Impedments to religious life

Hello, I’m 20 years old and I spent most of my life away from the Church
But God gave me a miraculous conversion
Now, I want to give everything to him in the religious life, and I’m absolutely certain that it’s what I want for my life, I don’t see any sense anymore in living a secular life
I don’t want to escape anything, before the realization that I coul be called to religious life, in the end of last year, I was certain that I wanted a family and was doing everything necessary to live the secular life. But now that has changed, and all I can think about is to give myself entirely.

But I’m suffering a lot because of the sins of my past, because I am questioning if God would accept my life with my terrible sins of the past. I’m not talking about Holy Orders, I want to give myself as a lay religious brother.
I want to know if it’s possible that God can reject me because of my past, and what makes me think more that I could be rejected is that in the past I had a homosexual relationship, but it don’t consider myself homosexual, I had girlfriends and the reason that I had this homosexual relationship was because I believed in Gender Ideology, and believed in transgenderism, so I believed that I was dating a woman, but he was a transgender. during the time this relationship was a cause of great pain to me, and I missed true women, even going to the extreme of suggesting to my partner to open the relationship to me, so I could be with women (and he, that at the time I though was she, accepted). I know all of this is disgusting and I wish all my past sins had never happened. I hate them with all of my heart. And I’m very afraid of being rejected in religious life because of them (there is many others, but what’s making me more scrupulous are those, because I don’t see them in the lives of any saints)
I don’t see any meaning in don’t giving my life to God, but at the same time I’m afraid of giving only because I’m afraid of Him don’t accepting me, and I’m afraid of ending up offending Him with my life.
Please help me, I can’t find help on this issue anywhere and I can’t talk to an spiritual director right now.

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Pray to know if it is God’s will for your life. A religious vocation has to first be a call from Him and after much discernment and prayer a response from you. Your past will be dealt With in Confession and forgotten by God. Go to Confession of you haven’t already. Father is the best one to help you in this.

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Just like the previous poster said re confession and prayer. I just wanted to add that Gods call is always to one of patience so take your time. Discernment, even if you have already made the choice it is like cooking a fine meal… it’s all prepared now you have to wait for it to cook. Let it simmer gently with the prayer and sacraments and above all…let God lead you. He takes all manner of sinners to be his chosen…look at St Paul the Christian murderer who became a great saint, St Augustine a womaniser who became a Doctor of the church…many others…why not read up on some of them? God’s mercy is so deep and beautiful that it can forgive and forget all mans terrible darkness. Most of us have shame God has forgiven. Read St Faustinas diary it’s full of Jesus’s words on mercy.

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First, God forgives any sin we sincerely repent of, and he does not dwell on our transgressions of the past. The evil one wants you stuck there reliving and feeling guilt and shame over your past. God wants you to be set free.

Secondly, you will need to discern your vocation with the religious community God directs you to. We cannot say what will or will not come of this. We cannot say what will or will not prevent you from taking vows. That is between you, your potential community, and God. You simply have to go through the process. Know this, the church does not prohibit those were experienced transient homosexual experiences from religious life. So, I think you have reason to hope.

Have you contacted the vocations director of your diocese or the vocations director of a particular religious community. If not, you should!

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Thank you for your answers. The fine meal metaphore is beautiful! I’m currently reading the diary, do you recommend any specific part ?

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Hello, thank you for your answer. About what you said here;

the church does not prohibit those were experienced transient homosexual experiences from religious life. So, I think you have reason to hope.

Can you give me more details on this? Where can I find more information about this?

See here:

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_20051104_istruzione_en.html

The language the church uses is present tense and the phrase “deep-seated homosexual tendencies”. The definition of that phrase is vague. Each diocese / communities has a certain set of guidelines about what this phrase means and how to discern fitness. This is why I say you have reason to hope, but that you must discern your way through this.

But isn’t this document only about Priesthood and Holy Orders? Because I want to be a religious brother (because I’m not worthy to be a priest)

As I said, you will need to contact the vocations director of the community God directs you to and you will discern together whether or not you are called to religious life (Or that particular community) and in what capacity.

Simply put, you will not know until you try, and there is no way any of us can tell you what the outcome will be.

Pray for the courage and the strength to make that first step to contact a community (or your diocese),

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Thank you !!!

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No.
Not disgusting.
We all learn along the way, and there are a lot of voices out there promoting many things.
Please try to move away from seeing people as good or bad. It’s our choices that are right or wrong, and we don’t lnow what brought your friend to the decisions he made.

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I’m glad you are reading it. All of it’s good really. There are some nuns and priests on YouTube that speak about various parts and scriptural readings. You can find them easily as their talks are called Evenings with the Merciful Jesus- they are very good. The are in a group called Saint John Paul II National Shrine. Which is where they broadcast from.

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It is wonderful you have found your way back home and want to serve in this way.

It might be possible, but you should wait a while. Give it 4-5 years, then see what happens. I can tell you that no community worth entering (namely, without serious problems that have made them careless about such issues or just desperate for who knows what reasons) will take you any time soon, at least in the USA. Find a priest you trust to talk to about it.

If anything, unworthiness is an essential characteristic for priesthood - as a friend of mine once said to me: “God calls those who most need His help” and I know that’s definitely true of me. Besides that, being a priest isn’t somehow superior or better to being a religious brother - any discernment of a vocation should be based on what you feel God is calling you to and not on what you feel you should settle for. Religious life shouldn’t be some sort of second-best option - if you feel called to priesthood then pursue that calling and likewise, religious life. If anything, a call to religious life is more about brotherhood than priesthood since all religious (and especially Franciscans) are, first and foremost, brothers.

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Thank you for your answer!

Give it 4-5 years, then see what happens. I can tell you that no community worth entering (namely, without serious problems that have made them careless about such issues or just desperate for who knows what reasons) will take you any time soon, at least in the USA.

Why do you say that? Why 4-5 years?

Thank you for your answer! I said that I’m not worthy because Holy Orders are a sacrament, and being a religious lay brother doesn’t require any sacrament. Also I don’t want to scandalize the Church as a priest if anyone discovers my past. Saint Francis also didn’t feel worthy of the Priesthood. But If I heard God’s call to be a priest, I would definitely follow His will.

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I struggle in ways that you have. Feeling awful over my past. But reading over the sins you listed and seeing how sincere you are, I immediately thought “of COURSE God has forgiven him!” And that was only solidified by all these responses that are stating how merciful God is. He forgives and he forgets :slight_smile:

So although it is difficult, really try to focus on the present. God cares about who you are NOW. Not who you were. I am struggling with this too and will pray for you.

As for the calling, I don’t have much information on the matter with what you are asking. But keep praying and God will guide you.

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No man is worthy to be a Priest. God doesn’t call the qualified he qualifies the called.

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It is a recommendation based on quite a bit of experience, in the USA and abroad. Also, you are only 20. Not sure if you’re in college, but even if so, spend some time working a normal job after graduating and living normal parish life, and establish a good relationship with a few reputable priests in your diocese who can recommend you after an extended time of observation. You should tell them about your past but only after they come to know you a bit - it should not be the way to introduce yourself, nor should you lead in with telling them you want to be a religious. Just be yourself and let them get to know you. (Find a good regular confessor apart from that group - it helps everyone to keep those realities separate.) I’m happy to talk more by private message.

Cheers…
-K

Thank you a lot. I will send you a private message!

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