Since last July, I’ve been discerning religious life, particularly being cloistered. I’ve prayed daily about this, I’ve researched different orders, and believed God was telling me I’m meant to be a nun whilst praying. Even with all of the praying, and the help I received through praying over the months, I believe He’s suddenly leading me to discern a different vocation, and now I feel so lost and also really sad and afraid. I was so sure of my vocation for all of these months, and I felt it was right for me. Now it feels like someone just punched me in the face for a reason unknown to me, and I really don’t know what to do. My best friend and I have been discerning religious life together, which makes this much more difficult especially with all of the conversations we’ve had about my discernment. I’ve also wondered if being a nun is something that I started to want for myself instead of for God for the past month or so subconsciously, and maybe I became mentally attached to it and took my focus off of Him and it truly isn’t right for me. Has anyone else been through something similar, or had a sudden twist in discerning your vocation? What should I do? Thank you, and God Bless you.
Have you been in contact with any order in relation to your discernment? It would probably help to find out more information about the different orders before you make any decision. It would also help to choose an order if you prayed over it and made contact with someone in that order. If you do continue, they may have a “come and see” visit. In other words, you would go there for, like, a weekend or something so that you can see if it’s a “good fit” or not. And this wouldn’t be just for you, it would be for them as well. And find out how each order supports itself. I know of one order, in Texas if I remember correctly, that’s enclosed but supports itself by raising miniature horses.
I have contacted each order I feel called to, and every time I either receive no response, or they aren’t interested in me when they hear of my background. I sent a message to the Vocation’s Director on Facebook of the order I feel most called to, and not only did she not reply to my message, she also blocked me from messaging her again. I’m currently unable to go to any come and see events/weekends, and even when I inquired about attending one in the future there was still no response from the orders I contacted.
sometimes when this happens, he wants you to work on the cloister within first. imitate the lives of cloistered religious within, then let him take it from there.
spend time in adoration: savior.org/
look locally first.
you’d need to see a variety of convents so you can know the ‘no way’ feeling. when you’ve found the right place, you will know it.
if you are interested in the cloisters, here is a site that will help: cloisters.tripod.com/
Have you submitted yourself to a priest or someone who is spiritual in your parish etc as part of the discernment process?
It is a good idea to go through such a thing with someone who has the ear of the Lord so to speak. You have their prayer support and an objective view of things who can help discern your calling.
Would you mind telling me about your calling, where your feel the Lord is leading you and what orders you have tried?
Are you ill? My friends who wanted to become sisters or nuns were turned away due to pre-existing illness or age.
If that’s too personal a question, never mind.
You said something about them “finding out about your background”.
I think you may be answering at least part of your own question. God certainly knows the depths of your heart even better than you do. And often times, He will ask us to give up the thing we love the most in the world in order than we may love Him the most. He may simply be asking you, “I know you love the idea of religious life, but would you give up becoming a nun for Me?” If your answer is, “No, I HAVE TO be a nun,” then perhaps it isn’t right for you. I know the paradox is confusing. Seeking guidance from a wise and holy spiritual director would be worthwhile.
Ouch… I don’t like how they aren’t interested once they hear of your background… It makes thoughts run through my head like, “What have u done that would make people react like this?”…
But I took a look at your profile and it seems that you’re still a Greek Orthodox. I’d imagine that’s probably part of the reason as well as your young age. I believe orders generally want people that are Roman Catholics and have been practicing their faith for at least a few years. Until this is done, there probably won’t be many orders, if any, that would be interested in u.
Also, do u have a Catholic spiritual director? That’s another thing that orders want to see, and if u don’t have one, I’d imagine it’d be a big turn-off for them since it’s generally looked down upon as a person pridefully leading themself, instead of allowing one of God’s spiritual shepherds to guide one in one’s discernment.
suko & pianistclare:
Upon orders questioning my religion (which I know is probably the norm) and I tell them I’m Greek Orthodox, or I tell them I’m converting to Catholicism and they ask of my current religion, it’s like a massive barrier is created when I mention being Greek Orthodox, and they no longer contact me. The orders I’ve told my religion to from the beginning don’t even reply, even when I ask them what I need to do to gain their trust.
Thankfully no. I could be healthier, but I’m not ill. No, not at all. For me, it takes a lot for a question to be too personal.
Yes, this is the norm. I think your best bet is to wait then… I mean, I can understand u wanting to try to discern further into the orders that interest u, but please remember, things don’t happen according to our time, but in God’s time.
So yeah, I honestly think that you’ll have to exercise some patience here. Do u know at least when u will be converting to Catholicism? Are u in RCIA or anything?
That is very true, and patient I will be. I am just really afraid, though, that this isn’t my vocation, and that I have been discerning for all this time and let those who know about it down.
RCIA isn’t a requirement for those who are converting from Orthodoxy as the Sacraments/overall theology (if that makes sense) are recognized by the Catholic Church. I have been following religious ed classes online, along with daily catechism/gospel explanations and bible readings, in addition to the LOTH. I won’t be able to make my profession of faith until next summer, and after I do that I’ll automatically be a Greek Catholic, or at the very least Eastern Rite, and it does take a while to transfer rites. I read somewhere that it took a couple 6 months to have rites changed, and with my age it could be even longer.
Don’t think about “letting others down”.
Anyone who loves you would want the best for you no matter what.
You’re so young…I envy your enthusiasm!
Let it unfold as the Lord wishes, and I’m sure the blessings will be astounding!
It’s hard to be patient sometimes, but God works in His own time.
Perhaps one day you’ll see clearly His plan. Hopefully soon!
If you haven’t done so already you definitively need a spiritual director.
At this point, I would suggest finishing your conversion and then contacting orders unless your spiritual director tells you differently.