Is fear a bad sign when applying to a community?


Ok, so this may seem like a lame question, but I have seen some wonderful advice come through these forumns, so I hope you can help me out.

Since I was very young I have thought about the possability of religious life, and often have felt drawn to it. At the end of my college years I got a spiritual director who was very encouraging of my entering a specific community. I went on a week long retreat with the community and really clicked quite well with the sisters, however at the time I decided not to put papers in. In part due to family preasure, and also in part to my own insecurities abuot entering.

In the last year, I planned to visit other communities, but money and time never seemed to be available, and I was only able to visit one other, which I didn't particularly feel drawn to.

At this point, I feel as though I am never really never going to be able to "get over" the idea of religous life unless I enter and explore the Lord's will further. Because the community I entered is the only community where I felt like I "fit in" with, it seems to be the most logical community to apply to. This being said... I am absolutely TERRIFIED of making the commitment to actually put papers in. Is this a bad sign? Should I explore more communities and be 100% sure of a particular community before putting papers in? Or have others experienced sheer terror at the idea of commiting to a particular community?

Thanks so much!


What sort of person would not be nervous about such a step. Courage is as much required to make a good and moral choice as it is to make an immoral one. Don't read too much into it.


I agree! with all major changes in life there is fear. My decision to join the catholic church caused me great fear but I have only been met with love and acceptance and it was the right choice for me despite my many fears. hope that helps


Have you spoken with the Vocation Directress about your feelings? She might be able to offer some wonderful insight into your feelings. I will be praying that you will follow God's will for your life. May God richly bless you!


Inquiry is not a life comittment ;) This is the purpose of the Inquiry, Novitiate, etc. You are free to, and in fact encouraged to, live the life and charism of the Order you are exploring. You check them out and they in turn help you with your questions and in the end it's the working of the Holy Spirit that tells you if you have a vocation there or elsewhere... often it is simply comittment we most greatly fear. Go, seek and you will find... it's a long way before you sign your life over! Rule #1 Pray, Rule #2 Pray, Rule #3 Follow Rules #1-2... but have no fear... God is guiding you to the Yes or the No or the maybe somewhere else. Blessings and Peace.:gopray2:
Sister Mary Teresa, OSSM


Go ahead and apply! If it is not the life for you, God will reveal that in time. Just because you express interest in joining an order doesn't mean that you are stuck there for the rest of your life. There will be an adjustment period for you and the community, if it doesn't work out, so be it, you'll just have to keep looking.


Its a sign you are been tested by the devil, courage, courage, Christ calls you to come and see, heed His words and go to Him.


Another thought; As valuable as the feeling of 'fitting in' is with a Community, the most important 'fit' is really what the Charism is of the Order you wish to join. Perhaps with study of the Rule of Life of the Order you are considering something will speak to you or on the other hand, there may be something that just doesn't jive with you. Researching the Orders and their Charisms is as easy as Google on the web. As for Communities, keep in mind that all are made up of human beings. Some will be warm, welcoming, open and there will always be the more difficult person. There is one of every type on every bus, yes even in a place where you least expect. These challenges are there for all of us to grow with. If the road is easy, what do we learn? It's in the suffering and challenge that we find out who we are and what we need to work on. Christ is revealed in our friends and our enemies. Yet another thought; A vocation is a gift, freely given by The Spirit. You are free to accept or decline. You can not make a vocation if it isn't there. In my case it was my devotion to the Blessed Mother in the form of Her Suffering and my desire to serve Her and Her Son that was leading me. As I was drawn to Orders... in my case Secular Orders as I had first the calling to marriage and children before I had converted to the Church... yet I had always wanted the religious life from a young age... even tho I was not Catholic at the time. I've been Catholic for 36 years now, still married, children grown and I'd never lost the desire. It was in a mystical outpouring of the Holy Spirit thru the intercession of Our Lady that I again felt the fire, this time in a very overwhelming way! Back I went seeking a way to serve... the call came and in ways I can't even describe I was led to... of all Orders... The Servites... Servants of Mary! There were challenges, there were the nay-sayers, there were the difficult people, yet in my heart I knew where I was going, I knew Who was calling. I'd studied the others yet the Charism of the Servites was the only way for me. Not the biggest Order... not the one with the most this or that... not the only one I could find... but the Charism that spoke to me. Oh yes, moments of fear of comittment... but greatly overshadowed by my desire to serve and my 'knowing' the call. How grateful I am for all those stumbling blocks and the ones that still are... each time Jesus and Mary carry me past those, the Graces flow forth. Suffering becomes the greatest Joy! Pray for the intercession of our Beautiful Mother. She will not let you down and she will arrange the smallest details of your life if you giver her permission and your free will. Blessed be your journey no matter where you go.
Mary Teresa, OSSM


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