I really need prayers. I recently was rediagnosed with depression and I am on medication for the umpteenth time in 11 years. I was diagnosed at 16, and I’ve fought stigma since then. When I had a reversion to the Church in 2007, I began to discern religious life and fully came to realize that there was something deep in my soul that longed to serve God faithfully and give Him my undivided attention. Reading books about the saints fueled this desire and made it stronger. I sought the help of a spiritual director, but could not find one until January 2009, however, I did not benefit very much from his counsel and decided to end our meetings. I have not been able to find another one since (we have a lack of resources in our diocese, sadly).
I’ve contacted several religious communities since first discerning the call, and I have had some pretty awful experiences relating to communities not being understanding about my condition. Unfortunately, I feel that I am destined to be excluded from religious life because of an illness that requires me to be on medication for the rest of my life. I can function fine on it, but they do not understand that. I’ve had the most trouble with cloistered communities.
I know I have no right to a religious vocation, and I’ve tried to put this thought of religious life out of my head, but no matter how long I try to ignore it, it inevitably comes back. I unofficially “ended” my discernment because I was tired of getting the same response from communities that I’m attracted to. I started trying to figure out if there are any Third Orders in my area that I can join in the future and I’ve found a few, so I may decide to go that route, but it’s not the same. How can I convince myself that God is not calling me to religious life? I’ve read countless articles saying that the desire has to be matched with a community willing to accept one as a candidate. I don’t have that.
Has anyone dealt with this before? How did you move on from discernment? I appreciate any advice you can give.