Problems with my vocation


#1

I have been discerning religious life for the past year, but I've had the overwhelming sense that I am so unworthy. But I would love to dedicate my life to Jesus and spend it in prayer! And I really don't feel called to marriage. Has anyone had this experience? What should I do? Will this feeling pass?


#2

[quote="White_Peony, post:1, topic:278738"]
I have been discerning religious life for the past year, but I've had the overwhelming sense that I am so unworthy. But I would love to dedicate my life to Jesus and spend it in prayer! And I really don't feel called to marriage. Has anyone had this experience? What should I do? Will this feeling pass?

[/quote]

Yes, I have had this experience.

You should get a spiritual director.

It may pass, or it may not, or as in my case it may pass but continue to reappear at times.

What helps me is remembering the centurion and what we repeat at every Mass.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

I also pray the Jesus Prayer, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

Remember the Pharisee and the Publican, Luke 18:9-14.

These are all great helps to me when I get into one of those moods.

Just remember, ultimately we are not worthy, it is through the Grace of God that we serve.


#3

I second Br. David’s advice that you should get a spiritual director. If I recall from reading some of your previous posts, you’ve had some experiences that you really should take up with a good solid priest who can help advise you on this. Discerning a vocation is much better done along with a spiritual director, I cannot recommend this enough.

-ACEGC


#4

[quote="White_Peony, post:1, topic:278738"]
I have been discerning religious life for the past year, but I've had the overwhelming sense that I am so unworthy. But I would love to dedicate my life to Jesus and spend it in prayer! And I really don't feel called to marriage. Has anyone had this experience? What should I do? Will this feeling pass?

[/quote]

I'm in the exact same boat. I definitely feel called to a vocation (that I'm relatively sure isn't marriage). And I struggle with the same feelings. On the one side there's a definite sense that I'm being called to a religious vocation. But on the other side I just feel like Moses "why me Lord, surely you could find someone better, someone holier, someone more suited to it".

I just recently started going to a meeting once a week with some other guys who are also discerning a vocation. And, the good news about this is our priest keeps telling us that it's healthy and normal to feel unworthy. He says it's of more concern when someone does not feel unworthy.

The most important thing is that no one that is a priest or a religious right now was worthy to serve the Lord. All of them were sinners, all of them still are sinners. But, the Holy Spirit is able to transform us to be able to serve God. And that's what all the oblate/ noviate programs are for in the monastic orders. Really to just learn that nuns and monks are just like everyone else, they're just ordinary people. And it's the same thing with seminary too.


#5

On the OPs post; the following taken from a e-pamphlet sent to me from a Cistercian brother & vocations director sent me;

                   "Once God has broken through our defenses and we feel more certain that we are called, it is important to keep open “the channels of communication” towards God. Even though God deals with each of us in a unique way, there seems to be a pattern in his

treatment of beginners. After a first encounter and “honeymoon,” he usually withdraws,
hides and waits. He wants to lure us out of a passive attitude of enjoying warm religious
feelings. He leads us away from a fascinated preoccupation with our own experience so
that we may search for God himself. He withdraws the heart-warming spiritual
consolations in order to test us: “Do you love me or only my gifts: Do you seek me or only
your own feelings?”

Now IMO,
Perhaps @ this time in your discernment the Lord seeks to test your heart? Maybe after the initial contact made to you by our Father, is now pulled back,....He is playing hard to get, to sorta speak mystically. Regardless of order, consecrated life in any form is the ongoing development of the relationship with Jesus the Bridegroom that gains one more perfect union with God the Father. If you can not persevere to chase after your Love now while under your own rule how can one submit to such under the rule of an order & abbot our that of a diocese?
This is a normal part of vocation, though it happens @ different times in different souls. To lift your spirits a little,Know that Blessed Saint Therese the little flower, toward the end of her life experienced her Love, Jesus withdraw from her at various times but she persevered & chased after Him until she found Him, not by some grace that is not available to you but by that which is available to all; The grace & Mercy that is our Lord. I am sure you are aware of many uplifting scriptures, awareness is not enough! READ THEM THEY ARE THE WORD OF YOUR LOVE OUR GOD & WILL STRENGTHEN YOU. Remember the man that said to Jesus "yes Lord I do believe & help me in my unbelief"(paraphrased), this attitude with our Lord in prayer in times of doubt will often strengthen you beyond reason. The Lord may indeed wish for you to chase after him but rest assured he will stop and allow you to catch up to him.
Remember that in a relationship it is never successful unless both parties put into the relationship what they wish to get out of it. Our Lord wishes to embrace you even more than you long for Him but @ the same time you have to seek Him as well. Also, these times, for those that persevere often end with an even deeper relationship & resolve to our Lord God.

Just my two cents, may God bless you in your discernment and daily life :signofcross:


#6

[quote="White_Peony, post:1, topic:278738"]
I have been discerning religious life for the past year, but I've had the overwhelming sense that I am so unworthy. But I would love to dedicate my life to Jesus and spend it in prayer! And I really don't feel called to marriage. Has anyone had this experience? What should I do? Will this feeling pass?

[/quote]

The way I see it, we are unworthy. It is a great blessing to be called to His service but He doesn't call those He thinks are perfect for it right now, He calls those He think will grow and blossom in that life. Religious life is a path to holiness, not a path for the holy. Allowing only the holy to enter would be like only allowing people to go to the doctor once they are healed. I think discerners are often intimidated by the holiness of nuns and sisters but we must remember that they did not start out that way, they grew to that through the graces of their vocation.

Basically, yes we are unworthy. But that is the wonder of Christ, He wants us anyway and He will make us whole.


#7

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