabilities. So, I work with disabilities, and in one case, the daughter of someone who has a disability, can’t teach her child certain things. I try to pick up the slack.

I have just recently met someone who seems nice. He, like me, has a disability. It seems like we will begin dating pretty soon.

Now, I look back at those years, trying to figure out where I belong…

When I was little, I actually had my own shrine, cut fresh flowers daily. I also prayed a daily rosary, when little. I was absolutely convinced I was to be a nun, but no.

Each case is different. Maybe, in your case, you will end up getting an annulment, going into religious life. One never knows. Had you ever thought of checking into that, determining if you had a valid marriage to begin with?

One idea…to get your feet wet…would be to begin at least moving in that direction to see how you feel. There are opportunities to work in Church related activities, as a lay person…to teach catechism and much more.

There are volunteer positions in the secular world. Now, some people hear the word “secular” and get turned off by it. However, I volunteered 5 years with Goodwill…which is secular. I volunteered 5 or so years with Literacy Volunteers teaching literacy and ESL…again, secular.

I am currently volunteering at a blind association…secular. I am volunteering at San Felipe…religious, but what I am doing is “secular” in teaching folks.

There is a huge spectrum of ways to go about trying to get closer to God.

For a time, I went to a daily rosary group, helped cleaning the Church, changing candles, and such. I helped the sacristan.

Again, there are ton of ways, on various levels. One could always start getting one’s feet wet through through these tasks…volunteering at the church as a lay person…possibly taking a Bible study, teaching catechism…and see where it all leads.

Does anybody know if it’s possible to study RCIA online?

Best of luck to you and whatever you ultimately decide.


#9

You should discuss this with a priest.


#10

Thank you all so much for your encouragement and insights. I will look into finding someone to talk to at a local church here, and see about finding private instruction with the catechism. I will also look into ways I can volunteer in the area, though my time is limited due to child care concerns, but I will do my best. I would like to thank you all once again for your help, and your prayers. :slight_smile:


#11

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