Is There A Place For A Not So Saintly Nun?


#1

Hi Everyone

Since a very young age (about 7) I've wanted to enter the Carmel. I've gone through phases of really wanting to explore it.

I'm now 45 and have gone through three years of loss of faith - most because of the scandals in the Church - only to return with an even stronger faith. Again, I feel that all I want is to be as close to God as possible. I've had relationships. I have no children. I'm not lonely. I love my friends but I love my contemplative time more. I attend Mass each day and pray either morning or evening. Every day I make a point of helping someone. I live in London so not so hard to do as this city lacks compassion and it's certainly Godless.

My quandry is that I feel I have a dark side. I get annoyed and think terrible thoughts about people sometimes. Also when I pray for people who upset me I don't feel it's very effective because I still really don't like them even though I'm asking God to help them. I don't expect the person to be different with me. I just want them to feel better in themselves. At the same time, I'm thinking but this guy is such a jerk.

I'd like to go on retreat to possibly find some answers.I really want to conquer these negative thoughts.

I guess what I'm asking you is do you have any opinions on people who love and want to serve God but are less than "saintly" themselves?

Thanks!

Clare


#2

Hi clare,
I can't help you with your question because I am in the same boat (not very "saintly":o) I have a mean-streak that I desperately want to get rid of but don't know how??:shrug: Just wanted to say you are not alone and I am looking forward to the responses!


#3

Guess I'm in the right place :blush: Feel the same way but I try to remember the apostles who Jesus called even though they weren't very "saintly." Ex. Judas Iscariot


#4

[quote="poor_clare, post:1, topic:209080"]
Hi Everyone

Since a very young age (about 7) I've wanted to enter the Carmel. I've gone through phases of really wanting to explore it.

I'm now 45 and have gone through three years of loss of faith - most because of the scandals in the Church - only to return with an even stronger faith. Again, I feel that all I want is to be as close to God as possible. I've had relationships. I have no children. I'm not lonely. I love my friends but I love my contemplative time more. I attend Mass each day and pray either morning or evening. Every day I make a point of helping someone. I live in London so not so hard to do as this city lacks compassion and it's certainly Godless.

My quandry is that I feel I have a dark side. I get annoyed and think terrible thoughts about people sometimes. Also when I pray for people who upset me I don't feel it's very effective because I still really don't like them even though I'm asking God to help them. I don't expect the person to be different with me. I just want them to feel better in themselves. At the same time, I'm thinking but this guy is such a jerk.

I'd like to go on retreat to possibly find some answers.I really want to conquer these negative thoughts.

I guess what I'm asking you is do you have any opinions on people who love and want to serve God but are less than "saintly" themselves?

Thanks!

Clare

[/quote]

*Clare,
Be of good cheer. (Most) saints weren't born already a saint... but worked on it daily, for most of their lives. You might find a priest whom you can confide in, (and confess to)... we all are on a journey, and all have issues the good Lord wants us to work on... and its never to late ... confession and prayer can help with many situations....and is always a good place to begin.. Blessings of Peace *


#5

Dear Clare and Miniquedoes ,
Like the previous poster said , we are not born saints . I have a terrible time with my thought life too . No one believes I struggle because what comes out of my mouth is usually sweet ... sigh .. makes it hard to get help eh ?
I have found that the second I find myself thinking those thoughts I want rid of , I need to replace them with "wholesome" thoughts . Its the only thing I have found that works . I also apologize to the Lord since its against His will and way .
I have a friend who became a nun just a few years ago at 50 something .. and let me tell you , tho I love her madly she went in not anything near a saint ! I believe she had the call . I believe she has settled in and is doing alot for us all . but saintly ? not just yet lol
If I were you I would get myself a spiritual director and begin the disernment process . There is an age were you wont have many choices . hugs around ! Debbie


#6

you aren't being called to be a Saint. you may be called to work your tail off in service to the Lord. You may become a Saint by learning to live and love on a daily basis. Not everyone has a St. Paul episode. But just think, St. Paul used to do evil to the infant Church and ended up being a martyr for Christ.

You never know where Jesus is leading you. Good luck and may God shower you with blessings.

We all have those ugly thoughts -- the point is don't linger on them and say a prayer for that person. You don't have to have those silly "love crazy" emotions to love someone. You love someone by doing what is right.

Listen to Fr. Corapi on the subject as he clearly points out love and emotions. When you don't feel like praying pray anyway out of love.

When in doubt say a pray -- that is love.


#7

Dear All,

When I wanted to join religious life many years back I hesitated saying "am not holy, if God wants me he would not have allowed me to do this or that"

When thoughts persisted many years later, when the desire of religious life came back, a priest told me that "He doesn't call the qualified but he qualifies those he call"

ADVICE:
- start holy hour at least for a month
- say rosary every day
- attend mass a
- go to confession frequently at least once a month
-receive the Eucharist daily

If you feel difficult to do this, ask Our blessed lady to help you fulfill each aspect of the above list. Am talking from experience, that's how I did and and still doing.

Jesus says "with human resources it's not possible but with God's everything is possible"

Take courage and do not be afraid. In a time like this the devil is try to tell you "you are not worthy so that you may not enter this holy calling and save souls. Cling to the holy spirit when these thoughts come. St Teresa of Avila in "the way to perfection" says that "The devil will make you feel bad so that you may cease the pursuit of the calling" No one is holy, NO ONE. In today's gospel, Jesus says "why are you calling me good? Only God is good"

Be blessed
Densy


#8

Hi Everyone

Thank you SO MUCH for all of your great messages and for taking the time to reply - every single one has given me something to think about.

I was at Mass at lunchtime today and the homily was about following religious vocations and the stumbling blocks individuals face sometime. I think that might be an indication that I should try not to worry so much about not being good enough or nice enough. I should try to see where I'm supposed to go.

It's because I love God that I want to conquer my "ego" and be positive and compassionate even with people whom I find trying. I need to remember that I can be very trying - with very little effort.

I will keep you posted.

God bless and have a safe and happy week!

Clare


#9

Aww Clare , we will certainly be holding you up in prayer ! Do let us know , we will cheer you on through the process .. :D:D


#10

[quote="Deb_H, post:9, topic:209080"]
Aww Clare , we will certainly be holding you up in prayer ! Do let us know , we will cheer you on through the process .. :D:D

[/quote]

Ditto!:thumbsup:


#11

Remember this: we are called to love one another, but nobody said we had to like everyone.

We can't help our feelings about other people. Some people simply rub us up the wrong way. It's a given fact of life. What matters is what we do and how we do it. You are praying for the good of people you really don't like. That is a GOOD THING. Would that more people did the same, the world would be a lot less nasty than it is.


#12

Hey - a fellow member from the UK! Maybe you share my observation about London being Godless? That is if you bother to come down here. Sadly, this is a secular country on the whole and I do think about the lack of priests to say Mass.

Also there is kind of embarrassment here about professing one's faith. That's very sad.

Yes, prayer is very important and sometimes I feel a lovely sense of peace and other times I feel a bit lost.

I hope that the people I've been praying for will feel better in themselves. I hope that they will find peace and offer that peace to someone else.

Thank you for replying to my post and God Bless.

Clare


#13

Here is a good exercise for you:

Try to recite the Humility Litany every day until you can almost believe what you are saying. It is one of the most difficult prayers to say and honestly believe every word. The first time I prayed it I cried in shame because I was not saintly enough to believe what I was reciting.
youtube.com/watch?v=uzIleuONekI

Another suggestion is to get a brown scapular medal to wear around your neck and have it blessed. Every time you feel frustrated, angry, unloving, etc. hold the scapular and ask for the graces to feel more loving.

Anyone who "feels" saintly is only fooling herself. A truely humble person would never feel saintly. We all know how imperfect we are. But, with God's grace we can become more like Him........little by little.


#14

"You're not doing Christianity right if you're not a thorn in someone's side."

Mother Angelica

:p

When Padre Pio was made a saint, Mother Angelica said it was a sign of great hope for her. Apparently Padre Pio tended to be a bit of a cantankerous grouch.

For community living with other sisters, it would not be charitable to have animosities developing amoung women or people in the parish.

I lived with various women and various numbers of women while in the Navy for 5 years. We all developed a routine, an acceptance of behaviors within a range, etc.

What has helped me, is the ability to forgive. I do blow off the top of my head every once in a while, but I forgive quickly (instantly actually) and I don't hold grudges, and I don't let in become personal, most of the conflicts are behavioral . I don't expect perfection from myself or other people, but I do draw immediate attention to slacker behavior.

I am comfortable with my confrontational personality, which I know makes some people very uncomfortable. I've learned to tone myself down and only "go there" when it's necessary. After awhile your attitude will hold your body and other people read that posture.

My sister, is much like me, confrontational. She, makes me uncomfortable. Her level of patience is zero. Minus zero.

Another lesson learned :)


#15

[quote="onetruechurch, post:13, topic:209080"]
Here is a good exercise for you:

Try to recite the Humility Litany every day until you can almost believe what you are saying. It is one of the most difficult prayers to say and honestly believe every word. The first time I prayed it I cried in shame because I was not saintly enough to believe what I was reciting.
youtube.com/watch?v=uzIleuONekI

Another suggestion is to get a brown scapular medal to wear around your neck and have it blessed. Every time you feel frustrated, angry, unloving, etc. hold the scapular and ask for the graces to feel more loving.

Anyone who "feels" saintly is only fooling herself. A truely humble person would never feel saintly. We all know how imperfect we are. But, with God's grace we can become more like Him........little by little.

[/quote]


#16

Hi onetruechurch

What a lovely prayer. Thank you for sharing it.

Clare xx


#17

[quote="Barbkw, post:14, topic:209080"]
"You're not doing Christianity right if you're not a thorn in someone's side."

Mother Angelica

:p

When Padre Pio was made a saint, Mother Angelica said it was a sign of great hope for her. Apparently Padre Pio tended to be a bit of a cantankerous grouch.

For community living with other sisters, it would not be charitable to have animosities developing amoung women or people in the parish.

I lived with various women and various numbers of women while in the Navy for 5 years. We all developed a routine, an acceptance of behaviors within a range, etc.

What has helped me, is the ability to forgive. I do blow off the top of my head every once in a while, but I forgive quickly (instantly actually) and I don't hold grudges, and I don't let in become personal, most of the conflicts are behavioral . I don't expect perfection from myself or other people, but I do draw immediate attention to slacker behavior.

I am comfortable with my confrontational personality, which I know makes some people very uncomfortable. I've learned to tone myself down and only "go there" when it's necessary. After awhile your attitude will hold your body and other people read that posture.

My sister, is much like me, confrontational. She, makes me uncomfortable. Her level of patience is zero. Minus zero.

Another lesson learned :)

[/quote]

I could do a convent - but I don't think the Navy would be my thing. Well done!


#18

I have the same problem, but with no calling. I try to forgive, but I sometimes can't forget. I try to pray for the person who offends me, and also pray that I'm not still so offended. It's hard.

You definitely should talk to a priest. He can tell you that "religious" are not saints themselves, they are trying to be.


#19

Read “The Man Who Got Even With God”, a pamphlet giving the short story is here: catholicpamphlets.net/pamphlets/The%20Man%20Who%20Got%20Even%20With%20God.pdf

It begins:

“The Man Who Got Even With God”
JOHN HANNING, AMERICAN EX-COWBOY
By REV. MARIUS McAULIFFE O.F.M.

John Green Hanning began life at Kentucky, U.S.A., on January 12, 1849, and ended it fifty-nine years later as Brother Joachim, in the Trappist Monastery, Gethsemani near his old Kentucky home, on April 80, 1908.

Though it is yet too soon to have an infallible pronouncement that would number him amongst the canonised saints, still, I think you will agree that the story of his strange life is well worth telling. You will find the full account in the beautifully written biography published by The Bruce Publishing Co., under the rather challenging title of “The Man Who Got Even With God."


#20

That's great Evan. Thanks so much for suggesting this.

Clare :)


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